Did you know that Shot Show is the 19th largest tradeshow in the United States of America? For Las Vegas, it’s the 7th.
While I was attending Shot Show 2018 for business, I did however, take note of how much swag people were carrying away with them in the past.
I honestly expected to see milk crate after milk crate loaded up with swag. I was prepared to trip over them too. In reality, the majority of exhibitors weren’t handing out swag. The milk crate count was rather few too. I spotted twenty five or less for the entire show.
In the end, I collected around 12 or so patches, a Rite in the rain notepad plus waterproof targets, 2 tactical badge holders, cleaning patches, single use gun oil, a 30-round hybrid 300blk Lancer magazine, and a few other things. Stickers and brochures were plenty but I declined to take any.
For business cards, I ended up collecting around 40 or so from people I’m really looking forward to working with in the future. The ability to network with those people is priceless in comparison to the swag.
In terms of innovation, I wasn’t really finding much on the main exhibit floors in terms of firearms. Sure, Glock rolled out their new 19X and Sig Sauer had their P365 and so on. Nothing I couldn’t see at my local shop or have heard about from the grape vine. In reality, the real innovation could be found heavily through the clothing/footwear retailers, knife makers, storage accessories, new ammunition producers, and a lot of the smaller odd companies (think ballistic gel).
Outside of the main exhibits, the new product center was a real treat. It was the one place where all the innovation really hit you in the face. In reality, it was more like the “cool product center”, as virtually every product in there made you want to take a closer, second look.