Jim Braaten

Jim Braaten lives near Kenyon, Minn., and has been an avid outdoorsman for more than 35 years. He lives on the family farm that was first settled by his ancestors 152 years ago. He has been an outdoors writer and photographer, and he owns a business producing and marketing calendars.

SHOT Show gathers hunting's newest and best products

Posted by: Jim Braaten under Equipment Updated: January 17, 2010 - 5:23 PM

Imagine a trade show with approximately 1,800 display booths requiring a person to walk over 13 miles just to see everything.   Now, imagine how this industry-only show (not open to the public) has achieved such great popularity it draws excited exhibitors and attendees from all 50 states, including over 75 countries worldwide.

There must be something special going on, huh?   Indeed, the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) is no ordinary trade show and the doors are about to open for this year.

Ever since SHOT’s beginning back in 1979, it has grown into the biggest shooting sports and hunting showcase of its kind found anywhere in the world.   In fact, Tradeshow Week, the trade-show industry’s premier journal, has in recent years ranked the SHOT Show within the top 25 largest trade shows found in the U.S. and Canada.

As I look back, I recall attending my first SHOT Show in 1989 when it was then held in Dallas, Texas.   I’m pleased to say this year marks my 20th SHOT having only missed shows held in Atlanta, Georgia (1999) and in Orlando, Florida (2009).   All I can say is it just keeps getting bigger, better and more exciting every year.

On display at SHOT will be thousands of new hunting and shooting-related products each hoping to make an impact very soon on retailer shelves.   Truth is, if you’ve developed a gadget or some other idea for the outdoor industry this trade show is almost a must attend.   It’s also become a must attend for the nearly 60,000 retail store product buyers and the 1,500 media folks who annually show up.

So, what will be this year’s big new outdoor product for sportsmen?   How will the shooting sports industry’s mood be looking ahead to President Obama’s second year in the White House?   Which outdoor companies will emerge with hot products and which ones will fold due to the on-going stress of a very challenging economy?

These questions and much more will be answered in less than 48 hours when the doors open at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas kicking off the 32nd annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show for 2010.

I’ll be micro-blogging as I walk SHOT this week (January 19–22) on my personal blog (www.SportsmansBlog.com) as well as posting quick comments on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/jim7226   Please follow along and feel free to interact with any questions or comments.

Just keep in mind things happen at a very fast pace during SHOT Show week.   I’ve heard it said that during the four days this outdoor show runs if your goal is to visit every booth, you have approximately 22 seconds of time for snoop and discovery with each exhibitor.   Obviously, one person can’t cover it all, but as my sore feet will attest each evening back in the hotel room…I intend to give it my best attempt.

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