SHOT Show 2015: An Optimistic New Year and Three Things For Marketers To Watch For

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Epicosity is a full-service marketing firm with expertise in advertising, web development, digital strategy and public relations.
Epicosity is a full-service marketing firm with expertise in advertising, web development, digital strategy and public relations.

Sioux Falls, SD – ( Last week American Sniper topped the list as the number one movie in the country.

Throughout that same week, Las Vegas become the Mecca of the entire Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Industry as the annual Shot Show convention, put on by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) kicked off.

It’s the largest industry exhibition of the year and brings together manufacturers, buyers and media representatives from all over the world.

It was chaos… in the best kind of way.

Throughout the six years we’ve spent attending the show, this was by far the most exciting year in a long time. That wasn’t unique to us, many companies we spoke with share the optimism around what 2015 has in store for them.

Here are the major themes we took away from SHOT Show 2015.

New Products Hope to Smooth a Slow 2014

One common thread that most people in the industry share is the excitement to put 2014 in the rear view mirror.

Sluggish sales have been a topic of conversation throughout the year, yet it has also pushed a great number of manufacturers to focus resources on creating new and innovative product that consumers should be excited about.  For the most part, sales professionals that I talked with have already achieved increased sales commitments from prior year and the team at

Epicosity is looking to bring cutting edge tactics to the table to maximize exposure for everything new, as well as consumers that are looking for great products in 2015.

Mobile Continues to Surge for Shooting Industry Brands

As brands continue to compete in our noisy world, mobile continues to be an important focus.

My interactions with marketing professionals at the show indicated a continued interest in bringing everything mobile (if it’s not already there).Many companies have reiterated what the stats tell us about 2014 being the year that mobile usage surpassing desktop usage. They see their mobile sessions growing year over year and are looking for new ways to not only fit their web content to smaller screens but to also offer new ways to position their brands as resources in a mobile context.

This point was emphasized by the NSSF’s latest and significant improvements to their SHOT Show mobile app which helped attendees navigate more than 1,600 exhibitors, celebrity appearances, events and much more.

Inbound Marketing Efforts = Better Consumer Communication

In this industry especially, brands are their own media outlets.

Many companies we spoke with are recognizing the power of inbound marketing and resource-driven content. Many of them are exploring how to position themselves as the leaders that they are through a strong web content and amplification strategy.

In fact, we have seen some pretty significant shifts in budget allocation to support this.  This is certainly no easy task for an organization because it requires a dedicated team and a focus on developing REAL content that consumers want to engage with while reacting to their feedback.

Although this may be challenging, the result is a better understanding of who your consumer base is, what they truly want and the ability to become a leading voice for your own brand that you control.

Check out our work in the outdoor industry here