If you are involved in the shooting sports industry, especially as a member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and you follow the industry through any of the various traditional or digital media outlets, then you know what everybody’s been talking about for the past several months; that’s right, the SHOT Show. SHOT is the largest trade show of its kind in the world, showcasing products and services offered by manufacturers and distributors representing the firearms, ammunition, hunting and outdoor sports industries. So when did this SHOT Show conversation start? Right after the 2011 SHOT Show ended.
A year ago, the NSSF started including 2012 SHOT Show information on their website – www.nssf.com and later began tweeting via the NSSF Twitter account and posting to their Facebook page. Articles in the various NSSF publications started appearing that guided readers to the NSSF site to find more SHOT Show information. All through the year, the NSSF included SHOT Show information in their digital newsletter going out to NSSF members. This digital format allowed hyperlinks for the reader to access specific articles on the NSSF site. Exhibitors and attendees began talking about the 2012 SHOT Show with Tweets and Facebook posts beginning soon after the 2011 show ended.
As the SHOT Show date approached, the NSSF ramped up its use of social media to keep its members and attendees informed about the show, making frequent posts to the SHOT Show Blog and providing Twitter updates. A SHOT Show Mobile App was also introduced, allowing those attending the show the opportunity to plan their show in advance, and have quick reference to their schedule, the show booth directory and appointments, all on their smart phone. Through digital media, attendees were able to receive pre-show reports on products to be introduced at the show. From these on-line wire services, attendees were also able to link to specific manufacturer’s sites to view these new products before the show.
When the SHOT Show began, over 800 registered bloggers took to the exhibit floor, reviewing all that was new and writing their reviews. Most of these blog posts were published that day. For attendees, the Tweets continued every day of the show, and these attendees could follow the comments on “Twitterfall” screens placed throughout the venue. With their SHOT Show App in hand, attendees could tour over 1,600 exhibit booths and see first-hand all the new introductions they had been hearing about in blogs and on web sites for months.
The 2012 SHOT Show is now over, but the talking continues. As industry print publications begin to compile their SHOT Show issues to come out in the months ahead, digital wire services, blogs, websites, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are buzzing with talk about what some say was the most successful SHOT Show in history. Whether you measure success by attendance, orders written or media articles filed, talk about the 2013 SHOT Show will keep the conversation moving. Congratulations to the NSSF on a successful show and effective use of both print and digital media – job well done. More SHOT Show information can be found at nssf.org. Dates for the 2013 SHOT Show are January 15-18 in Las Vegas. See you there.