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SHOT Show Attendance?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Higgins, Jan 4, 2003.

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  1. Higgins

    Higgins Member

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    I just pulled up the website for the SHOT show hoping to get information about attending this year's show.

    Unfortunately, the website says only industry members - i.e. FFL holders - can attend. :uhoh:

    Despite this, anyone have any information on whether non-FFL's can somehow attend? Does a C&R license count?

    Any info. appreciated.
     
  2. AZTOY

    AZTOY Member

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    The C & R is a class 03 FFL.
    But i don't know if that would get you in to the gun show.
     
  3. Robert inOregon

    Robert inOregon Member

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    Let me be a snotty a****** for just a second (I'm really this way most of the time, but who cares). If you are not a player, you're a nuisance and taking time from people that are trying to sell to those that are trying to buy. There are other venues like the NRA convention that allow individuals to checkout the latest products without getting in the way.
     
  4. Higgins

    Higgins Member

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    I take it from your response, Robert inOregon, that you are an FFL holder/dealer, or otherwise a "player" in the gun industry.

    I understand that the SHOT show is intended as a venue for allowing manufactors to interest distributors/dealers in the manufacturers' latest products. That's fine. I can appreciate that. And maybe I'll make plans to attend the NRA show instead -thanks for pointing me in that direction.

    But I am troubled by your response on two levels.

    First, I am a consumer. I am one of the end-users who ultimately purchases products from manufacturers/distributors/dealers such as yourself and keeps the firearms industry operational. No consumers means no manufactuers/distributors and, particularly, no dealers. So, for a "player" like yourself to imply that consumers, like myself, are a "nuisance" who only "get in the way" is irksome and disappointing. Even if allowing regular consumers to attend the SHOT show would be unworkable - which I am not convinced of - the attitude you have taken is unnecessary. There are enough people giving or trying to give gun owners the short-end-on-the-stick without the added insult of industry "players" themselves looking down their noses at their customers.

    You sound like just another dealer who thinks he is better than his customers. That's too bad. It's an attitude I just don't understand. So you have an FFL. So what. I could have one just as thousands of other consumers could, if they chose to apply. Possessing an FFL doesn't make you special.

    Second, your response troubles me because of it's mean- spiritedness. Now don't get me wrong. I am thick skinned enough to ignore such a post. However, being a longtime TFLer, where members strove to be civil, friendly and helpful, seeing your post on the Highroad is disappointing. I had hoped the same TFL spirit would transfer to this new forum. Your post demonstrates that the issue is still in doubt.:rolleyes:
     
  5. stellarpod

    stellarpod Member

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    You beat me to it Higgins.

    DITTO! :mad:

    stellarpod
     
  6. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    Most dealers in guns or anything else remind me of... well, we can't say things like that on the forum.

    Lone Star
     
  7. rock jock

    rock jock Member

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    Although Robert comes off as a bit arrogant, I agree with his point. The Shot Show is designed to bring manufacturers of the latest and greatest together with those who make high volume purchases and can make recommendations to their customers.

    And no, I don't have a FFL nor do I work for a gun shop.
     
  8. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

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    Perhaps SHOT could have a day for public viewing. I'd go.
     
  9. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    well, SHOT is only 3 days long, and it takes that long to see the show. Far flung companies tend to have high level meetings, SAAMI blesses new cartrides and standards.

    You can go, you just have to kiss your local dealers bum to get him to let you use his FFL#.
     
  10. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Your point is well taken although it was not well made.

    However, I'm worried about you. Doesn't that condition indicate some unusual physiological anomalies, perhaps of interest to medical researchers...?
     
  11. Schuey2002

    Schuey2002 Member

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    Same here.. But,I wish they had one in Portland,OR...:D
     
  12. Dan Johnson

    Dan Johnson Member

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    I believe Higgins took Robert's post a little too much to heart. I might have chosen a different word but "nuisance" is accurate. Doesn't have anything to do with an elitist attitude or downtrodden gun owners. The SHOT Show, probably should be called the SHOT Convention, is put on for people in the business. The crowds are often heavy enough without a of bunch of people with no legitimate business there clogging up the walkways. I'm sure many of you in other businesses have conventions where gun dealers are not welcome. So lighten up and wait a couple months more for the NRA Show. It's is in Orlando also this year.

    Dan Johnson
     
  13. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    As an individual I do wish that there was some way that the SHOT Show could be open to anyone. But for a dealer this is the industry show, and most of the guys plan to write orders for 30-50% of their years business in those 3 days.

    The average 10'x10' space costs the displaying company $5000/day when you include all the costs of doing the show. For booths larger than that just multiply by however many spaces that would be.

    Now figure the show has to be profitable. And not just for those 3 days, but over the course of the year. Say you have a small company. You do $3 million/year. You have a 10' booth, and 3 people working it (a fairly common arrangement). Every one of those sales people needs to write $300,000 in business during the show. That's $100,000/day or $10,000/hour. (These are not just made up numbers. They are targets that are real. Peoples jobs depend on them.)

