2015 SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy Earns High Praise


Nearly 100 new and veteran SHOT Show exhibitors last week attended the 2015 SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy, where exhibitors filled seminar rooms at the Sands Expo Center to learn how to maximize their return on investment and exchange ideas to improve the show experience for all in attendance.

P1020028The first day of the Academy opened with some quick-witted remarks by Rick Harrison, star of the Las Vegas-based reality TV show “Pawn Stars,” as he urged the crowd to continue to fight for their Second Amendment rights and protection of the shooting sports. NSSF’s President and CEO Steve Sanetti then took the mic to welcome attendees and provide an overview of the Academy’s agenda, before turning over the stage for the afternoon’s keynote address. With an emphasis on perspective and how exhibitors can look at SHOT Show as an investment from which returns should be expected, motivational speaker and trade show expert Jefferson Davis took no time at all engaging the crowd in a focused exchange of ideas that forced exhibitors to reevaluate how the 2016 SHOT Show can be their best show ever.

Treated to numerous seminars and one-on-one sessions covering everything from budgeting, advertising opportunities and vendor contracting to interacting with the media, lead retrieval and improved logistics handling, the Academy strongly encouraged interaction both between exhibitors and with show management and their partners. A special highlight to these sessions was the presentation by noted social media expert Traci Browne. The author of The Social Trade Show emphasized how exhibitors can capitalize on the power of social media through a dedicated plan of before, during and after-show outreach campaigns, and her engaging speaking style had even the most experienced vendors taking notes and asking questions.

“We were very pleased to see so much interaction among the exhibitors in attendance,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “With a mix of veteran exhibitors and those who had a booth with us only a year or two, everyone was truly invested in working to make the SHOT Show a better experience not just for each other, but for everyone whom they’ll interact with during the show. That’s the kind of teamwork this industry and the SHOT Show need to continue on the successful trajectory they’ve experienced over the last several years.”

The 2016 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show will be held January 19-22 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, visit www.shotshow.org.

NSSF would like to extend a special thanks to its SHOT Show partners ConvExx, Freeman, Century Security, as well as the many professionals at the Sands Expo Center and The Palazzo and Venetian hotels (NSSF’s headquarters hotels for SHOT Show) for their contributions to the 2015 SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy.

Melissa Schilling is the Director of  Conferences and Exhibitions for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

SHOT Show 2015 Exhibitor Academy—We Want You!

It is with great pride and excitement that NSSF is making plans for its second annual SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy. Following on the tremendous success of last year’s inaugural event, this year’s Academy is set to be bigger, better and even more informative than the first.

Scheduled for June 16-18 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the 2015 SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy is two and half days of educational seminars designed to help our SHOT Show exhibitors:

  • Target buyers
  • Maximize return on investment
  • Get their brands noticed
  • Organize and maintain a show budget
  • Capitalize on the Exhibitor Resource Center

In addition to these important education sessions, during this year’s Academy exhibitors will have a chance to interact directly with SHOT Show management and personnel from NSSF, ConvExx, Freeman, Century Security and the Venetian/Palazzo. Attendees will also be able to tour the entire Sands Expo Center and meet with show contractors offering a variety of booth services such as lighting and catering. The Academy is an excellent place to network with other exhibitors, learning what works and doesn’t work straight from the horse’s mouth, and attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about special discounts on services from a variety of show contractors.

To fully realize the results we expect our exhibitors to gain from attending the 2015 SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy, NSSF offers this event free of charge to any SHOT Show exhibitor with reserved booth space for the 2016 SHOT Show. In addition to complimentary admission to the Academy itself, NSSF will also provide hotel rooms, transportation to the Sands from your hotel of choice if needed and breakfast, lunch and evening receptions for the duration of the Academy. All you need to do is apply to attend and book your flight to Vegas.

More than 97 percent of exhibitors attending last year’s SHOT Show Academy said they’d definitely recommend the Academy to other exhibitors. Reservations are open now, but seating is limited. Applications to attend will be approved in a first-come, first-served basis, so reserve your place now. Read more about this year’s SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy here or contact Cassandra Stock, cstock@ConvExx.com, 702-216-5836.


Chris Dolnack is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @ChrisDolnack.