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Shooting Industry March 2010 - Page 9

Industry news NSSF Addresses SHOT Show Complaints S HOT Show 2010 was a show of contrasts, with most exhibitors rating it as very successful for business, despite a seemingly continuous stream of complaints concerning the show’s venue. The Sands Convention Center presented problems for NSSF, with some exhibitors clustered in smaller halls and those on Level One dealing with a low ceiling that did not lend itself to the atmosphere associated with the SHOT Show. NSSF officials say they are addressing the complaints. At the same time, they emphasize there is a challenge if the show is to be held in Las Vegas in January. “I don’t think many of the complaints are deserved,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president. “In survey after survey, attendees and exhibitors want the SHOT Show to be in Las Vegas in January ‘no matter what.’ The Las Vegas Convention Center is not available to the NSSF during January. The only place we can get everyone under the same roof is the Sands Convention Center.” The contrast of a great business show and the complaints is frustrating, according to Chris Dolnak, NSSF senior vice president. “A lot of the complaints are legitimate, we know that,” Dolnak said. “But the frustrating part is, some of them come from the same folks who were pleading three months ago, ‘Please, I’ll take anything, if you can just get me into the show.’ Then, we get them into the show, and we visit with them and ask, ‘How’s floor traffic?’ ‘Great.’ ‘How’s business?’ ‘We’re writing more orders than we did last year or perhaps more than we ever have.’ ‘Great.’ ‘How’s the show overall?’ ‘It sucks, I want to be upstairs, next to Remington.’ We can’t fix that.” Dolnak said next year’s SHOT Show at the Sands Convention Center is already sold out “in terms of exhibit space, under contract, under deposit.” He said NSSF has withheld space for more seating and rest areas. “We know we need more signage in the halls and common areas. We know we need to have more seating available and we know we need more information staff,” Dolnak said. “We’re also going to do some of the same things we tried to do for 2010. On the SHOT Show Web site, we gave everyone a navigation tool, that, unfortunately, people didn’t learn about or didn’t use.” Following this year’s show, NSSF officials conducted a number of surveys and Internet-based “chats” to gather information, including complaints and suggestions, to improve the venue for SHOT Show 2011 at the Sands Convention Center. “We recognize it’s not the easiest place to navigate and the signage to get people around the show was a bit confusing. However, I have no doubt that next year’s experience will be better, because of the actions we will be taking and because everyone will be back in a more familiar venue,” Sanetti said. Shooting Industry will have full coverage of SHOT Show 2010 in the April and May issues. NSSF conducted a live Internet chat concerning the 2010 SHOT Show on Feb. 16. It SI DIGITAL Hot Link can be replayed at MARCH 2010 9

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