SHOT ended on Friday and here were the stats:
- 11.8 walked on Friday
- 45.3 total miles walked for the week
- 5 educational marketing/communications classes attended in total
- 3 networking events
- 1 NEW Uber driver friend
- Countless stickers received
- $170 lost and I learned my lesson
In return, all of you will receive my two cents – AKA: all I have left from the casinos. Overall, SHOT Show was an incredible experience that displayed to me the diversity and span of the firearms industry.
This is a trip that I highly recommend you take if you are interested in all technology related to the industry. It’s a show that is great for both retailers and enthusiasts alike. I thoroughly look forward to attending next year, BUT I am definitely going to have a better game plan for seeing more and being a part of more. You need to set clear expectations for your trip if you want to get the most out of it.
Let me be the first to say, you cannot see everything. Here are some of the helpful tips that I learned attending this year:
- You need to make a few items a priority and stick with those things. In advance, choose the booths you want to see and the products you want to test. Go to those early and set appointments.
- Time of day is not really a factor when making your plans, the exhibits floors are busy from 9:00am-5:30pm. The only “slower” day was Friday, but everyone is tired and ready to go home by that point.
- If you need to skip any day it’s that Friday; like I said, everyone’s tired. I didn’t make it in time, but I would try to go to the golf tournament and the range day on the days prior to SHOT next year.
- If you can, definitely wear sneakers everyday. I did so much walking, but it was tolerable because I had the appropriate shoes.
- If you work in the industry, make the classes a priority. I know that it takes away your attention from the exhibits, but I found them extremely useful.
- Setup as many meetings as possible, but give yourself ample time between meetings to get there. The exhibit floor is larger than you think.
- Bring a team of people if you can. Divide and conquer.
- Set a budget. Everything is expensive, food, drinks, gambling, and all of the experiences. Set an amount that you are comfortable spending and stick with it.
- On the topic of food, try to avoid eating in the convention center. The food is fine, but it’s not exciting and expensive for what you receive.
- Save some room in your luggage for all of the handouts you can get at different booths.
- There are tons of afterparties and networking events. Make the most of them; this is the best way to meet the industry in a less formal setting.
- Finally, take it all in and have fun!
Maybe we will meet back up at the NRA Convention? Until then, stay frosty.
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