First Glimpse at New Products Comes at Pre-Show Media Events

Each year, manufacturers give the press a chance to test out their new products on the day before the SHOT Show.
At least three media-only events are being planned by SHOT Show exhibitors and their representatives at Las Vegas area shooting facilities on Jan. 18.

The events are exclusively for invited guests. However, working members of the press who have not received an invitation but are interested in attending may contact the event coordinator. Similarly, at the Media Day at the Range event, presented by Bass Pro Shops, SHOT Show exhibitors interested in participating may contact that program's coordinators.

Here is a profile of three such events, and we'll keep you posted if we learn of more:

Bass Pro presents Media Day at the Range

Jan. 18, 2010, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Boulder City Pistol & Rifle Club
Cathy Williams,, telephone 703-587-7142;
and Cory Cannon,, telephone 810-644-4773, coordinators

Participating are more than 40 companies; visit to see complete list Other industry members can participate. Contact one of the coordinators.

Open to invited media only; interested members of the working press can request an invitation by contacting an event coordinator.

Buses will be provided at 8 a.m. from various locations in downtown Las Vegas (actual pick-up areas to be decided). A bus will depart from the 2010 New Product Event at noon to Media Day at the Range. A complimentary light continental breakfast will be offered, and a full lunch and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

2010 New Product Event

Jan. 18, 2010, 9 a.m. – Noon
Desert Sportsman's Rifle & Pistol Club
Kevin Howard, coordinator,, telephone 573-898-3422

Participating are Browning, Winchester Repeating Arms, Bushnell, Winchester Ammunition, Mossy Oak, Browning Footwear, LaCrosse/Danner Boots, Taurus, Polaris, Birchwood Casey and Crimson Trace. Not open to participation by other members of the industry.

Open to invited media only: interested members of the working press may request an invitation by contacting the event coordinator.

Buses depart from the Mirage North Valet Entrance at 7:30 am Transportation will be available from this event to other media events Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

2010 Smith & Wesson Shoot Out

Jan. 18, 2010, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.
American Shooters
Tonya Giudice,, telephone 800-654-3766, coordinator

Participating are Smith & Wesson, Thompson Center, Walther, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Coleman, Dallas Safari Club and Trijicon. Not open to participation by other members of the industry.

Open to invited media only; interested members of the working (editorial) press may request an invitation by contacting the event coordinator.

A bus from the 2010 New Product Event at the Desert Sportsman's Rifle & Pistol Club will depart from there at noon; a bus from the Sands will depart at 12:15 p.m.

Snacks will be provided.

Note: All of these events are being planned independent of the SHOT Show and are not official SHOT Show events.


New for 2010: Law Enforcement Program Set for Jan. 18-19 at SHOT Show

A new SHOT Show feature this year will benefit law enforcement professionals and, at the same time, generate more attendance and traffic in the law enforcement section of the show.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, in partnership and co-sponsorship with Law Officer magazine, will present a law enforcement educational program at the show over the course of two days.

The program will feature 10 sessions, focusing on the educational needs of the tactical law enforcement officer, on Monday evening, Jan. 18, the day before the SHOT Show exhibits officially open, and on Tuesday morning, Jan. 19.

Featured speakers include distinguished pros in the law enforcement field, including Dave Spaulding, Gordon Graham, Robert Hindi and Craig Dickerson.

Session topics include Active Shooter Response, Essential Handgun Techniques, Effective Courtroom Testimony and Duty Belt Safety.

A limited number of program and session sponsorships are available. For more information, contact Marshall Spevak,, telephone 800-582-2202, or Cindi Richardson,, telephone 661-297-4027.

Visit for more details and to get registered.

Exhibitors: Know Your Contractors

When you work with Freeman, the official contractor at the SHOT Show, you know that you are working with a dependable company that provides quality service. Go outside of those channels, and you may be taking a chance. And it could cost you a lot of money.

Simply stated, “Know your contractors.”

Exhibitors sign a form that basically guarantees payment by the exhibitor in the event that the SHOT Show has been unable to attain payment from the independent contractor.

