The SHOT Show is the largest trade show in the world for the outdoor & firearms industry. SHOT stands for Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade. Guns, ammunition, outdoor apparel, hunting equipment, optics and more are on display for the media, industry executives, and buyers for the retail industry. The SHOT Show is for industry professionals only, it’s not for the average hunter. Still, 60,000 people from the United States and 100 other countries attend along with 2,000 media members. The show is hosted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation(NSSF) annually in Las Vegas.
The show floor is over 600,000 square feet with 1,600 exhibitor booths. Everyone from Realtree to Winchester to Hunter’s Specialties to Magnum Boots USA have booths with their latest and greatest. Chris Burget from the website BullsandBeavers.com has attended the SHOT Show for years. Burget says seeing the new products is what brings people to the show but the people themselves keep everyone coming back year after year. “The energy is really positive. There are a lot of great people. It is amazing how the hunting-outdoor industry, how tight it is.”
The outdoor industry is getting tighter thanks to social media tools. Burget is an outdoor industry leader when it comes to social media. The SHOT Show is emphasizing the use of Twitter with large display screens throughout the show floor showing a live stream of tweets relating to the show. Hundreds of relationships are built through sites like Twitter and the show allows people who have never met each other face to face an opportunity to shake hands. “The outdoor industry is moving this way and they are starting to see the power of the tweet,” says Burget.
Most SHOT Show attendees are there to see firearms and hunting gear. But law enforcement and the military are also at the show looking for cutting edge products. SWAT style SUVs, machine guns, body armor, and more are on display. Burget says it’s a lot of fun to see these products but acknowledges they’re not there for the average sportsman. “These are guns you’re not going to be hunting elk with.”
The SHOT Show is normally held in mid January. Las Vegas is the worldwide leader in conventions. From world class hotels, entertainment, and restaurants to expansive convention space throughout the city, there is a reason SHOT and thousands of other conventions are held in Las Vegas. “There is no greater venue than being here in Vegas,” says Burget.
To hear the entire conversation with Chris Burget, press play at the top of the screen.