Load up on ideas and insights through educational tracks to advance your business. Build and strengthen your industry networks as you explore the EXPO floor and tap into exhibitors’ latest product innovations, services and show specials!
Sunday, July 10 (Travel Day)
8:00am – 5:00pm | Exhibit Hall Open for Exhibitors Only / Exhibitor Booth Setup
8:00am – 5:00pm | Attendee/Exhibitor Registration
Monday, July 11
7:00am | Exhibit Hall Open for Exhibitors Only
7:30am – 5:30pm | Attendee / Exhibitor Registration
7:15am – 8:00am | Breakfast
8:00am – 8:45am | Education Sessions
Frank Medina & Jeff Swanson
Starting or purchasing a business in the shooting sports industry requires a lot of capital. If you need investors to make your project work, you are not alone. Most projects require multiple investors and can have several different structures. This session explains ways to go about raising funds from investors to help get your project off the ground and give it a higher chance of success long-term. We explore pros and cons of different investment structures and discuss ways to avoid common mistakes that can be avoided with adequate planning. Examples are discussed to illustrate how investor funding choices we make early on can have a lasting impact on your business.
The last 15 years have been a very tumultuous time for the firearm and shooting range industry. During peaks the profits come handily, and it becomes easy to lose sight of good financial business practices. This leads to the valleys that are often devastating to businesses that just last year were rolling in profit. This session will teach you the benefits of focusing on overall profit margins versus sales volume to assist in continued profitability in a reduced sales environment.
9:00am – 9:45am | Education Sessions
Moderated by Frank Medina – Panelists include Dominic Knight (Ascentium Capital), Matt Goers (First Bank SBA Lending), Bryan Stear (Shoot Indoors / Taper Range)
If private money is not an option, you may need a business loan. Discover what most lenders will require for a down payment and loan applications for range financing. This interactive panel will feature two lenders (private and SBA) and a range owner who has lived through the experience.
The NSSF reports an estimated 5.4 million people in the United States became first-time gun buyers last year. They account for nearly 30% of all firearm purchases in 2021. It is imperative that your range effectively engage these new customers while also encouraging your core clientele to return on a regular basis. In this session, we will review what you need to consider when designing your range. It is essential, today more than ever, that your range is comfortable and highly functional. Whether starting a new construction project or considering an upgrade, it’s important to recognize that your customers demand a captivating design, clean air, bright lighting, user-friendly controls, and interactive equipment. In this high-level course, we’ll help you navigate the daunting task of understanding your needs to create a modern, practical, and profitable range business.
10:00am – 10:15am | Morning Break
10:15am – 11:00am | Education Sessions
Doug VanderWoude & Sarah Parkhurst
Looking to increase your margin without adding yet another additional expense? This session will cover various visual merchandising secrets, that you’ll be able to take home and apply right away! Find out what works for a 225,000 sq foot retailer that will also work for you and what won’t!! Plus, tips from over 500 shooting sports retail visits. Visual merchandising utilizes tools, art elements and design principles to establish a store ambience or atmosphere to create displays that increase your average ticket, conversion rate and overall margin. Making enough money already and don’t need extra margin, increased conversion rates or higher average tickets? Come to learn how visual merchandising can be your silent salesperson that doesn’t take time off or ask for a raise.
Ben Brickweg & Nick Hoffman
No matter how much you love (or hate your business), the reality is you will exit it someday. Join Ben Brickweg, serial entrepreneur, attorney, author, and renowned business exit strategy expert and Nick Hoffman, branding and marketing expert with over 20 years of experience in the firearm industry for a discussion on how you can take action today to set your business up for an ideal exit when the time is right. They’ll cover the basics of what your business is worth today, what a buyer looks for, and some easy-to-implement branding and operational fixes that make your business more valuable and sellable.
11:15am – 12:00pm | Education Sessions
Learn how email marketing can create a buzz, get found online and guide more customers through your doors using SEO, and encourage sales while reducing confusion through dynamic design and messaging.
John Clark & Others
Suicides at ranges or where guns are sold is a rare but devastating event. With the majority of all firearms deaths involving suicide, NSSF and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) have developed a Suicide Prevention Toolkit to help understand risk factors and warning signs related to suicide, know where to find help and encourage secure firearm storage options.
