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The 2012 SHOT Show Celebrity Experience

Interviewing the Swamp People

It’s over and I am finally home rendering video and editing footage from the 2012 SHOT Show held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. After 4 days of pounding the walkways, climbing stairs and bullying our way through crowds I am glad to be back at the home front.

Representing the Western States Sportsman was cameraman JC Poitra, prostaff Charles Mann and of course myself. Our mission…cover the show for the Outdoorhub.com. And cover it we did! From celebrities to manufacturers, the cameras never stopped rolling. This is our 8th year filming the SHOT show and we are listed on Wikipedia as the company to watch on the web for the SHOT Show.

Without a doubt we had a great time. But, did the SHOT show in Las Vegas really come through for the media and buyers? Did the celebrities sign autographs and treat the media and buyers with respect? Here is what I experienced…this is my SHOT Show experience.

The celebrities we interviewed were for the most part generous in giving their time to the camera, but a few need to polish their people skills. Here is my breakdown of a few of the interviews we filmed.

Michael Waddell and the Bone Collector team were awesome. Not only does Michael give of his time, he treats you with respect as he knows we are here to do a job also. The Bone Collectors get an A+ grade.

Lee and Tiffany were also a great interview. With the gift of gab, Tiffany could have gone on forever and I really wanted both to do just that but we did have a time limit for interviews. Team Lee and Tiffany get an A+ also.

The Swamp People, RJ and Jean Paul, were true, down-home country boys. I grew up down in east Texas and I can fully understand the way of life they live daily. The swamp guys get an A. I would have given them an A+ but they did not invite me on a gator hunt! Maybe next year we can bump it to an A+ guys.

Jim Shockey, a living legend, and his family were very gracious and giving of their time. Even though Eva was not signing she came up to us greeted us and signed a few autographs and took a few pictures. Jim was also a fabulous interview. The Shockeys get an A, would have been an A+ but they did not bring his father and father in law!

All in all most of our interviews went well; a few celebrities really need to be brought down off their high horse and those I did not interview. Until they realize that the public is what matters the most as we pay their salaries by supporting their sponsors, I will continue to ignore certain figures in the future and will not interview them. I always tell it like it is and will never sugar coat what I feel. A celebrity has a responsibility to their sponsors and the public. What the person says or does reflects back on the sponsor. Come on guys, you have the greatest job in America…have some respect for the ones that support you. Smile, shake hands, sign a few autographs and be nice.

My final thought, well Vegas is Vegas. Lights and cameras, expensive cars, limos, gold watches and bling are in your face every day. The show was much more organized than last year so my hats off to NSSF.

The media room was well organized with plenty of seating and refreshments for the press. The layout was similar to 2011 but manufacturers could be found easier as the aisles seemed larger. The parking as always was terrible if you drove your vehicle. Tote bags and badge holders were in abundance and free to the media.

I give the SHOT show in its entirety a B+. Four days just does not give you time to cover the show and we missed tactical completely. We are already planning our strategy for next year at the SHOT Show. See you there!

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
  • Kenneth L. Kieser

    I learned during 36 years of writing that most of the older celebrities are generally good people with a couple of exceptions. Some of the younger celebrities tend to be jerks–not all, just some! Kenneth L. Kieser