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SHOT Show 2003. (25th Anniversary Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show).

The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show And Conference

The industry's largest trade show celebrates 25 years!

Manufacturers Roll Out Finest For Dealers And Buyers Worldwide!

The shooting sports' largest industry show will mark its 25th anniversary in February with a spectacular celebration in Orlando, Fla. The National Shooting Sports Foundation's (NSSF) 2003 SHOT Show will take place Feb. 13-16 at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center.

More than 1,400 manufacturers will cover nearly 500,000 square feet of the center with exhibitors' booths -- all to present their newest and best to buyers from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries. If it is used in hunting, shooting and the outdoors, it will be on display.

"We think Orlando is one of the most exciting venues in the country for trade shows," said Doug Painter, NSSF president. "In a sense, it's the Las Vegas of the East, with tremendous attractions, huge availability of airline flights, and a great variety of lodging and restaurants."

With the number of headliner attractions and the usual good weather for February in Florida, Orlando is seen as one of the best sites for the show, according to Painter.

"It's an all-around great package for a trade show, offering people a first-class venue for the show, and the opportunity before or after the show to visit some of the great attractions in the country," Painter said.

Although no future SHOT Shows are scheduled for Orlando, Painter said, if all goes well this year, the industry may have other opportunities to return to Florida in the winter.

"We'll wait and see about the success of this show," Painter says. "But it certainly looks very good so far."

With the show still two months away, there are no solid registration numbers available. However, early indications promise a strong attendance. Last year, total attendance at the show in Las Vegas, Nev., hit 31,038.

"Many hotels are already 100 percent booked, and three or four others are getting close to filling their room blocks," Painter said. "Those are prime indicators for excellent attendance at the show."

Added Security

Show attendees who are concerned about security at the show will be pleased, according to Painter, with the precautions taken by SHOT Show officials.

"We've spent a lot of time with the security people at the Orange County Convention Center," Painter said. "We're impressed by their professionalism, and by the way they work closely with the law enforcement agencies in the city. The security force them is well-equipped to deal with a whole range of issues, and we expect no particular problems."

Despite many security concerns, Painter said the SHOT Show is one of the few trade shows in the country that hasn't had a decrease in attendance since Sept. 11, 2001.

"I think the reason is the extraordinary commitment of people in our industry to our future and to all of the traditions we represent," Painter said. "There's a huge commitment here on everyone's part. I'm very impressed by that and very thankful."

Silver Anniversary

The first SHOT Show was held in 1979 in St. Lewis, Mo. Since then, the show has been held in San Francisco, Calif.; Atlanta, Ga.; Dallas and Houston, Texas; New Orleans, La.; and Las Vegas, Nev. Today, it is the largest show of its kind in the world.

To celebrate the 25th show, the NSSF is planning a major event on February 13.

"The big thing we're doing is holding a special anniversary reception and dinner on the first evening of the show," Painter said. "It includes a concert with Travis Tritt."

Painter said the entire event is designed to say "Thank You" to the thousands of people who have supported the show so strongly over the past 25 years.

"The celebration will be at the Orange County Convention Center," Painter said, "Tickets are $90 each for a cocktail reception, a dinner, and the concert."

Information on the event, which begins at 8 p.m. in the Valencia Ballroom, is included in the SHOT Show information packet sent to all exhibitors.

RELATED ARTICLE: SHOT Show Focuses On Education To Boost Dealers' Businesses

On February 12, the day before the SHOT Show opens, dealers will have the opportunity to attend the National Association of Firearms Retailers' SHOT Show University.

According to John Badowski, NSSF director of retail partnerships, the SHOT Show University is designed to enhance the professional skills of firearm retailers. It was developed in response to requests from retailers for help with their businesses, and retailers have provided a lot of input into the classes.

While the final schedule for the university wasn't available at this writing, the classes will include the following topics:

"Sales Floor Analysis, or, Am I Making Money Yet?"

"Winning Sales Techniques For Your Staff."

"Hiring, Firing and Retaining Good Employees in a Litigious World."

"Retail Information Technology: I Didn't Know My Computer Could Do That!"

"An Ounce of Prevention: Implementing Sound Inventory and Record-Keeping Practices."

"A Customer For Life: Adding Direct Database Marketing Into Your Marketing Mix."

NSSF Seminars

Each year, the NSSF sponsors SHOT Show Seminars during the show's regular hours. This year, in commemoration of the Show's 25th anniversary, the NSSF is bringing back seminars that have been favorites of retailers over the years.

"These are among the most popular SHOT Shot seminars ever," Badowski said. "Every retailer and their staff can benefit by attending."

There is no charge to attend the NSSF seminars, and all sessions will be held at the convention center.

