The UK and Europe’s premier trade and retail shooting show returns to the NEC on the 15-17 February. More than ever, international brands are looking to make the British Shooting Show their home with areas such as Rifle Focus set return in the new venue.
The show will create a social hub as well as an arena for buying and selling and, as such, it is increasingly common for companies to bring product releases to the NEC rather than waiting an extra month for IWA.
For three days the entire shooting industry, from the smaller and newer company’s to the well-known market giants, all come together to present visitors with an enormous ‘shop window’ displaying the finest quality products covering all disciplines of shooting.
The Great British Shooting Show is already well established as “The Jewel in the Crown” of the shooting show calendar; bringing together the shooting industry and the shooting community under one roof.
The warm and friendly atmosphere created has made this Europe’s largest and most popular event of its kind. Over 600 manufacturers, distributors and retailers will be showcased, with visitors offered every conceivable shooting related product and covering all disciplines.
Visitors can see a vast range of shotguns, rifles, pistols, air rifles, airsoft, optics, night vision and thermal imaging equipment, hunting knives, bushcraft, wildfowling, gundogs, gamekeeping hall, country clothing & footwear. Spread across three enormous exhibition halls there is also the opportunity to see ammunition and reloading equipment, historical arms collection, gunsmith and engraving demonstrations, arena displays, shooting associations and schools.
The industry’s leading brands will be on hand to service the requirements of shooting enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. Among the exhibitors, there will be over 50 international stands with private office suites, with some hosting corporate entertainment functions. There will also be over 170 trade-only exhibitors. The ambition is to recreate the combination consumer-trade show that proved so popular in 2018.
To ensure that success, organisers work closely with exhibitors, promoting and marketing their company and products throughout the year to ensure the maximum benefits of the show. They have created a platform to support the gun industry, including shops, shooting grounds and distributors, and promote all disciplines of shooting in the UK.
With the move to the NEC, the show has increased by almost a full third again in size from its original Stoneleigh footprint. Last year saw the greatest number of manufacturers ever to attend, along with many of the industry’s leading distributors. 2019 is already poised to shatter that record. The increased scale of the show, coupled with increasing international focus means many exhibitors are upgrading their presence to fit the setting.
Visitors can expect to see a lot of huge IWA-style stands. In previous years there have also been dedicated area for gamekeeping, gundogs, rifles as the UK looks to match the behemoth German event. Hosting a show on such as scale means that it’s now even more important for exhibitors and visitors that stand layouts follow a logical order and are grouped in specific areas within the halls.
The move the NEC aimed to tackle this issue and also makes travelling to the show much easier. Its central location means that 75 per cent of the UK is within a three-hour drive, and on arrival, parking will be free for BSS visitors.
If the thought of navigating the UK’s beleaguered road network doesn’t fill you with joy, there are also 43 direct rail routes from around the country straight into the NEC; the entrance to the British Shooting Show is a two-minute walk from the platform at Birmingham International. For those travelling from abroad, there are over 140 direct flights into Birmingham International Airport from European destinations, as well as direct flights from the USA.
Again, the NEC is only 90 seconds from the terminal, so the ease of access from international destinations could not be easier. As always, the British Shooting Show will provide the first major platform of the year for manufacturers and distributors to unveil their latest products, so expect dramatic launch events and exciting new technologies.
With company news so often kept under wraps, in many cases GTN will be at the front of the line to get the first glimpse of what the big names have to offer in 2019. We look forward to seeing you there.