At the 2009 SHOT Show, three exhibitors used and paid, collectively, more than $85,000 to an outside contractor that declared bankruptcy after receiving payment. Now, Freeman is going to seek payment from those companies, as it has been unable to attain payment from the independent contractors.

Along these lines, Freeman offers some advice on one of those needs—carpeting—for which you will enter into a contract. The comments are sobering:

Did you know?

  • Carpet rented from an outside, non-official company is subject to material-handling charges. A 20’x20′ carpet would cost approximately $137.50 in additional charges to have it delivered to your booth.

  • Carpet rented from Freeman includes the first night cleaning. That is a savings of $128 for a 20’x20′ booth.

  • Carpet rented from Freeman is installed before you arrive. Your booth is ready to install when you are.

  • Watch out for outside carpet rental “deals” in Las Vegas. They may not be such a good deal.

Exhibitors: Cash in on SHOT Show storage and drayage discounts

We're always looking for new ways to provide savings, benefits and conveniences to all SHOT Show participants. Here are two ways exhibitors can save on storage and material-handling charges.

Long-term storage programs

Specially designed storage programs are being offered to all SHOT Show exhibitors wishing to store their materials and exhibits in the Las Vegas area with Freeman between SHOT Shows. This program is available for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 shows and can be used for one show or for all three shows.

Choose from two options:

Program 1: (For exhibitors using Freeman Labor)
– 25 percent discount off published storage rates
– 5 percent discount off published labor rates

Program 2: (For exhibitors not using Freeman Labor)
– 20 percent discount off published storage rates

Additional savings opportunities are also available for shipping costs to and from each show.
To take advantage of these savings, contact Lori Duckett by phone at 702-407-4695 or by e-mail at

Get 10 percent off material-handling charges by prepaying

SHOT Show exhibitors are also being offered a 10 percent discount on material-handling charges when those fees are paid by Dec. 23, 2009, which can translate into big savings.

View the Prepaid Material Handling Discount Form for additional details and instructions.

How to Work with the Press at Your Booth

The following article was written by public relations pro, Sherry Kerr, from Outdoor Media Resources. OMR represents several companies that exhibit at the SHOT Show.

For many manufacturers, meeting with the press is one of the most important reasons to attend the SHOT Show. Do it right, and it will pay dividends all year with editorial coverage and ongoing press relationships. Enter the show unprepared, however, and it will be a missed opportunity you can't get back.

The SHOT Show presents many opportunities to meet with, demonstrate your wares to, entertain, host and inform writers and editors. None is more important than meetings you hold in the booth. Here are some ways you can prepare for press meetings in your SHOT Show booth:

  • Have a designated person to meet with the press. If you don't have a public relations person, either in-house or an agency, designate a marketing person or executive who knows your products intimately and can present them. That person must also know your company's policies regarding product samples for review by the press. Make sure everyone working in the booth knows who the press contact is and refers writers and editors to him or her.

  • Have a designated space in the booth for press meetings. Ideally, this would be a conference room reserved for media, but if your booth won't accommodate that, a small table and chairs in a corner work well. Make writers comfortable; they're more likely to have a favorable visit and want to stay for your presentation.

  • Prepare a concise new-product presentation, and have a set of new product samples handy for demonstration. Remember, the press is primarily at the show to see what's new. Expand as time allows and concentrate on their areas of interest. Expect to talk about specific projects and possibly product samples. Remember that not every product is applicable to every writer. Learn what you can about their publications and subject matter, then focus on what they need to know, not necessarily on what you had wanted to talk about.

  • Have electronic press kits ready to hand to those who want to take one with them, but offer to mail them (or provide download information) to those who don't. Given a choice, most writers and editors will prefer that you mail them or e-mail a link for download.

  • Respect their time. If anything is harder to manage at the SHOT Show than footwear that will help your feet hold out, it's time. Working press will need to cover every possible square inch of the show, and they won't likely have much time to spend with you. Be available and be prepared. Don't waste their time by showing them your hunting photos unless they ask.

