Another Successful SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy

Update: Read a review from TSNN Here

Being an exhibitor at one of the top trade shows in the US can be a daunting task.  National Shooting Sports Foundation and ConvExx created a special education workshop for SHOT Show exhibitors.  Now in its third year, the Exhibitor Academy was established to provide exhibitors with a face-to-face opportunity to meet with the SHOT Show team.  Goals include how to best exhibit at the show, and work with all the vendors that produce the show to ensure methods they can have the best ROI and positive experience.  While the previous Academies were open to long-time exhibitors, 2016 was open to exhibitors of three years or less or companies with new exhibit managers.  Exhibitors only needed to pay airfare to attend the event.  All other expenses were handled by NSSF and partners.

The two and half day meeting included sessions with NSSF staff and Show Management company, ConvExx on best practices and common pitfalls that many companies become victim to without continuous education and reinforcement.   Highlights of the Academy included a panel of buyers who shared how they prepare for the Show, a mini trade show with the SHOT Show vendors and an insider tour of the Freeman Company warehouse and design offices.    Exhibitors were also able to meet one-on-one with Show Management , Freeman and Sands Expo Services to review their exhibit spaces, receive clarification on policies and gain insight into saving money for their specific exhibit needs.

As a final event, ConvExx created an interactive game called “The Amazing Race to the SHOT Show”, where exhibitors were able to use the knowledge they gained over the few days in a fun, exciting manner.

Exhibitors commented that the Academy was well worth the time away from their offices.   One was overheard to say “If I only had one hour of this event, it was well worth it – having two days was priceless.”

SHOT Exhibitor Academy

National Shooting Sports Foundation and ConvExx, during its first year working together in producing the SHOT Show, conducted the first-ever SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy.  The Academy, free of charge to SHOT Show exhibitors, provided established exhibitors with a face-to-face opportunity to meet with the SHOT Show team and not only learn how to best exhibit at the show, but work with all the vendors that produce the show on examining their own past performance and ways in which they can each save money.

Along with two days of seminars, including both general sessions and smaller break-out sessions, exhibitors were encouraged to meet with Freeman, Venetian Hotel, Sands Expo Center, onPeak, and other contractors that make up the SHOT Show team and review prior invoices, better explain and understand their own situations, as well as modify their plans so their companies can achieve greater ROI at future shows.

ConvExx met with exhibitors individually as well to review their past booth designs, already having pictures of every booth from the most recent show, in order to educate exhibitors on best practices and common pitfalls that many companies become victim to without continuous education and reinforcement.

The Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo Center also hosted a tasting tour of many of their best venues for hospitality throughout their campus, including such highlights as Delmonico’s Steakhouse and DB Brasserie.  Not only did exhibitors get to experience the finest of what the five-star resort has to offer, but also get new ideas of what can be taken advantage of by having the unique opportunity of having the SHOT Show in the all-encompassing property.

Lastly, NSSF and its partners provided direct savings in return for attending the SHOT Show Exhibitor Academy, including discounts on sponsorship opportunities and show services.

At the 2014 Exhibitor Academy, at the closing session in which all attendees are to ask show management and key staff any question they have (titled “Take Your Best SHOT!”), an audience survey was conducted which asked all exhibitors in attendance whether they would recommend the Exhibitor Academy to other exhibitors.  97% indicated YES.  Not a bad result for a first-time event!