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Published by Guy Basso

Tuesday 23 January 2018 - Friday 26 January 2018

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  • The SHOT Show is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries.
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    • One of the hottest trends boosting sales among today’s FFLs exists in the NFA arena. With the liberation of suppressor use in more than 40 states, more and more dealers are seeking expanded licensing under National Firearms Act (NFA) regulations, those regulations pertaining to the class of firearms, some ammunitions and accessories that include suppressors, full-autos, short-barrel rifles and shotguns and certain other oddities such as pen and cane guns.

      NFA products are a great niche that can deliver relatively high margins, while also providing a way to differentiate your store in a crowded retail environment. The 2018 SHOT Show University session “NFA Compliance” was designed specifically to address the growing pool of NFA dealers seeking to capitalize on these benefits and the attendant need for vigilant compliance. Because these products are highly regulated, their licensing processing times are long and selling them comes with a bevy of cumbersome regulations, they require a good deal of knowledge to market properly. Former ATF deputy assistant directors Harry McCabe and Wally Nelson have teamed up to provide a session that will cover the ins and outs of selling NFA products, from the regulatory requirements and paperwork flow to educating customers about anticipated product delivery dates.

      Taking place Monday, Jan. 22, the day before the 2018 SHOT Show opens, SHOT Show University is NSSF’s premier learning experience for retailers and range owners, providing business owners of all experience levels ways to improve their businesses. The forum is comprised of four learning tracks: Range, Compliance, Retailer 101 and the Master’s Class. Anyone attending SHOT Show University can take part in the learning tracks of their choice. Those already established as NFA dealers and those seeking to expand their current FFL footprint by adding this licensing to their ATF and business profiles are particularly encouraged to attend “NFA Compliance,” part of the four-part Compliance track.

      Registration for the 2018 SHOT Show is now open. Buyers and range owners successfully registering to attend the show can then register to participate in SHOT Show University and other events. NSSF Members receive a discount on their registration fee to attend SHOT Show University.

      Sponsorship opportunities are available for SHOT Show University and other SHOT Week events. Contact Chris Tatulli, NSSF Director, Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales, at ctatulli@nssf.org to learn more about our wide variety of sponsorship options.

      View the full SHOT Show University agenda and speaker lineup

      The post Suppressors and Full-Autos and Short Barrels, Oh My! appeared first on NSSF SHOT Show 2018.
      One of the hottest trends boosting sales among today’s FFLs exists in the NFA arena. With the liberation of suppressor use in more than 40 states, more and more dealers are seeking expanded licensing under National Firearms Act (NFA) regulations, those regulations pertaining to the class of firearms, some ammunitions and accessories that include suppressors, full-autos, short-barrel rifles and shotguns and certain other oddities such as pen and cane guns.

      NFA products are a great ... See more
      See more on line
      Suppressors and Full-Autos and Short Barrels, Oh My!
    • A special SHOT Show service helps enterprising U.S. manufacturers explore opportunities with overseas markets. 

      American manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and related accessories that are looking to expand their opportunities in foreign markets are faced with numerous challenges. What kind of plan do you need? How do you find contacts and buyers? How do you maneuver through all the regulations that come with exporting your products? The process can be intimidating — but it can also reap profits.

      In 2014, Ergo Grips, a Moriarty, New Mexico-based manufacturer of high-performance small arms accessories for sportsmen and law enforcement, was a small business, one with just over 20 employees. It had a simple goal: It wanted to increase sales through international exports.

      Enter the U.S. Commercial Service and its program known as ExporTech. ExporTech is a national export assistance program helping companies enter or expand in global markets. Jointly offered by the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, ExporTech applies a structured export strategy development process that assists companies to accelerate growth. It is the only national program in which each company develops a written export plan and then has that plan vetted by a panel of experts. As part of its program, ExporTech also connects companies with a wide range of world-class experts to help navigate the export sales process. The result is that companies rapidly expand global sales while saving countless hours of effort.

      After completing ExporTech, the international sales manager for Ergo Grips requested further assistance navigating International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Before Ergo Grips could pursue global markets, it had dedicated a significant time to researching and obtaining a commodity jurisdiction that reclassified its products from ITAR to an Export License. After extensive research and collaboration with multiple government entities, it was determined that Ergo’s products were excluded from ITAR and all that was needed Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ). With the CJ in hand, Ergo Grips quickly began pursuing global markets in Europe and Asia. The company has also relied on the advice and counseling of U.S. Commercial Service staff in Germany, Poland, Kazakhstan and Thailand, and its international sales have increased, allowing Ergo Grips to employ dozens of Americans.