  • Contact writers in advance to invite them to visit your booth. Offer to set appointments but understand if they prefer to stop by when they're in the neighborhood. Give them a preview of what you have to show them.

  • Be understanding if writers don't meet appointments or are late. Most take their appointments seriously, but sometimes they simply get stuck somewhere else and can't get to the next meeting on time. The SHOT Show is, by necessity, held in a huge facility, and traveling from Point A to Point B can be like driving across the city during rush hour. When I set appointments, I provide my cell phone number in case they need to make changes or are running late.

  • Approach writer meetings with the right attitude. Writers and editors are not intruders in your booth, nor are they there with their hands out. They are professionals with a job to do; your job is to help them do it.

  • Before the meeting is over, prepare for the next step. Are you the ongoing contact for follow-up calls? Whether you exchange business cards or bump iPhones, make sure they know whom to contact afterward and how to reach that person. Ask for permission to add them to your contact list for press-release distribution. Take notes on what interests them, and follow up after the show.

One final bit of advice: Some of the writers you'll meet at the SHOT Show will likely be bloggers and Web site owners. Don't know what to do with them? Show interest, learn what you can from them and check out their blogs and sites afterward. If you don't know how to evaluate digital media, use online tools to learn. The days of all writers and editors representing print magazines or newspapers are over.

Regardless of what other writer events you may be hosting, nothing is more important than the one-on-one time you spend with writers in your booth. Be prepared, and your business will benefit all year.

Sherry Kerr, the author of this article, has been the name and face of Outdoor Media Resources for 20 years. OMR provides public relations and marketing communications for the outdoor industry. She represents several companies that exhibit at the SHOT Show. To learn more about the services of Outdoor Media Resources, visit, or e-mail

NSSF Voting Members: Advance Invitation to State of the Industry Dinner

Voting membership in NSSF has its privileges, and one of them is this advance invitation to attend the NSSF State of the Industry Dinner Show, on Tuesday evening, January 19, 2010, and the opportunity to buy your tickets before they go on sale on October 1. The evening will again be capped by stellar entertainment, and in 2010 NSSF is proud to present one of America’s top comedy talents, Dennis Miller.

Miller, who first received national acclaim as the “Weekend Update” correspondent on Saturday Night Live, has gone on to earn five Emmy Awards for his own talk show, “Dennis Miller Live.” In addition to that and other television accomplishments, including two years in “the booth” with Al Michaels and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts on “Monday Night Football,” and hosting NBC TV’s “Amne$ia,” Miller has authored four New York Times best sellers. Miller currently hosts the radio program “The Dennis Miller Show.”

This special offer allows you preferred seating if you purchase tickets in the next two weeks. On October 1, ticket purchasing will be available to all NSSF members. So, don’t waste time; take advantage of this preferential invitation by calling Cindy Brutting, NSSF executive assistant to the senior vice president, at 203-426-1320 ext. 221, or The cost is being held to last year’s level of $90 per ticket or $850 for a table of 10.

Don’t forget to invite your colleagues and special customers as we celebrate and recap NSSF’s accomplishments for 2009. It all begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Palazzo Ballroom on Level 5 of the Venetian Hotel. You can’t miss!

Chris Dolnack
NSSF Senior Vice President

SHOT Show University registration is now open!

SHOT Show University
  • George Whalin, Keynote address, "Strategies for a changing retail world"
  • Curt Jazwiecki, "E-commerce solutions to the firearms retailer"
  • Wally Nelson, "ATF compliance training for the firearms retailer"
  • Rob Southwick, "Identifying the challenges ahead," including results of the 2009 Firearms Retailers Survey
  • Chris DiCenso, "7 key points to a better retail business"
  • Tom Shay, "How to go forward when the going gets tough"
  • George Whalin, "High impact marketing and promotions to double your sales and triple your profits"
  • Bob Clements, "Creating a Turn-key Business with a Sustainable Competitive Advantage"

Among the featured speakers at the Monday, Jan. 18, 2010, SHOT Show University at the Sands Expo and Convention Center will be George Whalin, America's No. 1 retail educator, will be delivering the keynote address on strategies for a changing retail world.  Whalin has been helping retailers increase sales and maximize profits since 1987 and has a huge following.  His Web site offers extensive background and a video sampling of the man's teaching talents.

