Monday, January 26, 2015

SHOT Show Attendance Was Second-Highest Ever

According to a release from the NSSF, this year's SHOT Show had the second-highest attendance ever.
Long a bellwether for the industry's prospects, the SHOT Show brings together buyers and sellers from the United States and more than 100 countries. Total attendance for the 2015 SHOT Show was nearly 64,000, second only to last year's record-setting event, where nearly 67,000 came through the turnstiles. Lower attendance reflected strengthened pre-screening of attendees to enhance the overall experience of both exhibitors and buyers.

"We know from long experience that attendance at the SHOT Show is a reflection of the state of our industry," said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This second highest attendance is in keeping with what we saw in the past year -- that our industry is in good health and that manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers have a positive outlook for this year."
I'd certainly believe it. The main hallways were always crowded and the flow of the crowd at the end of the day towards the Venetian Hotel was like a river.

The show brings big money to Las Vegas.
The SHOT Show, the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas, pumps nearly $90 million in non-gaming revenue into the Las Vegas economy.
Those in Nevada who would push the universal background check initiative such as Wynn Resorts co-founder Elaine Wynn should keep this in mind. The firearms industry does have other options besides Las Vegas to hold the SHOT Show. While it is a popular destination for many in the industry, there are other places. I think the NSSF should start making it clear that a vote for universal background checks will come with consequences.

The SHOT Show is about business. On my flight home I sat across from Don Keadle of J.E.K. Wholesale. His company develops 37mm and 40mm grenade, less than lethal, and tear gas launchers. This was the first show they attended and it was very worthwhile. Don said the guys in the shop were going to hate him because they would be working seven days a week. He had received enough orders by the end of the first day to have made the trip profitable. Others I spoke with such as a dealer from Lubbock, Texas said he had placed a number of orders at the show. All in all I take this as good for the industry and good for the US economy.

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