SHOT Show Expanding

The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that the SHOT Show will be expanding their venues in order to allow more exhibitors. While the Sands Expo Center will still be the primary location through 2027, they will expand to the MGM Grand Convention Center in 2020 and to the planned Caesars Forum in 2021.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation recently signed a contract with MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. to bring the four-day trade show to their future convention spaces, said Chris Dolnack, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the Connecticut-based foundation.

The SHOT Show has a number of companies on a waiting list for either exhibition space or for the chance to expand their booths. Currently, they have about 1,000 companies waiting for space according to Chris Dolnack who heads the SHOT Show. The amount of space will expand from 650,000 square feet of exhibition space to over 950,000 square feet of space by 2021 when the Caesars Forum comes online.

Scheduled to open in December 2018

Dolnack made the point that the SHOT Show is not just firearms companies but also ammunition, optics, and other manufacturers.

Exhibitor growth is coming from cartridge, equipment and optics manufacturers as well as producers of accessories, he said. More than 400 equipment manufacturers exhibited at the show this year.

“By further diversifying the show and having a larger number of new companies, we will attract retailers every year that may currently come every other year,” Dolnack said by telephone on Tuesday.

“No one ever walks into a show and says ‘show me what is old.’ This will give retailers the opportunity to see several hundred new companies and pick up some more products.”

The Caesars Forum is expected to cost approximately $375 million and open sometime in 2020. The Forum will be located behind LINQ with the Flamingo and Harrahs on either side of it.

Artist rendition from Caesars Entertainment

 I would imagine that the convention industry in Las Vegas is pretty excited by this. If you think about it, you will now include most of the length of the Strip in the SHOT Show. It will be anchored by the Sands Expo on the north and the MGM Grand Convention Center on the south with Caesars Forum occupying a mid-Strip location.

I think this is a great expansion but the amount of walking will increase exponentially. I know I usually walk miles daily at the SHOT Show and this will only increase it. I still wish they’d consider holding it in Orlando or other eastern US location but given the contract with Sands goes through 2027 I can keep wishing.

NSSF Ditches Reed Exhibitions For SHOT Show

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, sponsor of the SHOT Show, announced today that they ended their agreement with Reed Exhibitions to produce and manage the show. Reed, who managed both the SHOT Show and the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show, ran afoul of gun owners when they said they were banning the display of “modern sporting rifles” at the Harrisburg show. Reaction from both gun owners and exhibitors was swift and severe leading to the eventual cancellation of this year’s show.

At the time, NSSF said they were evaluating “all options regarding the management of future SHOT Shows.” It is now official – Reed Exhibitions is out. Losing a show the size of the SHOT Show has got to hurt and I, for one, hope it hurts a lot.

From NSSF’s announcement:

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, today announced that it has reached an agreement with Reed Exhibitions to terminate the agreement the parties had for the management of the SHOT Show. Accordingly, effective immediately, Reed Exhibitions will no longer be manager and producer of the SHOT Show.

Reed Exhibitions provided excellent service to NSSF and the customers of the SHOT Show for more than three decades, however, the company’s decision to restrict the sale of certain types of firearms this year at its consumer hunting and fishing show — an event unrelated to NSSF and the SHOT Show — was in conflict with NSSF’s mission to serve the shooting sports industry. As a result, both organizations decided it was in the best interest of the SHOT Show to end their relationship.

NSSF is actively engaged in the process of identifying a new show management company to manage and produce the SHOT Show beginning with the 2014 SHOT Show.

The SHOT Show — the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show — is owned and sponsored by NSSF. It is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. The 2014 SHOT Show will be held Jan. 14-17 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.

NSSF To “Repurpose” The SHOT Show (Updated)

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.