"SHOT Show University will have the format and subject matter that retailers have asked for in the post-university survey process," said Randy Clark, NSSF managing director, business development.  "The one-day schedule will cover the topics of marketing and promotions, seven keys to retail growth, E-commerce, store financials, ATF compliance, Whalin's strategies for a changing world, and more.

Other speakers already committed to participate are Curt Jazwiecki, co-owner of Outdoor Business Network, the outdoor industry's leading Web solutions provider; Wally Nelson, retired ATF senior executive; retail specialist Chris DiCenso; and author, speaker and retailer Tom Shay.

Registration is scheduled to officially begin on Sept. 1, and the rates for the full-day session are $50 for NSSF members.  Nonmembers may register for $100 and receive a free, one-year trial membership.

Look for SHOT Show University information, including registration details, at  If you have not yet registered for the SHOT Show or made your travel plans, visit, where the SHOT Show Travel Desk can take care of your plane, car rental and lodging needs.

About SHOT Show

The SHOT Show is for the trade only and is not open to the general public.

2010 Show Hours
January 19 – 8:30am-5:30pm
January 20 – 8:30am-5:30pm
January 21 – 8:30am-5:30pm
January 22 – 8:30am-4:00pm

The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference (SHOT Show) is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports and hunting industries. It is the world’s premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, archery, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics, camping and related products and services. The SHOT Show attracts buyers from all 50 states and more than 75 countries. The SHOT Show is owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Review SHOT Show Attendance Rules

About the 2009 SHOT Show
SHOT Show attendance remained strong in 2009, rising 3 percent when compared to its last visit to Orlando in 2007
Attendance: 48,907
Exhibitors: 1,763
Exhibit space: 713,000 square feet
Media: 1,425

About the 2008 SHOT Show
SHOT Show Shatters Records in 30th Year
Attendance: 58,769
Exhibitors: 1,950
Exhibit space: 715,000 square feet

Answers to Important Questions:
Q&A with NSSF Senior Vice President Chris Dolnack

Chris Dolnack
Chris Dolnack
National Shooting Sports Foundation

With the SHOT Show’s return to Las Vegas, in a slot of weekdays in a venue other than the Las Vegas Convention Center, you probably have some questions about the 2010 edition.  Following are some that may have occurred to you, and Chris Dolnack, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation which owns and sponsors the SHOT Show, answers the most commonly asked questions about this year's event.

Q. With the current state of the economy, many trade shows have seen a drop in attendance. How has attendance been at the SHOT Show over the past couple of years?
A. The SHOT Show is one of the few trade shows that has bucked the trend of declining attendance. In fact, the 2009 show experienced a 3 percent increase in attendance (48,907) when compared to its last visit to Orlando in 2007. In 2008, the show in Las Vegas shattered every attendance record in its history with 58,769.

Q. Where will the SHOT Show be held over the next few years?
A. Based on constant feedback from our members and show attendees, we entered into a rolling three-year agreement with the Sands Expo and Convention Center for 2010, 2011 and 2012

Q. Why is the show being held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center?
A. Because in our post-show surveys our exhibitors and attendees consistently tell us that the SHOT Show should be in Las Vegas in January no matter what.  The Sands Expo offered us attendee-preferred January dates, according to our surveys, through 2012, and the location is second to none.

Q. With the show being held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center for the first time, what differences can we expect to see compared to previous shows in Las Vegas?
A. Exhibitors will have their booths on Levels 1 and 2. Meeting rooms and the banquet hall will be centrally located on Levels 3 and 4, which is much more convenient.  And we’ll be in the heart of the Strip, surrounded by hotels and restaurants in every price range.  

Q. Why is the show being held Tuesday through Friday?
A. Weekday dates were available for the coveted January dates that we wanted, and the weekday hotel rates were much more favorable for our attendees and exhibitors.

