Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back from SHOT '10. Mostly alive and mostly well

Wow, what a week! I left for SHOT in Vegas on Monday afternoon, arriving around 8, and left yesterday around three. I spent a whole lot of the intervening hours awake when I probably should have been asleep. I didn't get sick, which is a huge plus.

I don't want this post to end up being a book in length, so I'll just make some notes and comments, and do some more of my not-at-all-famous stream of unconsciousness style of writing. That may prove to be more interesting in the end. I won't go a whole lot into the social gatherings because I don't think more than two of my three readers will care.

The good comes first, I think, because it's more gooder. Our lodgings were pretty sweet. We got hooked up with a suite at The Wyndham Grand Desert resort. One of the moderators at LF has a family member that has a time share there, so we had it for the week. I got the master bedroom, which meant I had a giant king sized bed, my own TV, my own bathroom and a jacuzzi tub. I never did get to use the tub, which was a bummer. I meant to do that on Friday night, but we ended up staying out outrageously late and not getting much sleep before leaving. There were a few other guys staying in the suite, but I definitely got the best room. I should have taken photos. Matter of fact, I didn't take any photos at all. That may or may not have proven to be a good thing. lol!

First and foremost, I met a LOT of LF forum members this year, both old timers and new guys. The scheduled parties were cool, and fun. The amount of people that were asking where I was kind of blew me away; I didn't think there were that many that cared. Just goes to show that military people and some of the people in the Military Industrial Complex are good folks.

Bill's at The Flamingo is a pretty good steak house. 22 ounces of prime rib is kind of a lot, and the baked potatoes are ginormous, too. I managed to finish it all, and some of the bread, too. All that because Ellis Island failed us and was not doing barbecue due to the weather. Pansies.

For being in such a serious business, the guys at American Snipers are a seriously funny bunch of guys. I spent some time with them at Kifaru's party in their suite, pretty much laughing my ass off the whole time. Send them some money, they're worth the investment.

Best piece of gear I saw in the whole show was, by a wide margin, the panda balaclava-with ears-that was for display only and not for sale. The not for sale part was pretty sad. Sad panda.

Ben Simonson of Boresight Solutions does the best work on polymer guns I've seen. Ever. His attention to detail is truly amazing, and he does quite a few things that nobody else does. He's not cheap, but for the quality of work he does, his work ethic, and overall coolness make up the difference. For what you get, his prices are excessively reasonable. Send him at least one gun, and several more would be better. His work kicks major ass.

The LaRue OSR Light was cool. I could definitely use one.

Blue Force Gear had their new DAP stuff in force, as well as the Basicload Chest Harness. They're doing some very innovative stuff, and since it's BFG, they're making it with attention to detail and quality.

Safariland introduced a new belt and a new line of their MLS-type stuff, in miniature for ammo pouches and the like. 'Course, I knew about that a few weeks ago.

Supply Captain has new technology for their IR flags. The new finish is as much a step forward from their previous versions were to what was on the market at the time to their previous ones will be to the new stuff. It's pretty amazing; I'm still geeked about it.

Beyond that, there wasn't a whole lot that I hadn't already seen-some of our reps are really damn good-or didn't know was coming. Good show, but there was no product that really blew me away as the "Gotta Have It" (GHI) product of the show.

Here's the less gooder stuff. The venue was a PITA. Being on three separate floors and in hallways and halls wasn't the problem, its that the grouping of stuff was retarded. There was Tactical and Law Enforcement stuff on all three floors, and not all together. I ended up on the second floor "general firearms" area to find the Remington Military booth to check out that as-yet vaporware ACR and their new sniper stock, and figured if I hung two rights I'd be doing a "u"ie out of the booth, and would be headed back to the stuff I care about. About five yards out of their booth, though, I'm surrounded by a triple canopy of Realtree. Look to the right: cheap Chinese hats! To the left, deer piss and fish lures! I would have panicked if I was prepared for that. Eventually I made my way back to the Surefire booth, but it was touch and go for a while there.

There were booths in an underground parking lot. Seriously? A parking lot? That's lame, Reed Exhibitions. Several of those vendors were PISSED at their locations.

I could deal with it if I knew where things were. The floor numbers weren't running consecutively. Matt and I spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out where the Chris Reeve Knives booth was, and we knew we were in the area. It was worth the time, though, as they make a fantastic product and have wonderful people there. Anne Reeve remembered my home boy Jeromy a year after meeting him once at the show. She remembered me, too, and has no real reason to do so. She's a great American and Chris has done very well with his selection of his wife.

Vegas has gotten expensive! It used to be cheap to eat and drink there. Not this time! Ten bucks for a croissant breakfast sammich and a bottle of water? Nein, danke.

Overall, it was worth going, and my employer is going to benefit from us having attended. We made some new contacts, renewed some older ones, and in general had a very productive trip.

It was a lot of fun, too.

1 comment:

DirtCrashr said...

The whole thing sounds fun but exhausting, and that's not even having to work a booth! I've had it with trade-shows.