    You're Joe Public, and you want to talk about something you might buy this year. And it costs you $500, and that's a lot of money. Those guys can give you how many seconds of their time?

    You have to realize that while to many people it looks like Disneyland, to most of the industry that supports your hobby it is extremely serious work. And if we can't do our work the companies go under. And you won't have to worry about spending your money on that thing you might have wanted, because it isn't being made anymore.

    Maybe that's a little extreme, but not by much.

    Now look at it from another angle...

    You're a dealer. You closed your business for 5-6 days to attend this (including travel time). You do $300,000/yr in gun related stuff. This show costs you approximately $5000 to attend. (That's travel, lodging, food, overhead, wages, etc.) You're here to see what you can sell your customers that will give you an edge on your competition. To make up your costs you need to find products that will net you $30,000 in profit at this show. That's $10,000/day or $1000/hr. (Again, very realistic numbers). Which is very doable.

    But that means you have to visit an average of one vendor an hour who is going to have product you need/want. And there are 5000 vendors. You can't see them all. And the ones that do look promising have to be able to talk to you right now. Because if you're working the show there's very little chance you're going to go back to anyone. You don't have time to.

    But the guys you want to see are busy talking to our friend Joe Public. The chances are you either really need to talk to this vendor and you wait, in which case you're loosing money unless you can write one heck of a deal, or you just forget about dealing with these guys and both you and the vendor loose.

    One dealer in five visits the SHOT Show. Most of them have been making plans for how to make it profitable for months. Very few think of it as a vacation. They're spending money to keep their customers happy. It's work.

    Please, if you don't have business there, don't attend the SHOT. Go to the NRA Annual Meeting. It's in the same town, many of the same vendors will be there, and it is designed for the public to attend. It's even in the same location, so that shouldn't be an excuse.

    You know why the NRA show is smaller than the SHOT? Because the NSSF (which puts on the SHOT) gets 20% attendance. The NRA is lucky to draw 1% attendance (and that includes members AND the local public). Gun companies spend about the same amount to display at the NRA show (remember they have to pay those employees to be there), and get very little return on the dollar for that investment. Most companies count themselves lucky to recoup the cost of the diplay area.

    Do you know what that says about our sport? It says that less that 30,000 people/year are willing to attend the largest free display of guns in the world. I (for one) find that pathetic.

    Can you imagine the show they could have if the NRA did draw 20% of its members? Can you guess how many more gun industry companies would actually display at the NRA show if that many people (and the attendant press) did show?
     
  14. Dan Johnson

    Dan Johnson Member

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    Well put, Traveler. As a member of the gun press, I have a legitimate reason to attend the SHOT Show but I realize I am not the main person these exhibitors need to see. The larger companies have reps there to deal with the press but when smaller exhibitors are busy with dealers I just exchange business cards and get the heck out of the way.

    Dan Johnson
     
  15. Kobun

    Kobun Member

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    As a firearms dealer you can spend 2-3 hours selling one rifle to Joe Public.
    In the same 2-3 hours with a large company/government etc, you can sell 50 rifles. More than 50 and you probably need a few hours more, but the work it takes to sell one is just about as much as selling in bulk.

    If you go to a trade show/convention that has public days, on the business days, the exhibitions are there to be examined. You can pick up a gun and take it apart.
    If you go to the same show on a public day, you'll find alot fewer products displayed (easier to keep watch for the people working the stand) and guns are zip-locked to the table/placed under glass.
    What do you think will benefit the public most?
    Your dealer tells you:
    "I saw this neat rifle at this-and-that show, and it handeled great. Hold off buying that shotgun till I'll get the new rifle in in a few weeks."
    or:
    I saw this neat looking rifle, but I couldn't realy get a look at it, as there was about 40 others standing in line in front of it.
    Don't know when I'll be able to get one as the demand for it is huge, and the manufacturer didn't have time to talk to me right then."


    Much of the relations in the business world is personal!
    If you don't meet and talk to people face to face, you will just be a number in the line.
    If you know the people on the other hand, you will usually get the products faster, and at a better price, both benefiting Joe Public.

    K. :)
     
  16. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Very well and nicely said, Traveler! :neener:
     
  17. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    If I lived in Oregon, I know where I would NOT buy firearms!

    I suddenly have visions of 200lbs overweight, thick black glasses and bald. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Higgins

    Higgins Member

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    I understand the business aspects of the SHOT show, as so well voiced by Traveler and Kobun. Well thought out and well said. Precisely what Robert inOregon's response wasn't - which is my point. So the SHOT show is for business, and as a consumer I would be in the way. Okay. The realities of the business world are what they are. It's the attitude that rubs the wrong way.

    As for taking the the post a bit too much to heart, like I said, I am thick skinned enough to ignore it on an individual level. But on a broader level, such an elitist attitude - and that's what it is - is all too common among gun dealers. Such an "us vs. them" attitude can only be detrimental to everyone in the industry from makers to ultimate consumers and everyone in between.