Q. What is NSSF doing to lower costs to attend in 2010?
A. Our partners at Reed Exhibition have been aggressively renegotiating our room rates so the average across the board is under $100 while the average room rate in 2008 was over $173.

Q. What is show management doing to make sure that qualified attendees come to the SHOT Show?
A.  For 2010, we’ve implemented additional screening layers to help further qualify buyers and we are placing more restrictions on “guest of show” badges in addition to advising exhibitors to limit their badges to booth staff and company employees.

Q. As a buyer/exhibitor, how do I make the most of my SHOT Show experience?
A.  Here are some links to answer your question: Buyers Click Here!  Exhibitors Click Here!  Be sure to check out the tips on getting the most out of the show.

Q. What is NSSF doing to increase law enforcement attendance? Also, what is being done to increase traffic in the law enforcement section of the show?
A. We are planning to offer a law enforcement version of SHOT Show University the day before the show and to offer law enforcement oriented seminars. Stay tuned for more details.

Q. Is the concealed carry of a firearm permitted at the show?
A. Per our lease with the Sands Expo and Convention Center, no personal firearms or ammunition is allowed. Only firearms on display by exhibitors whose firing pins have been removed (and have been inspected by SHOT Show Safety Advisors) will be permitted on the show floor.

Q. Due to limited parking, driving to the show is not recommended. What alternate forms of transportation are available in Las Vegas?
A. First and foremost, being centrally located on the Strip, many SHOT Show attendees will be staying within a 10-minute walk of the Sands Expo and Convention Center.  In addition we’ll have shuttle buses running as we usually do–and don’t forget the monorail, though the closest stop, Harrah’s, is about a mile away. Another option is the Deuce, which travels up and down Las Vegas Boulevard.

Media Day at the Range:
A tradition continues on the day before the show begins

In recent years, the day prior to the official start of the SHOT Show has become a "must attend" for many, especially for retailers attending SHOT Show University and media attending one or more of the hands-on shooting events held at local ranges.  These media shooting events are coordinated not by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the owner and sponsor of the SHOT Show, but by companies within the industry.

Capitalizing on the fact that the SHOT Show brings together the world's largest gathering of outdoor media, manufacturers and others have been joining forces to attract many of those communicators to special events that feature their products. NSSF invites such program organizers to enter the details of their events on the form accessible at the SHOT Show Web site if they would like promotional assistance.

Are You Promoting with a Celebrity?
If you are an exhibitor promoting your booth, a press conference or a party not restricted to invitees by featuring a celebrity, then NSSF, the owner and sponsor of the SHOT Show, would like to know about it—and help spread the word. First, however, you must complete the form at the SHOT Show Web site,

"Each year we receive calls asking us about special events being held in conjunction with SHOT Show," said Diedra Cauley, NSSF director, exhibitions and conferences.  "This year we've decided to provide exhibitors the opportunity to share this information, and we can assist in promoting it to the attendees if they wish.  We're interested in any media day, demonstration day or celebrity appearances in their booth.

"We plan to make this information accessible on the SHOT Show Web site," Cauley added, "just like we post press conference information."

The first organized shoot we've learned about, the fifth annual "Media Day at the Range," held with the support of Bass Pro Shops, will take place at the Boulder City Pistol & Rifle Range, in Boulder City, Nev., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18, 2010.

"This event will give media members the opportunity to handle and shoot new products being introduced at SHOT Show from many of the industry's leading manufacturers," said Cathy Williams, who is organizing the event.

"We're expecting more than 60 manufacturers to register for Media Day, and since we will take reservations until Dec. 1, the list will continue to grow.  What better way to get a jump on next year's new product line-up all in one place?" Williams added.

Opportunities not only to handle new products but also to shoot will present themselves, and so will the chance to interview company representatives about their latest items.  Lunch and refreshments will also be included, and transportation will be provided to and from the range as well as from other shooting events taking place that day.

Writers interested in attending may register online. Click on the Writer Registration tab, which will direct you to a short form to complete.  For more information, visit, e-mail Cathy Williams or call her at 703-587-7142.