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June 10, 2019

Top Takeaways from the 2019 Firearms Industry Summit

By NSSF Staff

The National Shooting Sports Foundation hosted more than 160 leading industry professionals, representing all segments of the firearms and ammunition industry, at its 2019 Industry Summit last week at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Those who attended the event heard from dynamic speakers, joined thought-provoking discussions, enjoyed networking opportunities and got an up-close look at current trends and issues our industry is facing.

To kick off the 2019 Industry Summit, NSSF CEO Steve Sanetti led with an inspiring speech about everything our industry does to help our nation solve difficult challenges in order to protect people, individuals’ rights and the safe and fun recreational activity of target shooting. If there’s one thing you can take from his speech, it’s that gun owners care (#GunOwnersCare) about people, which is why they choose firearms ownership and do their best to help educate others who aren’t familiar with firearms.

Decision-Making Mastery

As leaders of our industry, a lot rides on the decisions we make every day. NSSF was thrilled to have leadership expert, business executive, and national bestselling author Michael Veltri present his session “Decision-Making Mastery: How to Deliver Stunning Bottom-Line Results.” Here are some of the top quotes and facts from Veltri.

“We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.”

“How many of you get the opportunity to talk with the industry masters that are here with us today? Take advantage of this time to meet others.”

“How many times a day do we look at our phones. 200 distracting times per day.”

“Decisions in life are like a hand grenade, we either leave it, throw it, or hold it.”


Future of the Industry

Featuring two of our industry’s top executives, the second session provided attendees with an opportunity to submit questions for the CEO panel to answer from their perspective. The session offered a comprehensive look at our industry’s market viability and strategies for future success. Here are some of the top quotes and facts from Chris Barrett, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing President and Jason Vanderbrink, Vista Outdoor President, Ammunition.

“We’re [manufacturers] trying to help the retailers and distributors be healthy.” – Chris Barret

“We have two firearms adopted by the military and we’re just thrilled about it. Every overnight success took decades and nobody really sees that.” – Chris Barrett

“Recreational items can be taken away, it {firearms] are fun, but they are more than that.” – Chris Barrett

“Shooting ammunition isn’t as profitable as hunting ammunition.” – Jason Vanderbrink

“Range bill will be the biggest bill we see in the next 20 years in terms of recruitment. We’re going to say that had the biggest impact for recruitment and consumer demand.” – Jason Vanderbrink

“We’re [Vista Outdoor] a top 20 employer in the State of Minnesota.” – Jason Vanderbrink

“We give back a lot to communities.” – Jason Vanderbrink

“At the end of the day you have to take pride in your company.” – Jason Vanderbrink



The third session “Unmarketing: Stop Marketing, Start Engaging” was presented by Scott Stratten, President of Un-Marketing. His message was that the tried and true ways of marketing have become tired and old, not to mention ineffective. The ability to build relationships and be heard by your market has never been greater, but overwhelming when trying to determine what tools to use. 

“Disruption doesn’t ask permission‬.”


Supply Chain

Drawing on his three decades as a career soldier and logistician at every level, Major General (Ret.) Vincent Boles walked through the links in the world’s largest and most complex supply chain from the port to the Pentagon and highlight four critical issues that will snag/kink your supply chain:

  • Standards you use
  • Systems you put in place to attain those standards
  • Who is in charge of the critical points of intersection?
  • Metrics: leading, lagging . . . what and how you measure

Providing real world examples of what worked, what didn’t, and why – Maj. Gen. Boles laid out a real-world depiction of a supply chain in motion. Here are his best quotes.

“There’s more that unites us than divides us.”

“Hope is not a course of action.”


Gun Media 2.0

Technology continues to cause a seismic shift in the media landscape. Consuming news and video on a mobile device is now the norm for the vast majority of the U.S. population. A panel of shooting sports industry media insiders offered their insight on where we’re headed. Panelists: Barbara Baird, Women’s Outdoor News; Mike Carney, Outdoor Sportsman Group; Derek Evjenth, Carbon Media; Ryan Gresham, Gun Talk Media.


Customer Service: The Convenience Revolution

Today’s customers want a convenient and frictionless experience. Companies like Amazon and Uber disrupted their respective industries by being more convenient. But, you don’t have to disrupt your entire industry. Just disrupt your competition. Learn how to leverage convenience as a powerful way to differentiate yourself from your competition. Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations, shared six compelling strategies to fuel a plan to create convenience for customers.


Drive: How to Gain and Maintain a Competitive Advantage

NASCAR driver Julia Landauer took the Industry Summit audience behind-the-scenes into what enables success in any career. She has experienced success, as well as fought through adversity, gaining knowledge from every experience — and it shows. Via experiential learning and research, Julia explored what every person can do to achieve the success they want.

“I can’t get scared else I can’t drive the car as fast as I need to win the race.”

“Breathing and physical exertion can help calm you down before you go into something you’re afraid of.”

“Think about all of the little factors that you might not be practicing or exercising and figure out a way to work on those.”

“We wouldn’t do what we do without the dozens of people helping us out at the shop.”

“If it’s both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely do it.”


Retail Panel

The final session of the 2019 Industry Summit offered perspective from a diverse mix of independent business owners that have found success in today’s challenging retail environment. They discussed the changing trends impacting their stores and the strategies and tactics that have proven worthy in a rapidly changing retail landscape. Panelists: Hunter Simmons, Simmons Sporting Goods COO; Lindsey Simmons, Simmons Sporting Goods CFO;  Richard Sprague, Sprague’s Sports, Inc. Owner; Hank Yacek, Point of Impact Range and Retail Consulting Owner.


Visiting the U.S. Olympic Training Center

After the sessions ended on Wednesday, more than 40 attendees took the chance to visit the U.S. Olympic Training Center, located in Colorado Springs. The VIP tour was guided by Paralympic athletes Stetson Bardfield and McKenna Dahl. Industry Summit attendees were shown the entire Training Center and even got an opportunity to take some shots and compete with air pistol and air rifle. USA Shooting and NSSF encourage the industry to #RaiseTheFlag and help USA Shooting athletes represent our great country and the shooting sports. The opportunity to see the center was undoubtedly not regretted by the attendees. Take a look at the photos from the tour on Facebook.

Many thanks to the 2019 NSSF Summit Sponsors for showing their industry support and making the event possible!

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