SHOT Show 17 – Where Does All Of That Swag Go?

I recently saw someone refer to SHOT Show as “Tactical ComiCon” and from what I have bserved over the past few years, it seems that way for the average attendee. Companies shell out beaucoup bucks to make their presence known at SHOT Show and folks leave each day with loads of cool swag.

But what happens to all of it? Some is treasured and displayed once the attendee makes it home. Other giveaways are regifted to friends and family by the generous. But some attendees are at SHOT Show to make a buck. They take advantage of indulgent companies, walking off with everything they can get their hands on, only to sell it later.

This example from eBay depicts the normal tchotchkes offered as promotional items, but others will be selling weapon parts and accessories scored as samples from an unsuspecting sales staff.

22 Responses to “SHOT Show 17 – Where Does All Of That Swag Go?”

  1. Marcus says:

    I guess he ate his bag of dicks?

  2. JKifer says:

    what a piece of shit… this is why we cant have nice things…

  3. Franco says:

    Dick move, no doubt. But jeez, I went by the DD booth three times and I didn’t see or get any of that stuff. Not even a sticker.

  4. orly? says:


  5. D says:

    It’s a free country

  6. Arrow 4 says:

    I really only came home with one piece of SWAG, the highly treasured B.E. Meyers MAWL Man…..that dude is hanging out in my office for a very long time to come!

  7. DV says:

    There are people who make a living doing this at all kinds of trade shows… And do nothing but go to shows to collect swag to sell.

    c’est la vie, to each their own… Do the companies who spend the thousands and thousands on the swag they give away really care where it goes? (No, they really don’t.)

    There are some of us who would do a lot for an opportunity to attend SHOT Show or various other trade shows… and there are those who go every year and it’s just old hat, no matter how much fun they have.

  8. Jbgleason says:

    I was telling this to the guys at LaRue a couple of years ago on the first day of the show. They were in disbelief and I brought up EBay on my phone and showed them a listing for a current year armadillo. The show had only been open for four hours at that point. Funny part was you could tell the guy took the listing photo right on the show floor with his phone as he was holding the item in his hand and you could see the convention center carpet in the background. It’s pretty bad when you can’t even get the stuff home before trying to sell it.

  9. Diddler says:

    I think that a company could view the fact that folks are willing to pay silly prices for things they gave away as a good sign of market penetration. “Wait, wait; you’re telling me people are willing to shell out good money for swag we gave away for free? I guess people really do love our brand!”

    I’ll second the comicon analogy. Having been to both (albeit one was accidental) there are loads of similarities between the two shows and the attendees.

  10. ithejury says:

    The swag collectors and youtube/blogger “media” have ruined Shot Show. I didn’t bother going this year as the distributors have their own little mini shows that I can actually do business at. NSSF should consider having 1 “media” day then get them the hell out of there so people can do business – theoretically the purpose of the show.

    • Bad Dancer says:

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say that new media, internet based, has ruined trade shows. I will agree however that when I see a person trot up to a swag table and grab a handful of stuff and say, “it’s okay I’m doing a give away for XYZ” that I shake my head.

      Plenty of folks are there to give the reviews and spread the industry news you can’t get from the big paper magazines and organizations that have to tiptoe across the bridge.

      After all other big name ‘traditional’ persons you’d think would attend such shows have done a plenty alright job of ruining it. A certain person who sounds like Harry Stickers ranting, falsely, that no one uses Rugers and his perceived snubbing is the reason why.

  11. normal person says:

    I’ve always thought this behaviour was incredibly disgusting.

  12. james says:

    They need to remove the wheeled cases, bin dollies… so that those that need to navigate through the sea of people can do so safely! and the collectors of chachcara… stickers and suck have to carry it!

    • mike says:

      I freaking hate those rolling carts. Can’t tell you how many times I wanted to punt one of those things out of my way last week.

    • Franco says:

      I saw a guy take a header tripping over one of the Milk Crate Mafia. Said Mafioso looked at him like ‘what the hell are you doing?’ Unreal.

  13. Ross says:

    All I got this year was a patch from a dude named Eric …. it reads “Keep Calm and Return Fire” ….
    This thing is made of “Unobtanium” and will not be seen on eBay. LOL

  14. Whacker-15 says:

    I remember a few years back this little birdies flask ended up on auction…..I think that person got PNG!

  15. Bill says:

    Meh, it isn’t like selling military awards. Hardly a major moral crisis.

  16. Kevin says:

    I wonder how many homeless people in LV are rocking those camo Condor shoulder bags this week….

  17. Sean says:

    I was able to get quite a bit of swag this year at shot. I gave about 2/3rds away to fellow members in. Y department that didn’t get to go. They were very thankful. This was my first opportunity to attend SHOT and I had an absolute blast!