June 23, 2022
Finding That “AHA” Moment at the Upcoming NSSF Range-Retailer Business Expo
The annual NSSF Range-Retailer Business ExpoTM, set for July 11-13 in New Orleans, is more than an educational event, and more than a trade show. It’s a blend of the two, seasoned with a generous portion of networking and a dash of innovation. Sometime during the three days of the Expo, there will be a moment when almost everyone who attends thinks, “That’s it! That’s what I need for my business.”
Just ask Wendy Monroe, vice president of 22Three in Lebanon, Ohio.
“There was so much good that came out of last year’s Expo for us!” she said. “The main takeaway that helped me in our day-to-day operations was the help identifying staff strengths and weaknesses and making sure we have the right people in the right roles, not only for employee happiness for but business success as well. The two go hand-in-hand.”
For Estiven Acevedo, Owner of Aces Defense in Danielson, CT, that moment came in the Rushing Ranges booth.
“There were a lot of interesting things at the Expo,” he said. “What was most interesting to me was the design of the Rushing Ranges shooting stations. The shape of their stations changes the need for a bigger ventilation motor. It’s a matter of engineering. By changing the angle of your walls, you reduce the need for horsepower on your motors for ventilation, thereby saving money and energy cost. It was neat to see how technology and engineering can make a range more efficient.”
April Copenhaver, Marketing Manager for Bob’s Little Sports Shop in Glassboro, NJ, zeroed in on the education aspect of the Expo.
“The session we really liked was the one about range memberships,” she said. “We came back and put together a whole thing about updating our memberships because we hadn’t changed them in 20-plus years.”
Copenhaver and firearms manager Ethan Hurtt changed the tiers of their range memberships, made them more user-friendly, and now offer three tiers of membership instead of the two they had before. Because they are a handgun-only range, they had to look for ways to make that aspect of membership more appealing, so they added handgun cleaning to the perks of membership. “We also added free rentals, so members can rent one of our guns for free and use it before they buy,” Copenhaver said.
All of this led to a big increase in the range’s business.
“We’ve gotten a lot of people buying memberships who didn’t before, because now they get a lot of extra benefits,” Copenhaver said.
“We’ve had people buy the top tier membership because it comes with a lot more benefits; it’s more money up front, but they’re getting a ton more stuff on the back end for the whole year. We’ve definitely seen an uptick in people getting the better membership versus the less expensive one because it comes with a lot more stuff they can use throughout the year.”
Mark Gore, owner of Black Wing Shooting Center in Delaware, OH, said he got a lot out of Paul Bastean’s seminar on increasing participation in the training side of the business.
“He discussed how profitable training is to your business,” Gore said. Gore was able to take some ideas from that seminar home with him and apply them to what he’s been doing, with positive results. “That has done a lot of good for our business,” he said.
The 2022 NSSF Range-Retailer Business Expo will have plenty of “aha” moments for both retailers and range operators. Whether you’re interested in range development, retail management, new products or compliance issues, you’ll find something to help your business at the Expo.
NSSF’s Range-Retailer Business Expo will take place July 11-13 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The event will offer three days of high-quality education and networking opportunities, along with an exhibit hall full of vendors specific to your business. Learn more and register at nssf.org/expo.