      This is just one example of how U.S. Commercial Service can help American manufacturers expand to compete in global markets. To explore what this service can do for you, I’m pleased to announce that U.S. Commercial Service will be joining the 2018 SHOT Show as part of our International Buyer Program. If you are interested in exporting and would like to speak with one of our International Trade Specialists or have identified a potential market and would like to explore your options further, please register now for the International Buyer Program. For more information, visit International Attendees page at www.SHOTShow.org.

      The post Get Ready to Export appeared first on NSSF SHOT Show 2018.
      A special SHOT Show service helps enterprising U.S. manufacturers explore opportunities with overseas markets. 

      American manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and related accessories that are looking to expand their opportunities in foreign markets are faced with numerous challenges. What kind of plan do you need? How do you find contacts and buyers? How do you maneuver through all the regulations that come with exporting your products? The process can be intimidating — but ... See more
      See more on line
      Get Ready to Export
    • Welcome to NSSF’s SHOT Show column “Working the Show.” Designed to help retailers and range owners of all sizes realize the most from their time and money spent in Las Vegas every year at SHOT Show, “Working the Show” will share how various successful retailers across the country plan for SHOT Week and what they’re looking to accomplish while they’re at the show. After the show, we’ll continue the series and examine how these retailers, along with manufacturers and media members, are maintaining contacts, responding to trends, changing their marketing based on their purchases and other follow-up tactics.

      —John McNamara, NSSF Senior Director, Retailer Services

      Watson Chambers Defense Institute – Columbus, Indiana
      Watson Chambers Defense Institute (WCDI) is a firearms training and retail store committed to serving customers through in-depth education and the latest and greatest products. The 12,000 square-foot facility is staffed by eight employees, four of whom are firearms instructors who teach classes ranging from basic to advanced and also provide corporate training. An indoor shooting range has three lanes rated for use up to .308-caliber rifles.

      WCDI is a Class III dealer offering price-matching, 30-day full refunds as in-store credits, and free FFL transfers with any other purchase. Because WCDI is primarily an educational institute, it does not maintain a large inventory of firearms and instead offers to have any gun ordered through them in stock within two days. WCDI is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

      Finding Out What's Fresh
      Attending SHOT Show is an important function for WCDI, according to company president Aaron Watson. There, he educates himself on product changes so that what he does stock is the freshest available.

      “I’m really there to see all of the new stuff and get ahead of it so I know what is going to be old soon, what I need to get out of my inventory because the new models are coming out and what I need to hold off on [buying] because new models are coming out,” he says. “It’s a chance for me to make sure what’s in my store is up to date.”

      Being up to date is important because WCDI is very active on social media, where real-time discussions on the newest products are the norm.

      The Importance of Social Media
      “Facebook really runs our whole business,” says Watson who specifically designates time for making Facebook posts during SHOT Week. “We’ll also cross-post from Instagram to Facebook. The larger reviews I take home with me, and I do all of the editing after I get back a week later, and then we post them.”

      Social media isn’t just a primary strategy for connecting with his customers, it’s also a resource for Watson.

      “What normally happens is I see a vendor on Instagram, and [the post] says ‘Here’s my booth number,’ and I can search the booth number within the SHOT Show Mobile App and it will lead me right to it.”

      Start Planning Early
      Watson begins planning for the show well in advance, even scheduling dinners with distributors and key accounts as early as December. “Those are the important deals I need to get done,” he says. As for routine business partners, Watson prefers to pop in at booths rather than schedule appointments, though he tries to time those visits so they’re on the days his dealer reps are there. “Most of my reps I see only once a year. They are states away and I usually only talk to them over the phone, so it’s nice to pop in and say ‘Hey,’ but I try to have as much scheduled as far in advance as I can.”

      To make his route through the show as efficient as possible, Watson says he uses every resource NSSF makes available.

      “I use the SHOT Show Mobile App, and the digital map they have is very useful. I’ll also use the SHOT Show itinerary because normally I stay and attend some of their conferences and seminars,” he says.

      Pre-show planning begins with making a list of everyone Watson knows he needs to see, dividing the show into sections, and then mapping out where he needs to go. “There are days I don’t even go on another floor or another section because I’m so focused on one section at a time,” he says of the show’s intensity.

      For those dealers coming to SHOT Show without a strategy, Watson warns that’s a very bad idea and says that they’re wasting their time.

