If you’ve been in business long enough, you know that not all decisions are easy. As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact every aspect of our lives, we have all been forced to make difficult decisions. On Monday, the NASGW Board of Directors voted unanimously to cancel this year’s Expo. This was a decision that none of us wanted to make, but it was the right decision. With mounting cases in the state of Texas and increased travel restrictions in numerous states, particularly in the northeast, we could not leave things to chance in hopes that cases would subside or that states would ease restrictions. We’re not blaming Texas. The biggest reason this decision had to be made was for the health and safety of our members, our colleagues, our employees, and the entire shooting sports industry.
The big question that you are probably wondering is, “What does this change mean for me and for my business?” I can assure you that the NASGW is working through all of the logistics and has already reached out to all exhibitors and attendees. We will handle all issues as efficiently as possible and want to have all of the logistics in place to make this a quick and simple transition for you.
Some things will go on as planned, such as the New Product Showcase, Caliber Awards, and Appreciation Awards. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to get together to announce the winners in person, but we will move forward with the voting and announce the winners virtually. If you haven’t submitted your new products to the New Product Showcase, please quickly do so through the NASGW Expo website before the August 1st deadline for a chance to win a 2020 Caliber Award.
For me (as I’m sure for many of you), this decision is very bittersweet. In the 27 years, I’ve been in the industry, I’ve only missed two NASGW Expos, as both of my children were born in the Fall. I will miss seeing so many friends and catching up as we always do. While business has been very good for us this year, I know we all feel very disconnected. The Expo was set to be our industry reunion and our chance to reconnect after having so many events and meetings canceled. But just like all the other meetings, the Expo has fallen victim to the pandemic, only to push our celebration off to 2021. This too will pass.
Thank you for supporting our decision. I can assure you it wasn’t an easy one. Our organization relies on this show to fund our entire year, to make important donations to other industry organizations, and to support valuable industry programs such as SCOPE. We appreciate your commitment to NASGW and two-step distribution. We know how important the NASGW Expo is to many of your businesses, and we apologize for the inconvenience, but we hope that you will all join us in Columbus, Ohio, on October 27-29, 2021.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and we hope to see you sooner rather than later.
Until next time,
Laurie Lipsey Aronson
President and CEO Lipsey's