For the third year in a row, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s® (NSSF’s®) SHOT Show® has been selected by the federal government’s International Trade Administration (ITA) as one of just 23 trade events chosen to participate in the ITA’s International Buyer Program (IBP) in 2016. U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig made the announcement in a press release Monday.
The IBP is a joint effort between the U.S. government and industry to bring thousands of international buyers to the United States for business-to-business matchmaking with U.S. firms exhibiting at major industry trade shows. An integral component of SHOT Show, the IBP serves as a value-added service to U.S. exhibitors at the show. The IBP recruited more than 420 international buyers representing 28 countries to the 2015 SHOT Show, where they participated in defined networking opportunities geared to maximize import/export potential with U.S-based manufacturers. Those opportunities included:
- Showtime Program: U.S. exhibitors have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with U.S. Department of Commerce industry specialists from its overseas embassies. During these meetings, these specialists will brief attendees on individual market opportunities as well as discuss the challenges related to the safety/security and textile/sporting goods sectors and market potential for SHOT Show exhibitor products and services.
- B2B Matchmaking Program: This focused business-to-business program allows the IBP to promote U.S. businesses to overseas delegates before and during the show. Exhibitors who register for this service have their company profile shared with pre-screened international buyers recruited to attend the 2015 SHOT Show by U.S. Department of Commerce industry specialists. More than 300 SHOT Show exhibitors participated in this service.
- Export Counseling: At the International Trade Center, exhibitors to SHOT Show can visit and receive expert trade counseling from Department of Commerce trade specialists who help U.S.-based SHOT Show exhibitors identify the best markets for their products and introduce those companies to those international delegates seeking goods from these makers.
“We are extremely pleased that the ITA has recognized once again the potential for expansion SHOT Show provides its American exhibitors through the connections they make in the IBP program,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “This program grew 30 percent from its inaugural event in 2014 to its second gathering last year, simply enormous growth, and growth that plainly shows the firearms industry is fully engaged in capturing new markets and exploring new opportunities for profitability. Thanks to the continued support from the ITA and the renewal of the IBP program, we expect the expansion of this program to continue its strong, upward trend in the years to come.”
The 2016 SHOT Show will be held Jan. 19-22 in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Sands Expo. More information on the 2016 SHOT Show and the IBP program can be found at shotshow.org. Registration is expected to open in August.
Melissa Schilling is the Director of Conferences and Exhibitions for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.