"Part of our mission is to help educate our members," said Chris Dolnack, NSSF's managing director of program development. "The SHOT Show seminars are an integral part of that. The SHOT Show is more than a trade show, it's also a conference where we can provide educational opportunities for the retailers, and hopefully that will translate into adding to their bottom line."

Over the years, the most popular session has been the joint ATF/FBI NICS panel discussion.

"This is the third consecutive year we've done this session," Dolnack said. "We also had one last year on developing a place to shoot that got high marks, so we're also repeating that one."

The series kicks off at 1 p.m., Thursday, February 13, in room 309 A&B with "BATF/NICS Issues & Answers." This is a panel discussion with representatives from the ATF and FBI. Dealers can find out what changes in laws and regulations will affect their businesses. In the past, this session has been a lively discussion. Dealers are asked to bring their tough questions.

The seminar "Straw Purchase Awareness" will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 14, in room 308A. Dealers will learn how to avoid being victimized by a straw purchaser. Attendees will receive a free "Don't Lie For The Other Guy" video.

The session, "Loss Prevention Techniques for Today's Retailer," will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 15, in room 308B. Dealers will learn what they can do to keep their stores from being the target of smash-and-grab burglaries. Speakers will include a firearm industry loss-prevention manager and an ATF stolen firearm manager.

The session, "A Smart Approach to Insurance," will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in room 308A. Insurance experts familiar with the firearm industry will talk about insurance issues confronting gun dealers. Tips will be given on how a dealer can get adequate, affordable coverage.

Dealers considering adding a shooting range to their operation shouldn't miss "Developing a Place To Shoot." It will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday in room 308B. Retailers who already have ranges and officials from the National Association of Shooting Ranges will present the why and how of adding a shooting range to a retail business.

SHOT Show Auction Offers Chance To Own A Fine Colt

Each year, the NSSF holds auctions at the SHOT Show to raise money for the Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Fund. Last year, the NSSF departed from tradition by auctioning a number of items. This year, the auction program returns to its roots, with only a single firearm to be auctioned during the show.

This year's gun is from the Colt's Custom Shop, and is part of the Heritage Edition Series. Guns in the series are created by manufacturers who are members of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Foundation. The firearms have special features and engraving that set them apart from other custom firearms, making them highly valued by collectors.

This year's gun is a Colt Single Action Army revolver that features the rare and highly collectible screwless frame. The gun has a 4.75-inch barrel and is chambered in 44-40. It has Master Engraved B coverage and is enhanced with gold inlaid bands on the barrel and cylinder. A gold inlaid serpentine Colt's logo is on the backstrap. It is finished in a highly polished blue with fully figured walnut grips. It has a special serial number: "SHOT SHOW 2003."

This special firearm comes in a wood presentation case with a brass plate. It is inscribed:

"Presented to: The National Shooting Sports Foundation in recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the SHOT Show to benefit the Hunting & Shooting Sports Heritage Fund and its efforts to create a sustainable environment for the shooting sports in America.

"By: Lt. Gen. Win. M. Keys, USMC (ret.), Colt's Manufacturing Company Inc."

To complete the package, the 2003 SHOT Show Colt Single Action revolver comes with a Colt Historical letter, which will be issued to the recipient. The letter will outline the fine points of the firearm, and will be presented on reproduction stationery used by Samuel Colt.


SHOT Show 2003

February 13-15, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

February 16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Orange County Convention Center

SHOT Show Owner & Sponsor:

The National Shooting Sports Foundation

11 Mile Hill Road

Newtown, CT 06470

(203) 426-1320

Fax: (203) 426-1087

Show Producer and Manager:

Association Expositions & Services

Division of Reed Exhibition Companies

383 Main Avenue

Norwalk, CT 06851

(203) 840-5600

Fax (203) 840-5805

Exhibitor Service Center:


(203) 840-5600

Booth Space Contacts:

Dave Jeannette, Sales Manager


(603) 626-4671

Fax: (603) 626-4671


Judy Maguire, Sales Executive

(203) 840-5492

Fax: (203) 840-9492


Hotel Registration:


(312) 527-7300

Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau

9800 International Boulevard

Orlando, FL 32819

(407) 363-5800

Orlando Cab Companies:

Available Taxi Co. (407) 862-6373

Diamond Cab Co. (407) 523-3333

Top Hat Transportation (407) 291-9167

Yellow Cab Co. (407) 422-4561
COPYRIGHT 2002 Publishers' Development Corporation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Boyles, Carolee
Publication:Shooting Industry
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Previous Article:My first gun.
Next Article:2003 SHOT Show Exhibitor's Guide. (A-Z).

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