St. Louis hosted the first SHOT Show in 1979.
Then, the show spanned three days and comprised 5,600 attendees, 290 exhibitors and 51,153 net square feet of exhibit space. Fast forward to the 40th SHOT Show, held Jan. 23-26 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, this year's event hosted over 60,000 attendees, featured 1,660 exhibitors (a number exceeding 2,100 when the two-day Suppliers Showcase is included) and occupied more than 645,000 net square feet. These figures have made the SHOT Show the 19th largest tradeshow in the U.S., seventh largest in Las Vegas and the largest event held at the Sands.
"From our humble beginnings in St. Louis in 1979, to now being one of the leading trade shows in the world, we've come a long way in 40 years," said Chris Dolnack, NSSF SVP and CMO.
SHOT Show celebrated this milestone with strong attendance, upbeat buyers and sellers and a packed program of events during "SHOT Week." This year's show welcomed 150 new exhibitors on the main exhibition floor, 100 first-time vendors in the NEXT 2.0 Pavilion and marked the 20th time it was held in Las Vegas. Additionally, the expanded New Product Center encompassed 550 new products from 367 companies.
The overall mood of the show was positive from both exhibitors and retailers. While 2017 was a tough year for many, the industry knows there is an opportunity ahead to enhance engagement with customers and provide programs to keep them coming back for repeat visits. Many new products and software introductions centered on a theme of bringing back the "fun" elements of the shooting sports to stir up customer interest.
"We had good, reputable media coverage, both print writers and video, and had more time to discuss products with buyers and media," said JJ Reich, Vista Outdoor communications manager. "It was a great show all together, with lots of traffic."
"Everything went smoothly, from setup and arrival of all of our gear, to the actual running of the booth. 2018 was great for us," shared Christine Bovat, Smith & Wesson manager of brand licensing.
"It was a hugely successful year for us... we've done more business at the 2018 show than ever before," informed Patty Cueller, Aguila Ammunition marketing coordinator.
"All of our expectations were met, and as always we had a great show, doing lots of business. We're looking forward to next year, for sure," said Nathan Robinson, Winchester Ammunition marketing manager.
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
In a shift from previous years, the State of the Industry Reception featured a...