ConvExx Chosen to Manage SHOT Show; Names Pressman as Show Manager

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Newtown, CT – ConvExx, which manages the huge SEMA Show in Las Vegas, was named management partner for the SHOT Showby the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

The NSSF was seeking a new management company after parting ways with Reed Exhibitions, and pulled the trigger with ConvExx based on the Las Vegas company’s success with the SEMA Show. “ConvExx offers a combination of extensive large-show and Las Vegas experience, which will serve our exhibitors and attendees well,” said Chris Dolnack, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the NSSF.

ConvExx President & CEO Jeff Pressman was named show manager for the firearms industry event, which is owned by the NSSF.

The SHOT Show,  launched in 1979, was ranked 16th on the most recent Trade Show Executive Gold 100 with 660,000 net square feet of exhibit space (nsf). The 2012 show in January saw exhibit space dip (0.8)% to 628,675 nsf. The exhibitor count fell (3.7)% to 1,541 but attendance rose 2.2% to 62,371.

By comparison, the 2011 SEMA Show, launched in 1967, ranked No. 4 on the Gold 100, and in 2012, exhibit space grew 7.0% and reached 1 million nsf. Exhibitors increased 5.4% to 2,255 and attendance was up 3.1% at 135,000.

Taking on the SHOT Show puts ConvExx in the position of organizing the SEMA Show in the Fall and SHOT Show in January. Chairman Chuck Schwartz said he and his staff were “thrilled to be selected to help NSSF manage the SHOT Show.”

The NSSF in June hired two top members of Reed’s SHOT Show management team. Dave Jeannette, who had been event director, was named senior director, sales, for the SHOT Show. Chris Tatulli was brought over as director, exhibit and sponsorship sales.

Dolnack said the new hires were added in part to assure exhibitors there would be a level of continuity during the transition from Reed to new management.

Reed raised eyebrows within the firearms industry by prohibiting the display of assault-style rifles at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Pennsylvania, which took place just weeks after the shooting spree at a Connecticut elementary school that left 20 children and six adults dead.

Reed said at the time allowing the controversial weapons into the exhibit hall would cause an undue distraction to the show’s overall theme of hunting and fishing. The NSSF, which does not own the Pennsylvania consumer event, said it would reconsider its relationship with Reed after Reed refused to reverse its decision.

Reach Chris Dolnack at (203) 426-1320 or cdolnack@nssf.org; Chuck Schwartz at (702) 450-7662 or cschwartz@convexx.com