Having worked SHOT myself, I feel there are multiple issues at play here. Some of it can be read between the lines of the presser:
1. It cost a lot of money to attend SHOT. Not just the booth setup. But the logistics, transport of material and downtime of employees.
2. Looking at the current White House administration, it is reasonable to expect more major disruptions at the peak of “flu season” that puts a lot of this stuff in question.
3. The money for SHOT needs to be spent now. Not later. Decisions need to be made now. And is spending that money wise?
4. Vaccine mandates: SIG operations are probably running fine. Whatever the VAX status of people, it’s of no great shakes to the company. Put 140 of these people through airports, shuttles and Vegas hotels? Things could get tough. All that drama for a show that might not come off, or have record low attendance?
5. SHOT show has never been fun for vendors. Filled with a LOT of wasted time and effort. But that inconvenience is usually offset by access to critical decision makers who put in purchase orders. Over the past 18 months, those decision makers have been putting in PO’s without the show circuit. One wonders…
6. See circuit. Most folks here don’t understand there is a circuit. Decisions or indicators about one show, have downstream – upstream effects on other shows. The 2022 outlook for other shows is even worse!
7. The internet vs the trade show model: As I type this, there are hundreds of firearm related videos being uploaded to the internet. It doesn’t cost a million dollars to have those videos made. In most cases, the cost to the company is zero. But people expect those same companies to spend piles and piles of money on an industry trade show, that is MOSTLY filled with people who should never be at that trade show to begin with.
Is SHOT show over? Likely not. But don’t be surprised if more and more companies are wondering if they can get by without it. Or at the very least…take a much needed break. Just because you attended once and had a really good time, doesn’t mean the professional road warriors aren’t majorly over it.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”