Things are fully underway, booths are buzzing and business is booming on the show floor. Both the main floor and the lower level had the aisles full, and everywhere I went folks were shaking hands and looking hard at new products. I stopped to talk to some folks to see how their experience was going, and overall the responses indicated they were having as positive an experience as I was.
I bumped into my good buddy Joel Swan, who owns the Champion Ranch in Texas, and he was excited about the new products in the long-range shooting world.
“Phil, you’ve been to our shooting facility in Brady, and you know how popular our long-range classes are. I love coming to SHOT each year to see the new scopes, rifles and ammunition, so I can buy intelligently for the ranch.”
Having seen the setup at Champion, I know Joel is very particular about the products he carries for the classes.
“It’s important to me to be able to meet the folks who design, sell and deal with these products on a daily basis. SHOT is absolutely perfect for that.”
Tim Rubertt from Kalispel Case Line, makers of aluminum gun cases, was having a great show.
“It’s our first year back in quite a while, and we’re most definitely happy to be here. Our company was restructured recently, so there was a hiatus, but things are smooth and we’re glad to reintroduce our products to SHOT Show attendees,” Rubertt said. “The NEXT area on the third floor has much more foot traffic than I ever imagined it would, and we’re dealing with the right people, with the customers we want to see. I am already looking forward to next year’s show.”
John Neuhart from San Diego, California, who operates DVC — Dry Vapor Cleaner — was also enthused about the traffic in the NEXT area. His high-pressure, high-temperature cleaning machines were a popular item with buyers.
“It is so nice to be able to network with so many people, both at the show and at the after-hours parties. We’ve met some great folks who have become clients,” Neuhart related. “The SHOT Show is the boost in the arm that small companies need, and I’m thankful to be here.”
I made sure to take the trip up to the Venetian’s 5th floor, to see the all-new, one-day Pop-Up Preview, where those exhibitors who've been trying for years to get a crack at the SHOT Show came for the single day event. There were hundreds of exhibitors and a surprising amount of traffic. While all the exhibitors were very happy to be there, Rachel McTavish of Esca Tech, Inc., was especially enthused.
“It’s an honor to be here at the SHOT Show. We made an appearance 15 years ago, and we’ve been trying to get space for the last six years, so I’m super excited to have it come to fruition. We’re very eager to come again next year and grateful for this year’s opportunity. An event like the SHOT Show can really put a company on the map and help with brand recognition, as well as giving us the feedback we need for future product development,” McTavish reported.
So, from the top to the bottom of the Sands Convention Center, things are running smooth and the attitude is palpably positive. Me? I’m off to see some new rifle optics, so maybe I’ll see you on the floor.