Understanding the challenges of visiting as many exhibitors and other business associates as possible during the SHOT Show, Patrick Shay, NSSF director, retail development, offers this advice for attendees participating in the SHOT Show in Las Vegas Jan. 15-18.
1. Wear comfortable shoes. The SHOT Show is huge! Last year’s show encompassed 1,600 vendors exhibiting in 630,000 square feet. Comfortable shoes will give you a chance to see all the show has to offer.
2. Plan how to get to the show from your hotel; driving is not recommended. The Sands Expo and Convention Center is a 10-minute walk from most hotels on the strip. Also, don’t forget the monorail, though the closest stop is a hike from the Sands. Of course, most convenient are the free buses that run to and from official SHOT Show hotels.
3. As you are making appointments for the show, use the handy “Map Your Show” tool available at the SHOT Show website and consult the floor plan, also online at shotshow.org. By making appointments with nearby booths, you will save time and shoe leather.
4. If you have a smartphone, don’t forget to download the SHOT Mobile App. The app will allow you to quickly navigate the show floor via an interactive map, find new products, see the show schedule, set appointments, and find services.
5. Take advantage of the educational opportunities. The day-long SHOT Show University, as well as the ATF/NICS seminars, NSSF Retailer seminars, and the Law Enforcement Educational Program, provides great learning experiences. These seminars will allow you to come back from the show not just well versed on the latest products, but also on the latest trends in merchandising, ATF regulations, and store operations.
6. Have a plan when you visit vendors. Know to whom you want to speak and have a list of questions ready when you enter the booth. The vendors will all be very busy, and the face-to-face time you have with key vendors may be limited, so make use of your time.
7. Let the vendors you visit scan your badge. This will allow them to send you the marketing material you need, without adding to the load you’ll be carrying around the show.
8. Provide feedback. Participate in the surveys from NSSF, Reed Exhibitions, and Freeman, and please share your thoughts on the show. Let us know what you liked and what could be improved.
9. If you are an NSSF member, don’t forget that you have access to the Members’ Lounge on level 3. The lounge opens at 7:30 a.m. Lunch is available at moderate prices each day between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The lounge is an attractive locale for NSSF members and their guests to meet and relax during the show.
10. We are here to help. If you have any questions or concerns, find us and we will do everything in our power to make sure that your show is as productive as it is enjoyable. Go to our membership booth, located at L221 on level 2, for help with NSSF-membership-related questions.