Two weeks ago, the husband & I had the awesome opportunity of attending SHOT Show, which is the largest shooting, hunting, and outdoor trade show of its kind. After attending, I would easily equate it to the shooting & hunting industries version of fashion week. Swap out the tents, long runaways, and designer clothing for guns/ammo, hunting/shooting apparel, and vendor booths that rival the backyard patio or living space of your dreams. And just like fashion week, buyers from major companies all over the world are in attendance to get a look at & their hands on the latest and greatest from companies like Sig Sauer, Glock, Under Armor Hunting, and Silencer Co.
Unlike fashion week, at SHOT you don't have to worry about not being #frow (front row). Everyone in attendance gets to see the goods up close and personal, which was one the best parts. It's like a gun show on steroids.
We tried to prepare as much as possible before SHOT by reading previous recaps and articles online. However, the one thing they all had in common regarding SHOT was that it was "big & overwhelming". So that wasn't really helpful. We decided we would look at this inaugural visit as a recon mission. See what it's all about and get our bearings so we know how to be better prepared for next year. I had also connected via social media with some ladies in the industry and had plans to meet them. So I knew that would be one of the main tasks on the agenda. Meeting them in real life and sharing our experiences was one my favorite parts. #girlswhoshoot
We did not attend media day at the range as this was invite-only and we were not ready at this point to reach out to companies for invites. There were 3 floors of vendors and on the first day of SHOT, we spent our time on the first floor. I'll say that they do a good job of providing you all of the information you need and maps of the floor plans but once in the maze of booths trying to navigate was a bit frustrating. There were plenty of signs though, different colored carpeting for different areas of the floor, and information stations if you needed specific help.
On our way out, we popped into the second floor to get idea of what that looked like. Talk about a major difference. This was like battle of the booths up there. The booths were insane...everything from living areas with faux fireplaces, to faux cabins, to booths that had 2 levels!
After day one and finally getting to see what we were up against, we spent a couple of hours that night mapping out the exact booths we wanted to go to and then ranked them from "must visit" to "if we have time".
On to day two, fueled with a coffee in hand we were ready to scope out the big boys. Some of our memorable stops were at CRKT, as this is the brand we use for our EDC knives, Beretta, Glock, Mechanix gloves, Trijicon, and HK. The Sig Sauer booth also stood out as a favorite. They had a predominately white & brightly lit setup so all of the firearms stood out nicely. Before we left, we took a trip up to the third floor to check out the SHOT Show Next pavilion. Here, we got an introduction to the future exhibitors of SHOT. The ideas and enthusiasm of the up and coming vendors is really encouraging and exciting to see for the future of the industry.
Everyone that we interacted with was really nice and excited for the increase of women in the industry, which left me feeling very motivated and encouraged.
Overall, we had a very positive SHOT Show experience. We can’t wait to be back in 2017.