SHOT Show 2018 Puts the Crosshairs on Education


By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for InCyberDefense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

The SHOT Show in Las Vegas, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, ran until January 26. It is the only business-to-business event for the shooting, hunting and outdoor markets.

More than 65,000 attendees are expected to attend the three-day show, which is managed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). The NSSF’s mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.

Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers.

SHOT Show President Pays Respectful Tribute to 2017 Shooting Victims

On the NSSF homepage, President Steve Sanetti noted: “This year, we meet respectfully in the shadow of the recent tragedy at Mandalay Bay, with all the special challenges that horrific event brings to the show. Mindful of those challenges yet recognizing the rightful place that the lawful commerce in firearms for law-abiding citizens holds in our American democracy, we are determined to begin the new year by putting our best foot forward.”

The SHOT Show draws military, law enforcement and homeland security professionals, who get the chance to test new equipment to make more informed buying decisions. Attendees also have the chance to take part in educational presentations.

SHOT Show Offers Multiple Information and Education Opportunities

The Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) specializes in protection measures and their tactical execution. SHOT Show participants get the opportunity to learn from leading industry training organizations, such as the National Tactical Officers Association and product manufacturers.

Upon completion of the program, LEEP participants receive a Certificate of Attendance confirming their course participation. Back at their home offices, participants use this certificate document the training they’ve received.

The Retailer Seminars take place throughout the SHOT Show. Topics for these seminars are developed from inquiries and feedback received from businesses and a special retail advisory council during the previous year. These seminars examine important industry challenges, better management practices and ways to make attendees’ businesses stand out from their competitors.

SHOT Show University is the premier educational event for the shooting sports and hunting industries. This year’s day-long program features two keynotes: Julie Golob’s “Leadership through Influence” and John O’Leary’s “On Fire: The Seven Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life.” SHOT Show University has four education tracks (Retailing 101, Master’s Class, Range Operation and Compliance) with 16 different courses.

Executive Management Seminar Features Keynote Speaker Allen B. West

The Executive Management Seminar took place on Monday, January 22, the day before the show officially opened. The seminar covered management techniques and business practices by leading authorities. Among the topics discussed were:

  • How to thrive in a changing market
  • Cultivating your leadership skills
  • Workforce development
  • Avoiding derailment
  • Improving mental toughness to make better decisions and hone your business action plans

Former Florida Congressman and Retired Army Lt. Col. Allen B. West delivered the final keynote address of the Executive Management Seminar. West discussed workforce development and leadership. His 22-year career in the U.S. Army and his experience as a Congressman formed the basis for his spirited, high-energy address.

West spoke about how true leaders take responsibility, rather than credit, and advised his listeners to think of all employees as stakeholders in an organization. He also advised the audience to keep employees informed by sending out a leadership note every week, with a quick summation of the week’s accomplishments and expectations for the next week.

SHOT Show Offers Industry Updates as Well as Educational Opportunities

SHOT Show offers everyone a chance to learn. Many professionals attend for the structured education and yearly industry updates.

In addition, law enforcement officers and federal agents come to SHOT Show to learn new ideas in tactical deployment and officer protestation techniques. There are talks about current threat trends in law enforcement.

There are many reasons to attend these industry conventions. One often forgotten benefit are the questions and discussions that provoke new thinking – and new products.