      “I guess if you just want to go there and write off the first one [SHOT Show] as a learning experience, great,” he laughs, adding that it’s extremely important for dealers to show up and know where everybody is going to be. If there are any big personalities to see or conferences or presentations you want to go to, you should have those paid for, scheduled and ready to go. “Have your full itinerary set for the entire duration you’re there, including just being in Vegas and doing things after SHOT Show. Vegas alone needs a schedule,” he said.

      Enjoy Your Time
      Despite his emphasis on scheduling, Watson does rely on free time to walk the floor to discover new products and follow up on things he saw only briefly earlier in the show.

      “What I try and do is have that free time on the last day,” he says. “[F]ill in anything you missed or get to the new stuff that you had no idea was even there.”

      In addition to finding out what’s new, Watson uses his time at SHOT Show to establish new relationships with distributors and manufacturers. He also holds back cash to set up new accounts.

      “[I]t’s really about who has some nice new stuff that they can sell me on. If I get there and it’s old stuff, then I’m really not interested in it,” he says regarding what he looks for when considering new accounts.

      One final thought from Watson is to bring an extra duffle bag to SHOT Show.

      “I’ll probably be returning with more stuff than I came with. Will all the brochures we get, I need the extra bag to bring it home.”

      About the Author
      Warren Berg is a 25-year veteran of the shooting, hunting and outdoors industry. He has penned hundreds of articles under many names for such storied publications as American Rifleman and Field & Stream. He has produced award-winning television programs on personal-defense and has hunted extensively in North America, Europe and Africa


      The post Working the Show — Watson Chambers Defense Institute, Columbus, Indiana appeared first on NSSF SHOT Show 2018.
      Welcome to NSSF’s SHOT Show column “Working the Show.” Designed to help retailers and range owners of all sizes realize the most from their time and money spent in Las Vegas every year at SHOT Show, “Working the Show” will share how various successful retailers across the country plan for SHOT Week and what they’re looking to accomplish while they’re at the show. After the show, we’ll continue the series and examine how these retailers, along with manufacturers and media ... See more
      See more on line
      Working the Show — Watson Chambers Defense Institute, Columbus, Indiana
    • The 2018 #SHOTShow Retailer Seminar “The 21st Century Role of the Lawyer in Retail Firearms Compliance” will discuss in depth the history of the lawyer in the retail firearms dealer infrastructure. See more on line
    • Everyone shops online — so how do you get those online shoppers into your store? The 2018 SHOT Show University session “New Media Marketing” will answer that question — and many related questions — by exploring not just how to sell to online buyers, but also the importance of aligning content and online technology to your sales and marketing strategy. See more on line
    • Through retrofitting or expanding an existing range, or by building one from the blueprints up, you, too, can have a range that people flock to. The 2018 #SHOTShow University’s “Evolution of the Modern Range” session will show you to create a "next generation" range. See more on line
    • Don’t get caught up in costly and unnecessary litigation. This 2018 SHOT Show Retailer Seminar tells you what you need to know.

      Has your FFL encountered an incident of negligent entrustment when it comes to the transfer of a firearm? Do you fully understand what the term “negligent entrustment” means? The phrase is actually more than a century old, but it’s one that’s made headlines only in recent years. It refers to a portion of tort law that holds one party (the entrustor) liable for the negligence of a dangerous instrument by someone else. In our industry, this is the issue that gives rise to retailers, range owners and manufacturers being held liable for someone irresponsibly or criminally handling a firearm, ammunition or other related product and causing harm to another.

      Where do your responsibilities for firearms and ammunition sales begin and end? Our don’t-miss 2018 SHOT Show Retailer Seminar, “Negligent Entrustment of a Firearm — A Problem You Don’t Want to Have,” will help answer that question. Moderated by retired ATF Deputy Assistant Director Wally Nelson and noted firearms law Attorney Christopher Renzulli, this session will discuss the concept of negligent entrustment as it applies to the transfer of firearms. The duo will also review the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and how it protects FFLs — and what it does not. A review of internal controls and business practices firearms dealers can employ to prevent the occurrence of a negligent entrustment of a firearm will also be included.

