NSSF Drops Reed Exhibitions

NSSF logoThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) just announced that they have reached an agreement with Reed Exhibitions to terminate the contract which put Reed in charge of managing the SHOT Show.  Reed had managed the show for more than 30 years.  Starting immediately, the NSSF is seeking a new company to manage the 2014 SHOT Show.

As many of you know, Reed Exhibitions made an unusual move earlier in the year when they decided that certain semi-automatic rifles would not be allowed at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show because of their appearance.  The Eastern Sports show is a consumer show not affiliated with the SHOT Show or the NSSF.  The ban of AR-15 rifles, and all other modern sporting rifles, from the show appeared to be a political move on the part of Reed Exhibitions.

As a result of Reed’s banning of certain firearms they deemed inappropriate, more than 100 vendors canceled their appearances.  Reed claimed the cancelations were only a “small percentage” of the total exhibitors, but canceled the event anyway.  The NSSF was displeased by Reed Exhibitions’ decision to single out certain types of common firearms, and stated in a press release that “[The] NSSF is considering all options regarding the management of future SHOT Shows.”

Fortunately for the NSSF, the location for the 2014 SHOT Show is already secured, and the location has been used for several years.  That will undoubtedly ease the transition to a new management company.  However, time is short for a new management company to get up to speed for the event.  January 2014 may seem like a long way off, but it is not for the planning and running of a huge expo.  Hopefully, the NSSF can bring a new team on board quickly.

The upside is a new team might bring new ideas to the table.  While I have not had any major complaints about any of the shows I have attended, there have been some lingering complaints from some about exhibitor space, attendee selection and the choice of show locations.  I don’t expect any serious changes for 2014, but 2015 and beyond might usher in a whole new ball game.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

4 replies on “NSSF Drops Reed Exhibitions”

Glad to hear NSSF pulled the plug on Reed. It was a terribly myopic decision of Reed to exclude MSR’s (AR’s) from the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, and it reeked of political expediency.

What I’m sure Reed did not consider, is the very strong freedoms that the firearms industry expects and demands. The result was that just about every major and minor name in the firearms industry backed out of ESS, and that is what killed that show – and cost that area tens of millions of dollars. A big salute to all those who bravely stood for their principles even at the cost of losing potential contracts and sales.

Considering the market trend for firearms related companies I’d say that decision helped far more than it hurt.

I agree with Richard however; the next SHOT management company had better be running on rocket fuel if they hope to pull off a successful show. NSSF will surely help that along, but potentially less than 7 months to plan a SHOT Show is daunting to say the least.

The new company is making many enemies. They seem rude and unconcerned. I don’t like what the old company did however it was 50 dollars to attend and now it’s 175. Media passes are completely screwed up. Vendors are treated poorly and the new company genuinely doesn’t care. Very disappointed.

Hi Tom,

I had no trouble getting media passes for my crew. Sorry to hear you had problems! The cost for the non-media badges is likely determined by the NSSF and affected by a number of factors. If you are a NSSF member, you should reach out to them and inquire on why they have increased the cost.



Thanks for the fast reply. I applied three weeks ago and allowed normal. I contacted the media office and was told if I used Firefox the registration did not ” pick it up ” I bought airline tickets and hotel rooms for a few folks and asked SHOT Show
Media Registration Customer Service
[email protected] to address it but got nothing but a snarky email stating I waited too long. Bad customer care. Very bad. To make things worse I contacted NSSF for help and they were just as unconcerned. It seems that the non profit is now too big and all about profit. $175 a ticket. Up from 40.

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