In this session you’ll hear from the NSSF’s Crisis Response Consultant, representatives from AFSP and the VA and actual Retail and Range Owner/Operators about suicide prevention, training and support provided to retailers and ranges when the unfortunate occurs. The presenters will provide insights on what to do if you’re concerned about someone’s mental health and how to have a brave conversation. You’ll gain an understanding of the AFSP-NSSF program and the resources available that can help prepare you and your staff to recognize warning signs related to suicide and how to help someone who is going through a difficult time. The program also helps you and your staff prepare to handle immediate concerns following an onsite or customer-involved suicide. You will receive access to resources and materials that will help you implement policies and programs that support prevention efforts.
12:00pm – 1:00pm | Lunch
1:00pm – 2:00pm | Education Sessions
Attendees will get a crash course on the current state of consumer financing and how they can leverage industry trends to grow their business. Hear from industry experts on how technology has been resetting consumer expectations and transforming buying habits. Business owners will learn how financing can grow their business while avoiding common pitfalls and reputational risks.
Alex Hague & Bryan Stear
There is a ton of new tech now available that ranges have been slow to adopt. Discover some easy to implement solutions from the perspective of two range operators who will walk you through the pros and cons of some solutions and provide actual customer and operator feedback. Effective solutions don’t always need to be complicated or expensive. This talk will cover options for revamping existing ranges and outfitting new builds. Talking points include:
* How target cameras improve efficiency and appeal
* Benefits of a projection gaming system
* Pros/cons of automated (self-service) range check-ins
* Marketing uses of digital displays inside the range
* Build considerations to improve customer experience and accept future tech
* The relationship between cost, profit, and customer experience
2:00pm – 6:30pm | Explore the EXPO Floor
3:15pm – 4:00pm | Education Session
Memberships can provide consistent and predictable income for a shooting range. It is important that we build a structure that is both appealing to your customer base as well as supportive of growth across all sources of revenue at your facility. In this session, we will discuss common membership mistakes and how to avoid them to ensure your membership department is set up for success.
4:15pm – 5:00pm | Education Session
The Training and Education business inside of shooting ranges not only carries the highest margin potential, it also represents one of the largest customer lead sources. As well, if done correctly it can improve customer retention and visit frequency. Learn how to find new students and convert them into lifelong customers through consistent training programs. Additionally, learn how to build training programs that create flexible training journeys for your students that includes classroom, range and simulation training and leads to range usage and retail product sales.
* Capitalize on training journeys
* How to integrate simulation into your training
* Building consistency into your training programs
* Recruit/Train/Retain quality instructors
* Recruit/Train/Retain lifelong students
* RSOs driving to training
* Instructors driving students to the next class
* Entertrainment can still be life saving training
* Instructors can teach a serious topic w/out taking themselves too seriously
5:00pm – 6:30pm | Evening Cocktail Reception
Tuesday, July 12
7:00am | Exhibit Hall Open for Exhibitors Only
7:30am – 5:30pm | Attendee Registration
8:30am – 5:30pm | Explore the EXPO Floor
10:15am – 11:00am | Education Session
This training focuses on the differences between how men and women shop, but the lessons can be applied to all new shooters, men and women. It will explain how money is silently leaving your stores and ranges simply by not understanding the dynamics of female shoppers. This class will provide examples and strategies of how your business can increase its revenue.
