National Rifle Association Annual Meetings
Over 800 exhibitors and 80,000 attendees traveled to Atlanta George from April 27th to April 30th for the National Rifle Association Annual Meetings (NRAAM). This is one of the main events of the firearms world. Hank Williams Jr., Chris Janson, Josh Thompson, Lindsay Ell, Cary Barlowe, Matthew West, a conference with Kellyanne Conway, and a visit from the President of the United States were some of the highlights of the show. The centerpiece of NRAAM was the exhibitors. Almost every major firearms company you can imagine was in attendance. For 4 days, Atlanta was the center of the firearms world and SDI was in the middle of it all.
The SDI booth lineup of presenters read like a who’s who of the firearms world. We Like Shooting, Tim Harmsen of the Military Arms Channel, Kimberly Intagliata of Taurus Holdings, Inc., Jeremiah Savoy of Savoy Leather, Modern Spartan Systems, Keybar, professional shooter and six-time Open National Speed Shooting Champion KC Eusebio, Hickok 45, Joe Meaux of Aklys Defense, 22 Plinkster, and the loudest, most obnoxious prize wheel to ever set foot in an exhibit hall were all at the SDI booth. In case that list was a bit overwhelming, we can summarize by saying that the SDI booth was a place to be. Did we mention Taurus also gave away a PT111 Millennium G2?
The SDI staffed booth stayed on their feet through the entire conference with special giveaways like the Taurus PT111 Millennium G2 as well as SDI swag and prizes from our many presenters. SDI Vice President of Growth and Marketing Jennifer McInnis stated that one of the highlights for her was the number students that visited the SDI booth during the show. The enthusiasm showed by former, current and future students of our school demonstrated that what we are doing matters. This enthusiasm has also given our staff an extra fire to keep growing our programs and improving our curriculum to provide the highest value education possible for our students.
If you happened to catch one of our many live video feeds you can see the enthusiasm was contagious around the SDI booth during the NRAAM show. 5 seconds into watching one of Garett Bischoff’s videos and you can see the energy that he and the rest of the SDI crew brought. It’s not just the students and staff that crowded the SDI booth during the show. SDI Executive Vice President of Product and Placement Zeke Stout stated that one of his favorite parts of the show was the level of recognition SDI is gaining within the industry, and not just with students. Building relationships in the firearms industry like our recent partnership with Taurus along with our many established relationships, (which can be seen here) affects the school greatly. Zeke first noticed our chemistry during the setup for the NRAAM show. “Right off the bat, the team came together. There is a certain amount of chaos that goes into setting up a booth and despite that, the SDI team encountered nothing but positivity and teamwork. It was really impressive to see.” SDI Industry Relations Chief Dale Grinage noticed the energy as well. “The turnout was pretty incredible. There were a lot of companies coming to us at the show. They want to be a part of what we do here.”
The team from Sonoran Desert Institute came away from the National Rifle Association Annual Meetings with a drive to make our great program better. Vice President of Growth and Marketing Jennifer McInnis noted the conversations taking place. “We have a lot of great things going on but we came out of this having conversations on how to make our curriculum even better. We want to increase the opportunities that we have for students. We don’t ever want to stop improving.”
As the doors closed in Atlanta, Georgia our SDI team walked away with sore feet and a goal to not only keep doing what we are doing but to keep doing those things better. We would like to thank those that attended our booth at the show and remind those that could not attend to keep an eye on our news feed for shows near you.