      Christopher Renzulli is a partner with the Renzulli Law Firm. His practice concentrates on civil litigation, with an emphasis on product liability, mass tort litigation, premises liability, professional liability and all aspects of insurance coverage disputes. His work with the firearms and sporting goods industries includes the defense of product defect claims, preparation of product literature, conducting recalls and retrofits and ATF compliance. Renzulli has extensive success obtaining dismissals for his clients pursuant to the PLCAA, and he has unique experience with shooting ranges and the defense of claims of improper design and usage leading to errant bullets, excessive noise, personal injury, nuisance and a host of other charges by neighbors, neighborhood associations and local governments. He appears throughout the country in state and federal courts and before numerous appellate courts. Renzulli earned his B.A. from Pace University, majoring in English and Political Science and where he completed the Pace University Honors Program and Alpha Chi Honors Program. He earned his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.

      Wally Nelson is a retired ATF Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) with more than 30 years of ATF experience. As DAD, he directed all regulatory firearms programs, including the development and monitoring of firearms inspection programs, licensing, NFA, imports, tracing and regulations, as well as the firearms technology branch. He retired from ATF in October 2005. For the last six years, Nelson has brought his expertise in firearms laws and regulations to firearms industry members as a private consultant, conducting FFL site visits to review required records and sample firearms inventories. He has also provided employee training, helped to develop compliance plans and assisted FFLs of all types and sizes with ATF compliance and licensing issues. Nelson is a member of NSSF’s Retail Compliance Consultant Team.

      The Retailer Seminar “Negligent Entrustment of a Firearm — A Problem You Don’t Want to Have” takes place the second day of the 2018 SHOT Show, Wednesday, Jan. 24, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Registration for the 2018 SHOT Show is now open, and buyers and range owners successfully registering to attend the show can then register for various Retailer Seminars and other educational events.

      Sponsorship opportunities are available for Retailer Seminars and other SHOT Week events. Contact Chris Tatulli, NSSF Director, Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales, at ctatulli@nssf.org to learn more about our wide variety of sponsorship options.

      View the full lineup of 2018 SHOT Show Retailer Seminars
      The post Negligent Entrustment of a Firearm — A Problem You Don’t Want to Have appeared first on NSSF SHOT Show 2018.
      Don’t get caught up in costly and unnecessary litigation. This 2018 SHOT Show Retailer Seminar tells you what you need to know.

      Has your FFL encountered an incident of negligent entrustment when it comes to the transfer of a firearm? Do you fully understand what the term “negligent entrustment” means? The phrase is actually more than a century old, but it’s one that’s made headlines only in recent years. It refers to a portion of tort law that holds one party (the ... See more
      See more on line
      Negligent Entrustment of a Firearm — A Problem You Don’t Want to Have
    • How are other industries driving consumer expectations of what great customer service looks like both now and for years to come? The 2018 SHOT Show University session “Maintaining Retail Relevancy” works to answer that question by looking outside the firearms industry and analyzing the ways others are molding customers and defining great customer service. See more on line
    • Everyone shops online — so how do you get those online shoppers into your store?

      In a world in which it seems everyone has checked whether an item was in stock or if a price at one store could be bettered by another before they ever set foot in a store, a comprehensive and intelligently designed online presence is essential to the success of today’s FFLs and firearms ranges. But how much is too much? What should you have on your website, when should you have it and, most importantly, is that online presence driving people into your store or otherwise converting their shopping into completed sales?

      Our 2018 SHOT Show University session “New Media Marketing” will go far in answering those questions by exploring not just how to sell to online buyers, but also the importance of aligning content and online technology to your sales and marketing strategy. You’ll learn the best new ways to promote your business online, as well as the role technology can have in reducing the time and workload needed to maintain and manage this critical consumer connection. The latest in social media, gadgetry and software that can enhance any business’ online presence while saving time and increasing sales will also be discussed.

      “New Media Marketing” will be presented by Frank Furness, CSP, an internationally sought-after sales and technology speaker and social media presenter. His lively, enthusiastic and humorous style has inspired audiences around the world, and he has a gift for explaining how these things work in tandem to produce great results for organizations. He is the past President of the Professional Speakers Association of Europe, and he spends 70 percent of his time speaking internationally, working in 58 countries. He has presented at Entrepreneurs University, and his clients include the British Olympic Team, The Professional Cricketers Association, Sporting Champions and Sport England. In 2007, he was awarded Top Speaker for Vistage Europe, and in 2011 he was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was awarded TEC Australia’s Overseas Speaker of the Year. Apart from his speaking obligations, Furness has an internet marketing business, with 22 websites all producing income. He has been an avid supporter of video marketing for many years, and his YouTube channel has 700 videos, four million views and more than 6,000 subscribers. His books, “Walking with Tigers – Success Secrets of the World’s Top Business Leaders” and “How to Find New Business and Clients,” are international bestsellers.

