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Gun Shows: Why You Need Them

Benefits of Gun Shows Blog

The Bowden Tactical Team had a Great Visit to West Palm Beach for the 2021 NSSF Range-Retailer Expo!

There was plenty to check out from the Sponsors, Exhibitors and Attendees, and it was really great to spend time with industry folks to talk business and build relationships. We believe that Trade Shows like this are an important opportunity for anyone in the industry to improve their business by taking some time to learn and grow.

If you’ve never attended a gun show like NSSF, either as an attendee or an exhibitor, you could be missing out on product announcements, partnership opportunities, and of course, sales.

Here are the top five takeaways from Gun Industry Shows and the NSSF Range-Retailer Show:

  • Products Tailored to the Gun Industry
    • Shows like this one are a great way to find services that are setup to specifically serve the Gun Industry. We’ve hit some brick walls in the past with credit card processing, website backend limitations and other challenges working with more generic providers, so having the right partners that are excited to help companies making gun products can make a big difference.
    • We saw several providers that had enterprise software packages specifically designed to serve the Gun Industry including GearFire, one of the headline sponsors.
  • New Product Introductions
    • With new products being developed consistently by much of the Gun Industry, many times having an upcoming Show helps set a timeline for the official introduction. So many of the booths had new offerings that we could check out, hold in our hands and try using. Seeing product announcements online or in a magazine are ok, but there’s no substitute for checking it out in-person.
    • New offerings from Taurus, Accufire, Sticky Holsters, Mantis Tech and TX-Tactical caught our eye and we’d encourage you to check out their websites and social media from the show.
  • Industry Support
    • Often times, shows like this one are a great opportunity to see some of the tremendous philanthropic work being done by non-profit organizations.  Issues like Suicide Prevention, Domestic Violence Prevention, Second Amendment Protection, Veteran’s Affairs and First Responder Support are just a couple of the areas being helped by these agencies.  Getting to see their work and talk with passionate folks engaged in these causes was fulfilling to see.
    • We spent some time with the Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Gun Owners of America, and the USCCA Veterans Affairs group and it was inspiring to hear their stories of the services they provide.
  • Educational Opportunities
    • Most Industry Shows have educational opportunities and too often they aren’t well-attended, especially at the larger shows. Taking the time to engage with content that’s important to your business can be a huge chance to grow. From the information provided to the chance to talk with Industry-Leading presenters during an education session, it is a completely different encounter than just being in the company booths.
    • This show’s sessions included informative discussions on a wide range of topics from Hiring Employees and Brand Building, to Payment Processing and Training & Education.
  • Getting Feedback on Your Products & Ideas
    • The good news about Gun Industry folks is that they tend to be very open about sharing their opinions! Showing off your products is one thing, but exhibiting at a Show forces you to both refine your pitch and be open to feedback.
    • The better and more concisely you can talk about your product, the more likely you are to make the sale. There’s no better way than having to give your “pitch” over and over again at a show.  Listen to the conversations around you and the questions that need to be answered. These help refine your description of your products.
    • Being open to feedback is an important opportunity, rather than trying to defend your products and their features.  Having a bunch of people picking up your products for the first time is one of the best ways to get a lot of input in a short period of time.
    • We had a couple new products to show folks, including our AR-V Handguard and a Spare Magazine Holder, and the variety of feedback was awesome.  We even got a few ideas for improvements that we’ll be looking to incorporate as the designs are refined.

So whether you’re a one-person operation or part of a large company, if you get the chance to attend an Industry Show, you can gain tremendous insight and plenty of ideas to improve both your business, your products and your career.  We found this week’s NSSF Range-Retailer Show to be a very beneficial experience and we’ll be headed back next year!

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