We won’t be at Media Day at the Range on Monday, but that doesn’t mean SHOT Show 2021 won’t be busy for all of us.
As is our longstanding policy, we will not be publishing any wires on Monday, January 18. But this year’s observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday will be decidedly different from any others in our history.
Next Monday, we’ll all be in our homes, not standing in whatever weather Nevada decides to dial up for us as we attend the largest pre-SHOT Show event, Media Day at the Range. We have been there in shirtsleeve weather, near cyclonic winds and freezing cold temperatures. But we showed up to walk the more than mile of range positions (literally) to make certain we weren’t missing anything really important before SHOT Show kicked off the next day.
But the absence of Media Day at the Range doesn’t mean we aren’t covering new products on Monday. All week long, we’re going to be holding video calls and one-on-one interviews in order to bring you the same kind of insight we’ve worked to provide twenty times in the past.
We’re also working with the NSSF to bring virtual attendees insights into special events they might want to consider attending each day. While this year’s SHOT is different in many ways, it does offer every attendee the option to pick and choose which product announcements, press conferences or SHOT University session they want to attend.
We all know there’s nothing like the energy of a “live” trade-only event to get the business juices flowing, but one week into what is a virtual trade show season, there are still plenty of reasons to get excited about new products, potential show “deals” and being able to actually go through the virtual booths with the efficiency of a search engine. Travel time is nearly instantaneous, too.
And a little housekeeping for attendees. NSSF tells us log-ins were sent to all attendees and media this week, so everyone should check their email for them. If you’re in the industry, didn’t get a log-in and want to attend, you can visit this webpage (https://shotshow.org/shot-show-on-demand-overview/ and fill out the form at the bottom. The registration officials will look them over and let you know if you’re approved. Here’s a word of caution: SHOT is still a trade-only digital event. Trade-only means exhibitors, buyers and attendees.
If you’re an attendee/media and have questions, there’s a live Q&A Session today at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. If you’re an exhibitor with questions, there’s one for you at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. Those Q&As will give some background on how to use the platform and answer questions.
If you’ve not checked it out yet, there are lots of ways to use it. And next week (Monday-Wednesday) SHOT University will be underway, and there will be Retailer Seminars on Thursday and Friday. You’ll need to register to attend, but you can do that at: https://shotshow.org/shot-show-on-demand-education/.
There won’t be the “normal” crowds, jostling, and maneuvering for everything from a place to talk to a dinner reservation. Those elements can’t be created virtually. But we’re realizing they’re important to any longtime SHOT attendee.
As we go into the weekend, we have one bit of very good news out of Washington. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has finalized their rule to end discrimination by financial service providers against the firearms industry. Under the new rule, banking and credit decisions must be based on credit worthiness and financial risk assessment for “all legal businesses.”
“NSSF has championed fair access to financial services for the firearm and ammunition industry,” says NSSF Senior VP and General Counsel, Larry Keane, saying the new regulation should be the “end of unfair and politically-motivated discriminatory banking institutions that have a legal duty to service all legal businesses.”
“The rule will ensure large financial institutions that are supported by taxpayer-funded resources like insurances must provide fair and equal access to services based on their objective financial creditworthiness, and not based on ‘woke’ political considerations.”
There’s absolutely no doubt that the discrimination existed. As we reported during the Obama administration, many firearms and component companies found themselves denied new credit or, in more extreme cases, told they needed to find new banks.
A small bit of good news. We’re expecting a lot of good news about what’s ahead in the outdoor business next week.
As always, we’ll keep you posted.
— Jim Shepherd