Well, here I am blogging live (well, almost) from Orlando, Florida at the big industry event known as the SHOT Show. Once again this show is absolutely massive…it has taken all day yesterday and now today to make it through the entire show floor. And that’s not always a good thing. Walking the roughly 13 miles of showroom isles in that amount of time certainly means a person could easily miss seeing things. But you do the best that you can do. My plan has always been to walk the entire floor quickly the first few days, and then use the last day or so to go back to see those booths I determine that I need to spend a little more time at.
I must say…SHOT 2007 is somewhat lame. Oh, don’t get me wrong…there’s bound to be lots of writers excited about certain products and dealers who will certainly walk away with some nifty new items for their stores, but the show this year is definitely not filled with revolutionary new products, at least in my opinion. In fact, walking the new products section proved to be somewhat of a disappointment. A few items caught my eye…yet many of the products seemed to be old products with some slight new feature or twist (just something significant to call it “new”). On the whole, I can’t say that I seen dozens and dozens of new hunting-related products that I cannot live without.
Still, my goal is to pick my top ten “new products” and write about them next week when I return home. Watch for this blog probably on Monday or Tuesday. From what I can tell the industry as a whole seems to still be still vibrant and staying positive, although I have been hearing more grumbling among folks about where the new Democratic Congress will take us. There is certainly a palpable concern over this new realization with some buyers scrambling to stock up on items that could become in short supply if new legislation comes down the road.
I did notice even more so than other years that there seems to be more and more suppliers selling virtually the same product. Take the camo market, for instance. Gone are the days when it was just Realtree, Mossy Oak and Trebark. Today there must be nearly 100 different camo manufacturers all vying for that almighty dollar. In some regards this competition is probably good…but for the retailer (and I dare say the consumer) the array of choices are almost overwhelming. Strangely enough, stop at any one booth and you’ll learn their product is always better than the other guy’s pattern. Go figure…would you expect hearing anything else?
And so it goes with SHOT 2007. Two more fun-filled days left and I still have my eyes and ears wide open for anything important that might be happening.
In a nutshell, I would have to say most of the advances I’ve been seeing seem to be in technology and in lights (mostly LED’s). That probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most folks. Of course, there are a few guns capturing attention, as well as some innovative new sighting mechanisms. Stay tuned…and in a few days when I’ve had more time to digest things I will tell you lots more.
© 2007 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Allowed Without Prior Permission.