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2017 Shot Show in review
by Bill Brassard
2017 SHOT Show Has Positive Outlook for the Firearms Industry
View more photos from the show on flickr.
The 39th Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, owned and operated by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), signaled a positive year ahead for the firearms industry. Strong attendance, upbeat buyers and sellers, and a series of packed special events that collectively made up “SHOT Week” resulted in one of the top-rated SHOT Shows.
The highlight of the four-day event was the Thursday morning Sportsmen’s Prayer Breakfast featuring keynote Maj. Gen. Gary Harrell. Many are familiar with the box-office smash hit, “Blackhawk Down” where Gen. Harrell was depicted as the commander in extracting enemy combatants in Mogadishu, Somalia. Gary is a retired two-star general who also led over 30,000 Special Operations ground forces into battle during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The well attended breakfast by industry leaders serves as an excellent forum for inviting clients, customers and colleagues as guests to hear dynamic and compelling stories of faith and great outdoors adventures. The lives of several industry leaders were changed for eternity after hearing his riveting Christian testimony then committing themselves to Jesus Christ.
Since 1997 Christian Sportsmen's Fellowship has hosted the annual NSSF Shot Show "Sportsmen's Prayer Breakfast" for the purpose of bringing industry leaders together to pray for our nation's leaders, outdoors industry, churches , families and our cherished constitutional freedoms that have served as the bedrock for freedom in the United States and around the world. Keynote CSF Master Sportsmen have included such notable personalities as Phil Robertson. Hank Parker, Chuck Buck, Bob Hodgdon, Ed Weatherby, James Robison, Steve Bartkowski, etc.
The show spanned January 17-20 at the Sands Expo. Industry professionals packed the aisles from the opening bell, and attendance totaled nearly 65,000, surpassing last year’s turnout to make it the second most attended SHOT Show ever.
At one of the show’s biggest events, the NSSF State of the Industry Dinner on the first day, NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti, in a speech titled “A New Hope,” listed a series of priorities that industry will focus on to help protect its future and that of its customers. “Our overriding hope is that when it comes to helping stop the misuse of firearms by criminals, and preventing access to them by legally prohibited felons, the violently mentally ill, and the drug gangs who terrorize disarmed inhabitants of our cities, the American public will realize we are all on the same side.”
There were thousands of products for buyers to see on the show floor, encompassing firearms, ammunition, accessories, optics, knives, gun safes, apparel and law enforcement equipment, among other categories. More than 500 new products from 338 companies were on display in the show’s New Product Center, sponsored by U.S. Concealed Carry Association. In addition to the more than 1,600 exhibiting companies on the main show floors, the NEXT 2.0 Pavilion provided first-time vendors from the show’s extensive waiting list with welcome visibility and potential new customers.
SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the world, attracting attendees from more than 100 countries. “I think we’ve arrived at a point where we’re truly balancing the needs of an enormous crowd of industry professionals with the venue and services they need to successfully set the course of their businesses for the months ahead,” said Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, “That’s not a small feat, and we are pleased to see that our efforts to produce a continuously high-quality show has once again paid off.”
At the State of the Industry Dinner, the sold-out crowd of more than 2,200 were treated to the unique humor of Mike Rowe, star of the wildly popular Dirty Jobs television show and advocate of skilled trade workers. He had the crowd rolling in laughter for more than an hour.
The SHOT Show’s official opening on Tuesday was preceded by many events.
Preparations have already begun for next year’s 40th anniversary SHOT Show, which will return to the Sands Expo on January 23-26, 2018.