Goals, you say? Does a person who goes to the SHOT Show to experience all there is to see in the outdoors really need goals? I suppose not, if you are attending merely for fun. But quite honestly if you don’t attend with a specific purpose in mind you are probably the sort of Attendee whom the show is trying to weed out of its ranks.
Let me say this. There was a time back a couple decades ago when the show would be held at venues, such as the New Orleans Convention Center, where space was a luxury. You could look from one end of the show floor and truthfully not see the wall on the other end. Back in those days the sky was the limit when it came to exhibitor space and possibilities.
Not the case anymore.
These days the show is much more strict on who it lets in because the show has grown and space is more condensed. Not only does SHOT limit how many exhibitor personnel get passes based on display size, but even attendees and media are much more closely scrutinized in an effort to add greater legitimacy to the business environment. That all being said, the days of getting to attend the SHOT Show as a reward or prize of some sort is over. Bottom line, if you don’t have a bona fide business goal chances are you are in the crosshairs of show management for future events.
So, if you are attending SHOT you have goals or outcomes you want to accomplish. Of course, it’s really hard to draw up a master plan because an outdoors writer will have objectives much different than a buyer for a small gun shop. Still, I contend if you walk into the show it is just too damn easy to become overwhelmed by the entirety of the event, that a few goals will give you greater focus to maximize the outcome you desire.
During the past few days I have focused on networking as a necessary strategy to achieve desired outcomes. I won’t continue to beat that drum, but realize that should be part of everyone’s plan no matter what your other goals may be.
Here’s a short list of my goals (as a communicator) for the 2014 SHOT Show:
- Carefully observe the way companies are marketing via apps and social media. My hunch is we are at a pivotal point where companies have discovered how smart phones and tablets are here to stay and hunters and shooters are definitely using them.
- Find the handful or so of new products that will be creating the most post-SHOT Show buzz. This may sound easy, but each year it seems more challenging to determine what product truly has “legs” and will take off in the marketplace.
- Measure the industry pulse. Much like a physician who observes and listens, I think it’s important as a communicator to monitor the overall health of the industry by being at the epicenter of its activity…and then report on it.
- Key in on products that enable increased enjoyment for older sportsmen. Seriously, I think older hunters and shooters are often forgotten and that’s why they eventually drop from the ranks sooner than necessary. Now that I am pushing past 50 I seem to better appreciate advancing age and what limitations it does to the body.
- Discover products that are oddball or strangely unusual. It’s always worthwhile to poke fun at what some folks think will sell in the marketplace.
- Look for industry trends and subsequently report on them.
There you go. That’s my goals short list for SHOT. Let’s here some of the goals you have for next week in Vegas!
©2014 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.