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Shooting Industry April 2013 - Page 32

Story By Russ Thurman • Photos By Jade Moldé 2013 NSSF’s Trade Show Set Records, Despite Anti-Industry Attacks SSF held its 35th annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas in January, setting attendance records and drawing high praise from exhibitors and attendees — all in the midst of intense anti-gun/antiindustry scrutiny. The show attracted a record 62,371 attendees from all 50 states and 100 countries, while also setting a record for the number of buyers. In addition, more than 2,000 media representatives from around the word covered the event. Attendees converged on more than 1,600 exhibitors, whose booths covered 630,000 square feet of the Sands Expo and Convention Center, making SHOT Show the largest trade event of its kind in the world, and the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas. The annual gathering is important to business success, according to exhibitors. “For the 24 years we’ve been going, the SHOT Show is the most important show we do each year. It is the largest venue globally and the most important. Every important customer comes to the show for that reason,” said John Anthon, GATCO Sharpeners/Timberline Knives president. “The SHOT Show is the springboard for every new product we introduce each year. It gives industry the opportunity to see our new products, and allows us to get feedback from them to know we are heading in the right direction,” said Frank Devlin, Otis Technology commercial channel manager. “It’s a powerhouse show; the place where you can talk to writers, dealers and industry VIPs,” said Dwight Van Brunt, Kimber vice president of marketing and sales. “We get to talk to our biggest customers and show them what we have. We’ve 32 APRIL 2013 N been here all 35 years of the show, so two important benefits are seeing old friends and building key relationships,” said Ernie Callandrelli, Quaker Boy Inc. director of public relations and advertising. Given the seemingly endless gun-control dialogue in the media during the show, exhibitors and attendees were mindful of the important role the show plays, beyond the business conducted on the show floor. Revenues from the show support NSSF’s many programs to “promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.” “What this show generates for our cause is absolutely critical,” said Tom Taylor, O.F. Mossberg & Sons vice president of sales and marketing. “We need to communicate more to our members that the funds from this show are going to build the entire future of our industry,” said Steve Lamboy, MicheliLamboy Marketing president. At the SHOT Show’s State of the Industry dinner, held the first evening of the show, Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO, addressed more than 1,800 industry leaders. Referring to the barrage of antigun/anti-industry rhetoric following the tragic mid-December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Sanetti began his address, saying, “The state of our industry is, in a word, misunderstood.” “Who among us has not been moved by the unspeakable tragedy that was inflicted by a deranged man upon the children of Newtown, Conn., our very home at the NSSF? . We all must recognize that those who don’t agree with us share in our desire to rid the world of such monstrous acts, and they must recognize that we are not the evildoers,” Sanetti said. Beyond Selling, Buying Subscribe to SI DIGITAL

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