The National Shooting Sports Foundation, owner of the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show, has terminated its contract with Reed Exhibitions to produce and manage the event, effective immediately.
An NSSF statement read: “Reed Exhibitions provided excellent service to NSSF and the customers of the SHOT Show for more than three decades, however, the company's decision to restrict the sale of certain types of firearms this year at its consumer hunting and fishing show - an event unrelated to NSSF and the SHOT Show - was in conflict with NSSF's mission to serve the shooting sports industry. As a result, both organizations decided it was in the best interest of the SHOT Show to end their relationship.”
In January, Reed decided to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines at its Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show and there was an ensuing outcry not only from exhibitors and the National Rifle Association, but also NSSF.
Chet Burchett, Reed Exhibitions president for the Americas, said at the time, “Our original decision not to include certain products in the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show this year was made in order to preserve the event’s historical focus on the hunting and fishing traditions enjoyed by American families.”
The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show was scheduled to run Feb. 2-10 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg, Penn., but was canceled.
Burchett added at the time, “It has become very clear to us after speaking with our customers that the event could not be held because the atmosphere of this year’s show would not be conducive to an event that is designed to provide family enjoyment.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation also released a statement about Reed’s ban decision, indicating they had been in “frank discussions with Reed Exhibitions management in an effort to reverse this unacceptable decision” regarding the ban, adding “these discussions reached an impasse.”
In addition, NSSF officials said the organization was not affiliated with the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show.
“Reed Exhibitions does, however, manage the NSSF-owned SHOT Show (though Reed manages the SHOT Show, all SHOT Show decisions, policies and actions are made at NSSF’s direction).” NSSF officials added at the time, “Because of Reed’s recent actions, NSSF is considering all options regarding the management of future SHOT Shows.”
Several months later, NSSF and Reed have decided to part ways, and the National Rifle Association now will be producing a show in the time slot previously held by the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show.
“NSSF is actively engaged in the process of identifying a new show management company to manage and produce the SHOT Show beginning with the 2014 SHOT Show,” according to NSSF officials.
SHOT Show ranked No. 24 on the 2012 TSNN Top 250 trade show ranking and was held this year at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, drawing a record 62,371 attendees.