Without a doubt, SHOT Show is NSSF’s most important annual industry event, one that truly sets the tone for the months ahead not just for the American firearms industry, but for our global colleagues as well. It is with the latter in mind that we now head for the 2017 IWA OutdoorClassics show.
The European sister to SHOT Show, the IWA OutdoorClassics takes place annually during the first week in March. Hosted by Germany’s historic city of Nuremberg, the show boasts an impressive gathering of manufacturers and buyers from all corners of the globe, with nearly 1,400 exhibitors and nearly 42,000 attendees from 121 countries coming together to do exactly what we do at SHOT Show—network, see the newest products coming to market, discover new opportunities to do business and discuss the challenges our industry faces around the world.
Each year NSSF works to encourage increased attendance at SHOT Show by international industry representatives and connect them with U.S. sellers with buyers looking for ways to expand into new markets. One of the most important components of that work is our ongoing commitment to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyers Program at SHOT Show. This year marked the fifth year we’ve hosted that forum, which works explicitly to connect American manufacturers and distributors with overseas buyers and educate all parties on the ins and outs of importing and exporting firearms and other goods relevant to the firearms trade.
It is with those same goals in mind—making connections and improving business for our industry members—that we head to IWA. NSSF’s booth there (Show Hall 5, Stand 140) has historically produced an upturn in international attendance at SHOT Show and increased interest in import/export opportunities (just one of the reasons NSSF also holds an annual Import/Export Conference each summer). In addition to the IWA booth, NSSF also hosts the Las Vegas Hospitality Suite, located in the NCC Ost/Krakau Room. Sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority this networking space emphasizes the tremendously successful partnership SHOT Show has with the City of Las Vegas, highlighting hotels such as the Venetian/Palazzo, entertainment around town and dozens of services and amenities offered to show attendees and underscoring why SHOT Show more than just a trade show.
In addition to having the opportunity to show off our premier event and the positive attitude our industry is experiencing post-election, NSSF’s presence at IWA is an invaluable opportunity for key members of our staff to meet one on one with European manufacturers, wholesalers, buyers and members of the foreign outdoor press. This face-to-face contact provides us the avenues to open new lines of communication and discover trade opportunities, both of which will be essential to our industry’s continued success in the months and years to come.
We’ll provide you an update of what we saw and learned at IWA once we return. For more information on the show, visit iwa.info.