Retailer’s Toolbox/SHOT Business

A Home-Run Lineup of 2018 SHOT Show Retailer Education

By John McNamara, NSSF Senior Director, Retailer Services

As the Senior Director of Retailer Services for NSSF, I and my team spend months curating the topics for SHOT Show University and SHOT Week’s Retailer Seminars, and then recruiting top-level speakers who can pass on their subject-matter expertise to our retailers and range owners. Both educational forums are always sell-outs (with many of the Retailer Seminars at standing-room only), and they both have overwhelmingly positive reviews post-show. That makes each year hard to improve one—but we think we did just that with the 2018 lineup.

SHOT Show University

As always, there are four learning tracks to SHOT Show University: ATF Compliance, Retailer 101, Range Operations and our advanced Master’s Class. Anyone can participate either fully in a dedicated track or pick and choose the session across the tracks that best suit their needs.

  • ATF Compliance—This track is a great one for startup FFLs and recently on-boarded FFL counter staff and records keepers who will regularly hand form 4473s and A&D books. It is also a great refresher for experienced FFLs. All four sessions will be moderated by NSSF Compliance Consultant Team Members Wally Nelson and Harry McCabe and include:
    • o The 4473 and You—9:45-10:45 a.m.
    • o The Next Piece of the Compliance Puzzle: The A&D book—11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
    • o Winning the ATF inspection—1:00-2:00 p.m.
    • o NFA Compliance—2:15-3:15 p.m.
  • Retailing 101—A track designed for FFLs of all experience levels from startup to well-established, this track focuses on best business practices. Sessions include:
    • o Dealer Liability for Firearms-Related Injuries—9:45-10:45 a.m.—moderated by Kutak Rock, LLP’s Joe Kavan.
    • o Buying vs. Leasing: Everything in Life is Negotiable—11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Moderated by small-business expert Robbie Brown.
    • o Technologies, Trends, Services and Tools Every FFL Needs to know—1:00-2:00 p.m. Moderated by technology consultant Gene Marks.
    • o Evaluate the Health of Your Business—2:15-3:15 p.m. Moderated by small-business expert Robbie Brown.
  • Range Operations—Whether you’re a veteran range operator, looking to establish your first or adding on and expanding your current firearms range, this is the place you want to be. Sessions include:
    • o New Range Technologies—9:45-10:45 a.m. Moderated by veteran firearms retail expert and NSSF Range Committee Doug VanderWoude.
    • o Evolution of the Modern Range—11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Moderated by the managing member of NexGen Range Consulting and NSSF Range Action Specialist Team Member Jeff Swanson.
    • o Growing Your Membership by Harnessing the Power of Technology—1:00-2:00 p.m. Moderated by EZFacilty Product Manager Mike Vidal and best-selling author and membership expert Erik Charles Russell.
    • o Data Collection for Small Businesses—2:15-3:15 p.m. Moderated by professional range consultant Bryan Stear.
  • Master’s Class—Designed for established retailers and range owners, especially those who’ve “seen it all, done it all,” this track features four sessions sure to innovate and invigorate, including:
    • o Leadership Through Influence—9:45-10:45 a.m. Moderated by Pete Smith, professional development coach and owner of the leadership development firm SmithImpact.
    • o New Media Marketing—11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Moderated by internationally sought-after technology and social media speaker Frank Furness, CSP.
    • o Maintaining Retail Relevancy—1:00-2:00 p.m. Moderated by AcuSport’s Director of Retail Development/Business Consultant Hank Yacek.
    • o Your Exit: How Smart Business Owners Are Rapidly Building Their Organizational Value—2:15-3:15 p.m. Moderated by perennial SHOT Show University speaker favorite Gene Marks.

Taking place Monday, January 22, the day before the show opens, the forum begins with an impactful keynote address by shooting superstar and industry ambassador Julie Golob, who will be discussing employee engagement and retention. Closing out the 2018 SHOT Show University will be keynote speaker John O’Leary, author of ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life, which became an instant No. 1 National Bestseller when it sold 30,000 copies in its first week of publication. Some people know how to grab your attention. Others know how to grab your heart. John O’Leary does both—and once you hear him speak, you’ll know there’s almost nothing in your life you can’t overcome.

Retailer Seminars

We know that not everyone can attend SHOT Show University, just as we know there’s more opportunities to learn than we can possibly offer in the University’s single day. The solution to both is our lineup of Retailer Seminars taking place throughout Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of SHOT Show:

  • Tuesday, January 23
    • o Navigating the NICS Background System—9:00-10:00 a.m. Presented by FBI NICS professionals Marc Chamberlin and Eric Moore.
    • o Using YouTube and Digital Paid Ads to Grow Your Small Business—10:30-11:30 a.m. Presented by technology expert Ron Weber.
    • o Black Guns Matter: Engaging Urban Communities in the 2nd Amendment Fight—1:00-2:00 p.m. Presented by Solutionary Hip Hop artist, founder of Black Guns Matter, and 2nd Amendment advocate Maj Toure.
    • o Handling the Good and Bad of Today’s Media—2:30-4:30 p.m. Presented by Baldwin Media Marketing, LLC owner Ann Baldwin and Patriot Outdoors President Stephen Powell.
  • Wednesday, January 24
    • o Building a Company Culture That Sets You Apart From the Competition—9:00-10:00 a.m. Presented by Blackstone Shooting Sports owner Taylor Hayden.
    • o Negligent Entrustment of a Firearm: A Problem You Don’t Want to Have—10:30-11:30 a.m. Presented by NSSF Compliance Consultant Team Member Wally Nelson and Renzulli Law Firm partner Chris Renzulli.
    • o The 21st Century Role of the Lawyer in Retail Firearm Compliance—1:00-2:00 p.m. Presented by FFLGuard National Coordinating Counsel Chris Chiaffulo.
    • o ATF Town Hall Meeting—2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 25
    • o Hiring the Productive and Legal Way—9:00-10:00 a.m. Presented by human resources consultant Wendy Christie and staff management expert Thomas “Mack” Brennan.
    • o Understanding the Current Customer Base via NSSF Research—10:30-11:30 a.m. Presented by Jim Curcuruto, NSSF Director, Research & Market Development.
    • o Operation Secure Store—1:00-2:00 p.m. Presented by NSSF Security Consultant Team Member Bill Napier and Chief of ATF Special Operations Division Thomas Chittum.
    • o Integrated Operations and Compliance in the Small to Mid-Size Manufacturing Sector—2:30-3:30 p.m. Presented by Orchid Advisors CEO Jon Rydberg and Philip Milks, Esq.

We encourage everyone reading SHOT Business to visit, click in the “Education” heading at the top of the page, and peruse the complete session details and speaker biographies for both SHOT Show University and our Retailer Seminars. When you’ve completed registration to attend the show, just log in to your account at and add the courses you need to your shopping cart. Many sessions are near sell-out now, as is SHOT Show University, so it’s important to make your reservations now. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!


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