SHOT Show Etiquette

Jan. 25, 2018
For SHOT Show veterans there are a few things taken for granted.

LAS VEGAS -- For SHOT Show veterans there are a few things taken for granted.

The “SHOT Show Crud” is something you’re going to suffer through for the week after the show. Is there a way to avoid it? Yes. You can be the guy (or girl) who has the flu when they show up at SHOT Show to share it with everyone else. Otherwise, you can attempt to stay hydrated, eat chewable Vitamin C like it’s free (about 10K milligrams a day), and carry around a bottle of hand sanitizer that you use religiously. Then MAYBE you escape “the crud.”

Your feet are going to hurt. No matter how comfortable your shoes or boots are, and how much you normally walk, your feet are going to hurt. For a show floor, it’s uneven, and the travel to / from is Las Vegas sidewalks mixed with casino floors. None of it is truly flat and your ankles take a beating. Your feet are going to hurt as well as potential for ankle and knee discomfort.

You’re going to be dehydrated. Carrying two bottles of water and sipping it regularly will help, but you’re going to walk ten miles a day (unless you’re lazy). SHOT Show has miles and miles of show floor plus you have to get there and get back to your hotel... and then out to the restaurant, entertainment, etc. The veterans of SHOT Show look forward to it because they KNOW they’re going to lose a few pounds that week. It’s water weight.

Now... let’s talk for a few minutes about how you move around SHOT Show. First off, I get that a lot of people have physical challenges and impairments that prohibit them from moving efficiently. I completely understand that those folks move a little slower. That said, those same folks should be aware of the inconvenience their slow movement can potentially create for everyone else. Be polite... stay to the right and out of the middle.

As a general rule, NO ONE should stop in the middle of a walkway intersection to look around and see where they are and where they’re going. STEP TO THE SIDE. When everyone is moving along at a brisk pace, in four different directions at an intersection, the one moron who decides to stop in the middle is GOING to get run into... and then be butt hurt about it. If you don’t know where you are or where you’re going, STEP TO THE SIDE to figure it out. Better yet, step into a booth out of the walkway completely.

If you are dragging a rolling bag, cart, container, or anything else that hangs out behind you, be mindful of the impact it has on those behind you and approaching from the sides. If YOU stop suddenly, you SHOULD NOT get upset when someone kicks the crap out of what you’re dragging. You’re not just occupying a normal person’s space - you’d decided to occupy a normal person’s space plus three feet to the rear. Be mindful of it and adjust your travel accordingly.

While we’re talking about walking, LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING. DON’T walk while reading your phone. DON’T walk straight while looking any other direction. DON’T walk backwards (yes, this has happened a lot this show). Isn’t this kind of simple? LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING. If YOU run into someone because YOU are traveling a different direction than the one you’re looking in, don’t get pissed off with whoever you run into. The world DOES NOT revolve around you and a reasonable level of courtesy and common sense is required.

If you’re going to sneeze, cough, hack up a lung, pick your nose, etc., try to not project that crap. Cough into the inside of your bent elbow. Sneeze into the same space. Turning your head up toward the ceiling to sneeze and spraying that fine mist of yuck that’s going to drift down onto everyone following you is... beyond stupid and rude. Depending on what you’re spreading, it could be criminal.

For everyone who works in the industry, appointments get made, meetings are held and sales/interviews get done. Do your best to be on time. If you’re five minutes late to twelve meetings, you’ve wasted an accumulated HOUR of time. How would you feel if an hour of your time got wasted? Please be aware and as courteous about it as you can be.

Last, but not least, SHOT Show is a “show” but it’s for business. I’m a gun guy and gear junkie as much as anyone else, but I’m here for work - and rest assured that if work wasn’t paying me

to be here, I’d be happily in my home office giggling about everyone who was going to have the SHOT Show Crud next week. If you’re at SHOT Show only because you’re a hobbyist and delighting in every new widget you can find, be polite enough to minimize the impact you have on those of us here working. In other words, don’t interrupt presentations. Learn enough not to ask completely inane questions. Don’t stand around and lecture professionals about how this rifle or that cartridge could be improved to hunt the ONE elk you’ve been trying to bag since you were three years old. Go do it... but don’t eat up our work time.

About the Author

Lt. Frank Borelli (ret), Editorial Director | Editorial Director

Lt. Frank Borelli is the Editorial Director for the Officer Media Group. Frank brings 20+ years of writing and editing experience in addition to 40 years of law enforcement operations, administration and training experience to the team.

Frank has had numerous books published which are available on,, and other major retail outlets.

If you have any comments or questions, you can contact him via email at [email protected].

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