LAS VEGAS — The 45th SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show), produced by the NSSF — The Firearm Industry Trade Association, took place Jan. 17-20 in Las Vegas, saw strong attendance and sprawled the Venetian Expo and Convention Center and Caesars Forum, breaking its exhibit space record.
The 2023 edition was the largest SHOT Show ever, spanning more than 816,000 net square feet across the two venues. It was the second year that SHOT Show needed to expand its exhibit space at Caesars Forum.
“We were able to accommodate 98 more exhibitors by utilizing the outdoor space at Caesars Forum Plaza where we had SHOT Marketplace, a retail sales area for non-firearms and ammunition products, by using levels 3 and 4 of the Venetian meeting space for brand–new exhibitors and by expanding our two-day Supplier Showcase for OEM suppliers in the level 5 ballroom,” NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Chris Dolnack said. “Our partners at ConvExx have been very creative in implementing new features so that we can help more industry companies gain access to the market.”
This year’s show attracted 52,305 attendees, coming from all 50 states and 115 countries, which was on par with pre-pandemic attendance numbers, and there were 2,525 exhibiting companies displaying their products and services at the show. The increases in attendance, exhibitors and exhibit space are significant over 2022, which attracted 43,200 attendees, 2,427 exhibitors and covered 804,000 square feet of space.
However, Dolnack noted that while there were more exhibitors this year, there were 2,000 less exhibiting personnel than 2020. “I think this is due to increasing cost pressures on exhibitors and their experience in 2022 when they brought fewer people. We also continue to requalify attendees at regular intervals every several years to ensure that we have qualified buyers and industry professionals.”
Related. SHOT Show Exceeds Expectations
According to Dolnack, there were two major contributing factors that attracted more attendees this year, one being that the attendees are passionate about SHOT Show and were excited to get back to a normal format of the show after canceling in 2021 and having COVID restrictions in 2022.“Second, working with our marketing agency CSG Creative we send personalized messages to four different industry segments that resonate with the attendee,” Dolnack said. “So that way a law enforcement trainer or purchasing agent is messaged specifically about what law enforcement attendees would be interested in like our Law Enforcement Education Program. And a more traditional firearms retailer would receive information on different product categories specific to their clientele and our SHOT University education program.”
Not only did the 2023 edition see more attendees, exhibitors and exhibit space, but it also offered more networking opportunities than in previous years. Dolnack said that attendee feedback influenced the decision to create more networking opportunities and experiences, including the new SHOT After Dark, which featured three nights of events, two networking receptions and a concert for all show attendees.
Dolnack said, “2023 was a pivotal year for us after canceling in 2021 and having a 20% reduction in attendance in 2022. We continue to listen to our customers, provide them with unique experiences that they can only have at SHOT Show and work collaboratively with our partners at ConvExx, CSG Creative, Freeman, LVCVA and Venetian Las Vegas.”
The 2024 edition of SHOT Show is slated to take place Jan. 23-26.
Reach Chris Dolnack at (203) 545-6243 or email@example.com
Photo courtesy of SHOT Show.