It’s early January and everyone in the firearms industry knows that SHOT Show 2017 is right around the corner. The gun world comes together for one week each year and descends on Las Vegas, Nevada in what I call the gun owners fantasyland. Last year SHOT Show 2016 was my first adventure into the world of major firearms related events and it was a bit overwhelming to say the least. Well a year has passed and I’ve grown a year older and learned a few lessons along the way, this year a plan for the week’s activities has been in place and appointments have been made with a host of retailers and firearms manufacturers. While we were reviewing our itineraries and notes we decided it would be worth it to give you our readers a little SHOT Show 2017 Preview, of what to expect from our upcoming trip as what to expect in terms of articles from that week. I can tell you SOFREP Editor Desiree Huitt, and The Arms Guide Editor Mark Miller and I have put together an ambitious list of things to accomplish in those five days at the show.
What to Expect from Us
That week we intend to post updates with photos at least once a day, video uploads will most likely be problematic but not impossible. The plan which won’t be completely unveiled do to the way the convention and the industry is as a whole, but I will say we intend to leave no stone unturned. We will talk to all the expected players but we also have a few tricks up our sleeves. There are several companies that contacted us long before any plans were firm on us even attending the show, and we intend to reward those companies by getting to them early in the show and hopefully bringing you some exclusive news. Below is a small list of companies we are confirmed to sit down and talk with.
- Steiner Optics: They are releasing several new models of rifle scopes and red dot optics that they are very interesting.
- Skeli Arms: Skeli released a sneak peek at their new X-11 carbine that looks like a FN Scar but at a fraction of the price.
- Slip 2000: The lubricant maker has a proven track history of delivering a quality product that stands up to my Alaska Winters
- 1911 Gunsmith Ted Yost of Heirloom Precision. Nice guy and is an amazing 1911 and Browning Hi Power gunsmith.
- Alien Armor: Maker of rail covers systems for various rifles, a newer company that has great potential.
- Rock Island Armory/Armscor: The team at Rock Island has really been creative the last few years with their .22TCM/9mm combo pistols and other projects they have launched, we are curious to see what 2017 has in store.
- Brommer & Thomet: The Swiss based maker of sub machine guns has finally taken aggressive steps into the North American market with their new semi auto pistols featuring a “sig brace” style adapter.
- Multitasker Tools: While they wont have a booth this year at the show we have lined up a interview with the Chief Operating Officer of Multitasker Tools. We hope to talk about the future of product development and the success of the Multitasker Twist, which has been sold out at most online retailers for months now.
- Start Up Companies: Last but not least we will say that we are planning to interview and promote several smaller start up gear and accessory companies. These companies are filling niches in the industry that larger companies don’t feel is worth their effort. If you know of a company we should look into at SHOT Show 2017 let us know, we are always looking to promote good companies and good people.
Updates and Timetables:
The plan for us is to provide you a quick update in the morning, one around lunch time and one at the end of the SHOT Show Business Day. The only day that might be off a bit is Wednesday night, since we have a SOFREP Team Room Party that we are attending with our parent company Hurricane Group Inc / SOFREP. If you have a ticket to the event be sure to find one of us at the party, we don’t bite and contrary to what you may have heard we are actually always up for a good conversation, not just about firearms also.
We also intend to host our first Facebook Live event from the floor of the SHOT Show and we are working on a way to make one of our readers who is attending the show win a prize pack of swag for participating. We are honestly jumping threw hoops to try to get this done, but at the very least we will have Facebook live, and you might see one of the SOFREP crew helping out with that. The big question is what do you our readers want to see from us at SHOT Show 2017 ? My intention is to have a team of guys and gals on the floor with one person sitting at a laptop posting live updates and feeds if at all possible. It’s ambitious but we are determined to step our game up from last year.
Lessons Learned from 2016 Show to take to 2017 Show
SHOT Show is about meeting people and developing rapport with them as much as it is about the firearms themselves, with that in mind i will say there are things that stood out from last year convention that I feel compelled to share. There are some internet celebrities that are very accomplished YouTubers and have hundreds of thousands of viewers and make a good deal of money at being internet famous, some of them are extremely nice and genuine people, others are straight up assholes in love with their own fame. The shocking part of this is that some of them that had a very aggressive macho persona online where in fact very polite and didn’t present that at all in person. In a weird way SHOT Show 2016 exceeded all my expectations but left me confused and puzzled. It is after all a marketing plan and trade show when you boil it all down.
I guess as a SHOT Show Rookie I wasn’t ready for the way some companies, (both big and small) were very welcoming of any sort of press coverage and were more than happy to answer any and all questions you had. Yet some companies would literally roll their eyes at you if your media badge didn’t say “Guns & Ammo Magazine” or some other well known publication. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, this type of brush off allowed me to learn and grow as a writer, when it all boils down it’s just like the line from the classic line from the 1972 film The Godfather “It’s not personal, It’s Strictly Business.”
What do you want want us to look for ? Who do you want us to try to interview the week of the convention? We have just over a week before the team arrives in Las Vegas, so you have some time to get your requests in. If you are a reader and coming to SHOT Show, let us know we would love to meet our fans face to face.
This article is courtesy of Rick Dembroski from The Arms Guide.
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