      Taking place Monday, Jan. 22, the day before the 2018 SHOT Show opens, SHOT Show University is NSSF’s premier learning experience for retailers and range owners, providing business owners of all experience levels ways to improve their businesses. The forum is comprised of four learning tracks: Range, Compliance, Retailer 101 and the Master’s Class. Though anyone can attend any learning track, those established FFL businesses seeking further success are especially encouraged to participate in the Master’s Class track and take advantage of furness' session “New Media Marketing.”

      Registration for the 2018 SHOT Show is now open. Buyers and range owners successfully registering to attend the show can then register to participate in SHOT Show University and other events. NSSF Members receive a discount on their registration fee to attend SHOT Show University.

      Sponsorship opportunities are available for SHOT Show University and other SHOT Week events. Contact Chris Tatulli, NSSF Director, Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales, at ctatulli@nssf.org to learn more about our wide variety of sponsorship options.

      View the full Executive Management Seminar agenda and speaker lineup
      The post Winning the Online Customer appeared first on NSSF SHOT Show 2018.
      Everyone shops online — so how do you get those online shoppers into your store?

      In a world in which it seems everyone has checked whether an item was in stock or if a price at one store could be bettered by another before they ever set foot in a store, a comprehensive and intelligently designed online presence is essential to the success of today’s FFLs and firearms ranges. But how much is too much? What should you have on your website, when should you have it and, most ... See more
      See more on line
      Winning the Online Customer
    • The Retailer Seminar “Handling the Good and Bad of Today’s Media” takes place the first day of the 2018 SHOT Show, Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Buyers and range owners attending the show can register for various Retailer Seminars and other educational events like this. See more on line
    • Since announcing that we will be expanding the Supplier Showcase to encompass two days during the 2018 SHOT Show, our phones have been ringing off their hooks with third-party suppliers looking to get on board. Many of those suppliers are excited to be a part of this event not just for the obvious networking advantages, but because this year they are bringing to market dozens of new products and services they believe will greatly enhance the design and production processes of our industry’s manufacturers.

      In light of this, NSSF has created the Supplier Showcase Product Development Center. Much like the New Product Center highlights the hottest firearms, ammunition and accessories coming to market for the coming year, our Supplier’s Product Development Center will feature those tools, machinery, plastics, metal extrusions, fabrics, OE materials, fabrication, logistics, software or other products that will be making an impact with manufacturers in the shooting and outdoor sporting industries. Best of all, the new center will be available for all SHOT Show attendees throughout the entire SHOT Show, creating additional opportunities for anyone in our industry to connect with these valuable third-party suppliers.

      Products will be displayed in locked, secure Lucite cabinets on Level Two of the Venetian Congress Center adjacent to the Law Enforcement Ballroom (booths 20000 – 24000). This display is fully enclosed and will be specifically branded and identified with banners, signs and sponsor logos to provide an ample traffic flow of manufacturers, product designers, research and development professionals, buyers, distributors and outdoor media members. Each product will be scannable via the SHOT Show Mobile App, providing feedback and follow-up opportunities after the show to both the center’s visitors and supplier exhibitors.

      Suppliers planning to exhibit at the 2018 Supplier Showcase are invited to reserve their space in the new Supplier Showcase Product Development Center now. Those suppliers who have already completed their registration to exhibit at the 2018 Supplier Showcase can simply add the Product Innovation Center in their Exhibitor Dashboard.

      More than 450 third-party suppliers are committed to the 2018 Supplier Showcase. We encourage all registered exhibitor suppliers to participate in the Supplier Showcase Product Development Center. Have questions about how your product will be displayed or need more information on how this new center can benefit you? Contact me at djeannette@nssf.org, or Chris Tatulli, NSSF Director, Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales at ctatulli@nssf.org.

      The post NSSF Adds Supplier Showcase Product Development Center to 2018 SHOT Show appeared first on NSSF SHOT Show 2018.
      Since announcing that we will be expanding the Supplier Showcase to encompass two days during the 2018 SHOT Show, our phones have been ringing off their hooks with third-party suppliers looking to get on board. Many of those suppliers are excited to be a part of this event not just for the obvious networking advantages, but because this year they are bringing to market dozens of new products and services they believe will greatly enhance the design and production processes of our industry’s ... See more
      See more on line
      NSSF Adds Supplier Showcase Product Development Center to 2018 SHOT Show