All the trade show booths have been taken down and packed away or moved to the next show. The sales reps, marketing managers and manufacturers have returned home. The 39th Annual SHOT Show is over, which means the selling season is just getting started.
Walking through the massive 630,000 square feet of show space, we were able to get a quick pulse of what many hunting and outdoor brands are focusing on for 2017. Most companies are trying to expand their customer base by reaching out to the growing market of gear enthusiasts. These are younger consumers who are always looking for the latest and greatest in equipment to help them fulfill their desire to connect with the outdoors.
The topic on everyone’s mind was how President Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress and Senate would transform gun control policy in the United States. Important issues such as national concealed carry reciprocity, legalizing silencers and NICS background reform will obviously influence consumer purchase decisions in the next few years—to what degree, no one is certain.
With spring approaching, consumers are heading back to the shooting ranges and open fields. Most of the brands we spoke with are revising their marketing strategies to reflect the current mood of the outdoor consumer, which is very positive right now.
If their optimism is any indication, 2017 should be a very good year.