In a post today to the SHOT Show blog, Chris Donack of the National Shooting Sports Foundation says they will be “repurposing” the SHOT Show effective with the 2013 show. They will be limiting participation to those companies in the outdoor, hunting, shooting, and tactical industries. With a 300 company waiting list for participation, NSSF wants to make sure the smaller and newer companies have an opportunity to participate.
Many of the most iconic brands in our industry started out small and likely would have occupied a 10×10 booth at the SHOT Show were they starting out today. Companies like Browning, Colt, Glock, Hornady, Remington, Ruger and Smith & Wesson started out as small one- or two-person operations. Who knows which of these 300 companies will become the next industry leader given the time and opportunity to grow their business.
To that end, we will begin the process of repurposing he SHOT Show beginning with the 2013 edition. That means that we will focus our exhibit floor on those companies that are involved in our core business — shooting, hunting, outdoor and tactical. Those exhibitors that do not represent core shooting, hunting, outdoor and tactical product segments will be informed that they will not be invited to exhibit in 2013. Letters will be going out to those companies affected beginning in September 2011, and should those companies choose not to exhibit in 2012 as a result, we will offer them a full refund, which is contrary to the terms of their 2012 contract, but only fair under the circumstances.
Recognizing that growth in their core businesses is critical for the growth of the shooting sports, the move to give the smaller and newer companies a chance to exhibit is a smart move by the SHOT Show. They should be congratulated on this change.
UPDATE: Chris Dolnack got back to me on what does not represent core business. His examples are:
Swords, orthopedic inserts, furniture, toys, radio controlled cars, copters, et al; outfitters, chotchke (coffee mugs, pins, decals, brick a brack) etc. Anything that a firearms retailer would not have in their store.