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!