Or Something Like That!
If you’ve never been to the annual NSSF Shot Show – the epicenter of all things firearms – it could be a bit difficult to comprehend. Imagine an NFL stadium’s worth of gun enthusiasts from across the country and around the world crammed in to three floors of a hotel convention center along with hundred of booths containing tons of the latest and greatest guns, gear and gadgets for four days. It could well be heaven.
Now imagine you’re a new company from St. George, Utah, exhibiting at Shot Show for the first time. You’re trying to reach more than 68,000 people, including gun owners, dealers, buyers and The Media, and convince them that your products are worthy of their attention, their trust and their hard-earned money. And imagine that every one of your competitors, including all of the industry giants, is determined to do the exact same thing. It could well be… the other place.
So, claiming that Cobalt Kinetics stormed Shot Show 2015 might be a slight exaggeration. It’s probably more accurate to say we were caught up in a Perfect Storm – thrown in at the deep end of the ocean amid heaving waves of challenge and almost limitless opportunity.
Actually, it’s a minor miracle that we even made it to Shot Show at all. We started designing and developing the B.A.M.F. from a clean sheet of paper only eights months before Shot Show. In the final weeks before the show, we had all hands on deck, working around the clock to perfect our first production models. The ink was still drying on our business cards when we finally got our booth space.
And when we say “booth space,” we mean a 10 by 10-foot postage stamp buried way in the back of the jam-packed first floor of the Sands Convention Center. While some of the competition had sprawling, state-of-the-art, multi-level tradeshow Taj Mahals, our humble little booth made Abe Lincoln’s log cabin look like The White House.
Well, it’s written that David slew Goliath. “They” say size doesn’t matter. “They” also say that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. As it turned out, we were both lucky and good.
Our participation in Range Day – a much smaller, but no less important event that took place the day before Shot Show officially opened to the public – was a huge win for Cobalt Kinetics. We met with dozens of journalists, dealers and buyers. We talked about our groundbreaking, precision-machined B.A.M.F. And they Tweeted and posted their friends and colleagues, telling them to visit our booth at Shot Show. Man, did they ever.
From the time the Shot Show doors opened on the first day until they closed on the last day, we hosted hundreds of curious enthusiasts who were seriously interested in learning more about our firearms, holding our firearms, being photographed with our firearms and buying our firearms.
By the middle of the second day, most of us had nearly lost our voices, but the smiles on the faces of the Cobalt Girls were as radiant as ever. Then, there were the after-hours “industry networking parties” where more relationships were made and more deals were done. But absolutely no alcohol was consumed.
In the end, we were all a bunch of exhausted, but ecstatic zombies. Shot Show 2015 was an unqualified and immense success. It focused loads of positive industry and media attention on Cobalt Kinetics and our products. It established Cobalt Kinetics as a new, but credible player in the massive firearms marketplace. It launched the B.A.M.F as a serious contender for supremacy in the ultra-competitive AR market.
And it proved that a small company with a mission to design and build the finest firearms available could make a big impression on the people, businesses and even governments who want to buy such products. Yes, we received orders for literally thousands of B.A.M.F.s at Shot Show.
Thanks to everyone who helped us weather the Perfect Storm and helped make our first Shot Show so satisfying and successful. We hope to see you all next year.