The Importance of Being at SHOT
Throughout my career, I’ve had newcomers to the outdoor industry and other clients seeking media consultation ask me, “Is it really important that I / we attend SHOT Show?”
My answer gets more convincing each year. The SHOT Show in Vegas in mid-January of 2016 will make my 31st straight. No misses. None.
Yes, I think it’s pretty important to be at SHOT Show. And if you can’t go, you should at least be represented by someone there.
SHOT Show has undeniably evolved over three decades. In the ‘80s it was dominated by the “H” and the “O” – hunting and outdoors. There were tons of bow hunting related manufacturers; guides and outfitters even had their own section. Today the “S” for shooting reigns supreme, and instead of “T” standing for “trade” a strong argument can be made it should be changed to “tactical.”
Yet it’s only a reflection of how the industry has changed. To succeed to the magnitude of a Ruger or Smith & Wesson, you have to deliver what the customers want, and today that’s personal defense, concealed carry, and tactical. NSSF research shows the vast, vast majority of first gun purchases today are inspired by a desire for personal defense.
And oh, by the way … you aren’t going to see Ruger or S&W absent from SHOT Show any time soon! They know the importance of being there.
Personally, my SHOT attendance has been mostly on the working media side of things, but I believe what I’ve learned plays to business as well, especially to smaller and start up enterprises. If you’re not there, you’ll be missed, but not necessarily in a concerned, call-when-I-get home-to-see-if-somebody-was-sick kind of way; rather in a “I wonder whatever happened to so-and-so” kind of way. Miss two, and you’ll be outright forgotten. No media type, and no business can afford to be forgotten.
If the magnitude of SHOT, or the logistics of squeezing it in with ATA and Dallas Safari Club and all the others that mark “show season” are insurmountable for you or your business, then look for qualified SHOT representation for your marketing program and your social media ecosystem.
Primer 180 can be a great option!