NSSF Hosts Largest SHOT Show to Date Following Two-Year Hiatus
The 2022 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show(SHOT Show), owned and operated by the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF) made a strong return to Las Vegas, drawing more than 2,400 exhibitors and more than 43,000 attendees from 100 countries and featuring its largest floor plan in history.
Held Jan. 18-21 at Caesars Forum and The Venetian Expo, the 44th SHOT Show brought the firearm industry together in-person again after holding it’s 2021 edition virtually. As the fifth-largest trade show in Las Vegas, the SHOT Show provides an estimated $88 million in non-gaming revenue to the city.
The show’s attendee turnout and vast size this year, covering more than 800,000 net square feet, an increase from the 692,000 net square feet of the 2020 show, demonstrated a willingness to push forward amid the pandemic, make meaningful connections and conduct business while paying close attention to health and safety precautions, according to Chris Dolnack, senior vice president and chief customer officer of NSSF.
“This is a very tactile business, and it means a lot to buyers to be able to see and handle our industry’s products in person,” Dolnack said. “To our exhibitors, buyers, media and everyone associated with making this year’s show a success, we extend our sincerest appreciation.”
The show put a huge range of products for target shooting, hunting, outdoor recreation, personal defense and law enforcement purposes on display, keeping in mind the back-to-back record-breaking years for firearm purchases. From 2020 through 2021, background checks related to firearm sales reached 40 million, with more than 11 million Americans purchasing a firearm for the first time for reasons of personal security, target shooting and hunting.
The show’s new venue, Caesars Forum, received high marks from exhibitors and attendees, providing opportunities for more small and mid-size companies to exhibit and spacious areas for the show’s New Product Center and the new SHOT Show eXtra table-top exhibitors section.
“Love the new facility, the comfortable flooring and the lighting,” said Mike Smith of Dead Air Silencers. “From our perspective, the people who are here really wanted to be here. They were really focused on business and also catching up in person.”
The overarching sentiment was that while attendance was somewhat down from the last in-person show, there were many positives to take away from this year’s SHOT Show.
“Business is good, and everyone is happy,” said Nathan Robinson of Winchester Ammunition. “We’re not here to see the most people but to see those people who want to do business.”
Tara Yager of ETS Group was pleased with seeing so many international attendees.
“We’ve had lots of international interest in carrying our brand,” she said.
Jonathan Solomon of Redstone Firearms said his company was able to find new solutions, negotiate better pricing and bond with like-minded people at the event.
“SHOT Show exceeded our expectations,” he said. “This event has definitely helped Redstone with plans to continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.”
One of the most well-attended special events at the show was the NSSF Governors’ Forum, where six governors discussed the importance of firearm businesses to their economies and their efforts to attract firearm- and ammunition-related companies to locate in their state. Across America, the $7.1 billion firearm industry supports more than 342,000 jobs.
NSSF also announced its 2021 and 2022 Hall of Fame inductees, honoring one woman and five men who left indelible marks in the industry and the shooting sports. The NSSF Hall of Fame was launched at the 2020 show to honor industry leaders for their contributions to NSSF, the SHOT Show and the heritage of target shooting and hunting in America.
At the sold-out “Women of the Gun Event,” champion shooter and firearm safety advocate Julie Golob was named the winner of its first-ever Woman of the Gun Award. The award recognizes Golob’s achievements and contributions to the shooting sports, plus her work to promote the mission and message of the industry’s firearm safety program—Project ChildSafe
The two-day Supplier Showcase featured 540 OEM third-party suppliers meeting with exhibiting manufacturers and exploring their needs for extrusions, fabrication, fabrics, machinery, metal, plastics, software, logistical support and tools.
Supplier Showcase exhibitor Scott Schaffer, president of Gun Snot, said the showcase generated an incredible number of good contacts.
“The return on investment is off the charts, and we’re grateful we got into the show,” he said.
Many official show events cluster around the four days of SHOT Show itself, creating “SHOT Week.” Among them was the NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic in support of Honored American Veterans Afield, a firearm industry-run charitable organization that helps the healing of disabled combat veterans through participation in hunting and the shooting sports. Also, Industry Day at the Rangeon the day before SHOT Show attracted more than 1,700 members of the media and buyers, as well as 175 exhibiting companies.
Meanwhile, for the first time in over a decade, the SHOT Show had an expansive outdoor space, where hands-on demonstrations by manufacturers were presented and where a Welcome Back Happy Hour for thousands of show attendees and exhibitors was hosted Wednesday evening by NSSF.
Photo: 2022 SHOT Show (National Shooting Sports Foundation)