The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) will expand to include exhibit space in Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Conference Center in 2020, adding Caesars Forum the following year. It’s the firearm industry’s biggest event worldwide, has been held in the city’s Sands Expo Center since 2010 and has grown to become Sin City’s 7th largest annual event, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) hosts the annual, four-day trade show, which was first held in St. Louis, MO, in 1979 to a modest crowd of 5,600. In 2017, 64,000 attended. The number of exhibitors increased from 290 to 1,850 in the same period, and companies on the waiting list to get in and showcase their wares continues to grow—1,000 turned away this year alone, one of the main reasons for expansion.
NSSF Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Dolnack told the Review-Journal, “Not only can’t we get companies off the waiting list, but we can’t let other companies expand their presence…That is frustrating for them as well as for us.”
The SHOT show occupied 640,000 square feet in 2017 and added 10,000 to its floor space in January. By 2021—with the addition of the two facilities—the figure will increase to 950,000 square feet, allowing roughly 25 percent more exhibitors to reserve their booth spot.
Although the show—now the 19th largest trade show in the nation—is open only to manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and members of the media, economic impact to the Las Vegas region is $90 million. Members of the industry from every state and more than 100 nations attend annually, scouring the nearly 13 miles of aisles for the latest gear.
The SHOT Show will continue to be anchored at the Sands Convention Center at least until 2027. Next year’s event takes place Jan. 22 to 25.