    I don't care what industry you are in, if you disrespect your customers then it will eventually bite you in the ass. :banghead:
     
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I am going to the S.H.O.T. Show and hope I don't run into Robert to spoil my visit. My FLD signed me up as an "associate" so I could get in. He was glad to, no chance he would get to go and the literature I collect and the impressions I gather will be the first news he gets of 2003 products and programs. Reading in one of his trade journals, I saw that they expect 5000 dealers and 10,000 to 15,000 spouses, friends, and good customers. This was not presented as a problem to them.
     
  20. George Hill

    George Hill Member

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    I'm a "nuisance", huh? Not a "Player", huh?

    Well BLESS you.

    Let's see... I have sold about 2 or 300 guns indirectly based upon my sole recommendations. And I am not the only one from TFL that has that record. From looking at me personally you wouldn't be able to tell that. You would only see a Non-Player Nuisance.

    Well, screw that noise. I am a PLAYER. Here is why. Because I am a gawddammned BUYER that is why. I am YOUR FARKING CUSTOMER! AND MY FRIENDS ARE CUSTOMERS.
    WE CUSTOMERS DRIVE THE HOLE FARKING INDUSTRY!

    Your attitude disgusts me, royally.


    :fire: :cuss: :fire:
     
  21. Robert inOregon

    Robert inOregon Member

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    Gosh, what a bunch of thin skinned little children we have here. Wear you feelings on your wrist do we? I promise not to flick your weenies again. I promise!

    At least there are a few mature individuals that got the synopsis of the situation at Shot. Thank you!
     
  22. sonny

    sonny Member

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    I'm stayin out of this one..............nobodys gonna flick my weenie unless I ask them :what:
     
  23. Spark

    Spark Member

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    There are hundreds of conventions where the customer can go and find out everything they need - and be treated like the valuable resource they are.

    The SHOT show is not about the customer. It's about the dealer / distributor. Is that a bad thing? Why is it wrong for a dealer to want to do *business*?

    Don't take this the wrong way, George. I can appreciate that you may want to find out about the latest Trijicon scope, or SureFire light, or Remington rifle, or [shudder] Smith & Wesson offering. So do I. The difference is that while you may sell firearms based on your recommendations, it's not your business and livelihood to do so. Your family isn't depending on it. The time taken up by guys who want to look and feel, but have no place being there, is time that I need to do business, or get information so I can better educate my customers, or make purchases, or more.

    It's not personal - it's business. I'm more than happy to educate my customers as best as I can. I like giving them opinions on products I've handled, & companies I've worked with. The SHOT show is where we get the most information, & do the most business for the year. Orders for $20-50K of product are not uncommon. Like it was mentioned above some people do their ordering for the entire year there.

    For every George Hill let into the show, I'd guarantee there'd be 3000 lookie-lou's who'd be so busy fondling merchandise, asking questions, breaking & grabbing & stealing things (in other words, everything already happening with the dealers ;) ) that no *business* would get done. And the customer would actually *lose* then, because their dealer wouldn't be able to get his tasks accomplished. Heck, it's hard enough to get dealer price lists now - I can't imagine having to show a business license and certificate of resale at ever booth I went to. I'd lug 5 reams of paper with me.

    At SHOT 2002, I picked up 6 new brands I hadn't even considered before. One of those brands turned into staple of our business. I returned with over 100 catalogs and price lists, 30+ CD-ROM's, etc. How many of those would I have been able to get had customers been allowed in?

    It was hard enough to get time needed with companies I had business with - I can't imagine the horror show if the general public was let in. My customers certainly would suffer.

    It's a trade show for the professionals in the trade. If you aren't one, don't begrudge the guys who do need to be there. It's nothing personal - it's our business.
     
  24. Dennis

    Dennis Member

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    Spark,

    Okay, so consumers should not get in the way at the commercial-oriented SHOT show.

    Where are these “hundreds of conventions where the customer can go and find out everything they need - and be treated like the valuable resource they are�

    If you mean the local gun shows, there are seldom any manufacturers represented there—other than Mom & Pop ammunition resellers or (shudder) reloaders.

    If you mean the local gun shops, they obligate themselves only to sell the best they have in stock (or to order only what gives them the greatest margin) rather than what would best fill my needs (or even best pique my interests).

    With absolutely no malice, where can the consumer go and see what various manufacturers are producing and introducing?

    Oh, and please don’t say, “The internet.†;)
    - - - -
    edit for PS.

    And where can I take my children, er, I mean grandchildren :rolleyes: to show them more than a couple glass counters of product or a range where I must two-step through the cow poop to get to the 200 yard targets. :D :D
     
  25. Spark

    Spark Member

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    Let's see - there's the NRA convention, NSSF, the SOF convention (whatever it's replaced with too). There's plenty of IDPA, SASS, GSSF, championships. There's the Steel Challenge, the Bianchi cup, the Outdoor Survival convention. Bucks, Ducks, Bass unlimited. There's the Blade Show, Blade West, & more. There's all sorts of camping shows, survival shows, etc.

    The opportunity is there... you just have to look for it.

    We get one dedicated show per year. Many of us have to close up shop, spend a ton of cash, and commit money on products that may or may not sell. Again, it's nothing personal, it's just business.

    Kevin
     
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