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Welcome to the Shot Show.

I'd like to take a moment to welcome you all to the 1992 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show, known affectionately in the industry as the SHOT Show. The SHOT Show has grown over 600 percent since its inception back in 1979. The three-day Show hosted only 5,600 industry professionals back then, but today more than 26,000 members of the firearms industry will walk through the SHOT Show doors during its four-day run.

We like to think that the SHOT Show is at least partially responsible for the increase in professionalism in the shooting industry. Things have changed a lot since 1979, but there is still a long way to go.

One of the conference programs at this year's SHOT Show carries the title, "I Can't Believe You're Not Doing This!" The conference centers on the idea that there are many proven things which a dealer can do to increase his sales, profit, and visibility in the community, yet many dealers won't try them. It's almost as if they're avoiding professionalism.

I don't necessarily believe the shooting sports industry has a higher percentage of "reluctant professionals" than other industries. I'm sure the same phenomenon exists in the retail grocery, auto repair, and real estate businesses among others. However, I find it particularly frustrating when I hear a sporting firearms and ammunition dealer blame someone else for his business problems when he won't take the most basic steps to help himself.

At last year's SHOT Show, while four highly successful dealers were leading a panel discussion on proven in-store promotions, three reluctant professionals sat at a snack bar downstairs blaming the manufacturers for their profit problems. The dealers who were upstairs learning how to attract customers to their stores probably dealt with the same manufacturers the guys in the snack bar were complaining about, but they were trying to do something -- to learn something -- to help their own business. They were pursuing professionalism. The guys in the snack bar were pursuing excuses.

I suspect the guys upstairs had more profitable years than the guys in the snack bar.

Our industry needs to pursue professionalism at every level. The SHOT Show offers free conference programs to every attendee. These conference programs are not instant cures for the problems and challenges that face the independent retailer, but they sure are a great place to start.

The timing of the SHOT Show in early January is particularly appropriate for any businessman who is interested in improving his business in 1992. With the year less than two weeks old, the SHOT Show provides all of us with an opportunity to get our batteries charged, our enthusiasm restored, and our professionalism challenged. The opportunity is there. Take advantage of it. Your business and our industry will benefit.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Publishers' Development Corporation
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:1992 Shot Show Extravaganza; 1992 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show
Author:Delfay, Bob
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Dec 1, 1991
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