11:15am – 12:00pm | Education Session
Jon Rydberg & Shaun Phelan
Point-of-Sale (POS) software offers retailers far more than an electronic transaction processing. In year’s past, income was generated from buying inventory and selling it locally in a gun store. Today, retailers are quickly migrating to cloud-based solutions that offer industry-wide integrations focused on a virtual array of endless inventory while attracting consumers through a much wider net. This session covers the most sought-after retail applications for achieving these objectives:
* Making accessible a complete universe of products with distributor catalogues
* Displaying and synchronizing in-store inventory on my webstore
* Leveraging live distributor inventory feeds for in-store and online purchase
* Understanding consumer-requested special orders and drop shipping
* Expanding consumer access by posting in-store inventory on Guns.com, Everest, GunBroker, AmmoReady and others
* Using loyalty and membership billing programs to attract and retain consumer interest
12:00pm – 2:00pm | Lunch
1:30pm – 2:15pm | Education Session
John (JC) Clark & Wally Nelson
The ATF has been directed by the Biden Administration and the leadership in the Department of Justice to implement a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy targeting what they are calling “Rogue Gun Dealers”. Unfortunately, with this new policy the expectations for FFLs has been set even higher where compliance is concerned, to the point where even a single violation could create a scenario for licensure revocation. With ATF back in the field conducting inspections, being prepared for their arrival after nearly 2 years of increased demand, it’s critical that you and your team are prepared for immediate action and understand the implications to your business when what were once violations that were not necessarily revocation considerations are now being viewed as revocable offenses.In this session you’ll hear from NSSF Compliance Consultant Team Members who are currently supporting Federal Firearm Licensees that are actively attempting to save their FFL and livelihoods due to receiving a Notice of Revocation. Learn the steps FFLs need to take now and during the inspection process that will help to ensure you have the ability to mitigate violations and strategically respond to violations that were uncovered during an inspection to help you avoid adverse action that could impact your license.
2:30pm – 3:15pm | Education Session
Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay! Let’s discover, and master, the platforms that are right for your business by understanding the importance of social media, establishing your brand standards, and learning how and why it affects your retail sales. With an effective social strategy, you will be able to reach your community and beyond through discovering your brand’s voice and utilizing key features on the most effective social media platforms. In this session, you will learn a variety of techniques that will elevate your social media presence and be able to walk away with a clear vision of how to implement social media in your marketing plan.
3:30pm – 4:15pm | Education Session
This session is specifically for the training division with some success but is still underperforming and not reaching its fullest potential. Learn how to revitalize and expand course content to be able to offer not just new courses but reachable progressive goals for clients. Learn how to create not just a class but a series of continuing classes that keep the customer active and engaged in all aspects of your business.
4:15pm – 5:00pm | Education Session
The goal of any business is to give customers a lasting impression to keep them coming back. Thriving ranges and retailers lay the foundation for success with the hiring of its rock star employees and the training of employees who can become rock stars. During this session we’ll cover our approach to elevating staff, customer service and the overall customer experience.Areas we’ll cover include:
* Happy Employees = Happy, Repeat Customers
Wednesday, July 13
8:30am – 11:30am | Explore the EXPO Floor
8:45am – 9:30am | Education Session
It’s cheaper to retain customers than acquire new ones, building a customer base essential to keep your company afloat. Your customers are now more informed than ever, trying new products and services with greater frequency. How do you capture their attention long enough to build a relationship with them? In this talk, you will learn the secrets to increasing sales through data.
9:45am – 10:30am | Education Session
As trends in all forms of Retail post-COVID are seeing dramatic changes and utilization of “Gently Used” products as a point of not just profits but customer engagement, closing the loop on Used Firearm opportunities has never been a greater opportunity. Acquiring, and more importantly selling, Used Firearms gives the ability to maximize the dividends beyond just profits. By leveraging Used Firearms as an engagement piece both in-store, online, and one-on-one customer relationships Used Firearms can be the centerpiece of a store’s culture.Points addressed:
1) Retail trends in secondhand products across all forms of retail: How closing the loop on product sales by fostering a culture of secondhand goods is a huge future trend.
Give examples of how this trend is becoming the norm in other forms of retail and how this can be applied to the Firearms Industry as well
2) A brief synopsis of why Used Firearms are the “it” area of opportunity for the Firearm Retailer
Looking at sales trends of the past and how they can project future opportunities
3) Conveyances of selling Used Firearms
* In-Store: Leveraging the Used Firearm Space in new ways to foster attention, engagement and community.
* Online: Riding trends to maximize dollars as well as getting rid of stagnant inventory
* Auctions: Using them to maximize profits or get rid of old inventory in creative ways
* Headhunting: Specifics on how to get tactical with buying/selling to specific clients
4) Post purchase and sale tactics to increase Used Firearm volumes both in buying and selling
This topic is important not only to understand the direct selling dynamics of Used Firearms but to see how it can strategically build a high profit center while also tying into current retail trends outside the industry