Sebastian has the stats up on the 2013 Annual Meeting.
For a “fringe organization” to increase the number of attendees by 12,488 from the previous year and to set an all-time record attendance of 86,228 says something. I.e., that we are not the lunatic fringe that some in the media, Congress, and the Obama Administration would like to portray us as. We are the mainstream whether they like it or not.
Comparing the exhibition space of the George Brown Convention Center in Houston to St. Louis’ America’s Center Convention Complex, the Houston venue was 27% larger. In fact, while all of it was open to attendees, not all of it was used by the exhibitors. Because of the larger space, it didn’t feel quite as crowded as the annual meeting in St. Louis. I should say, that it didn’t seem as crowded as St. Louis on Friday. Saturday is another story and it was wall to wall people in every aisle, on the sidewalks, and in the rest of the Convention Center.
I tried to buy my commemorative Annual Meeting pin at the NRA Store on Saturday afternoon around 4pm. I was out of luck as they had sold out by noon! By contrast, in St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Charlotte, you could still have found the pin on Sunday afternoon when the store closed. This is as good an indicator as any of the increased attendance. Fortunately for me, they found a handful more and I got one on Sunday morning before leaving for the airport.