ESS' 2011 SHOT Show Recap

February 3, 2011  |  ESS UPDATES
ESS' 2011 SHOT Show Recap

The National Shooting Sports Federation's annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas is always a rush for exhibitors and attendees alike. Aside from the expected exhilaration and bustle, the unrelenting speed at which the world’s biggest consumer-firearms-related tradeshow proceeds is remarkable.  In cavernous halls hundreds of yards wide in any direction, the Hunting and Shooting industries extoll the virtues of their goods while throngs of distributors, store owners, and media members evaluate new products, make new contacts, and strengthen familiar ties.

Away from the main stages where the Hunting and Shooting crowds congregated, the Law Enforcement section of the show proceeded at a slightly more manageable pace. In the Veronese Ballroom of the Sands Expo Center, ESS set up shop with a brand-new tradeshow booth designed to invite attendees off the busy floor, give them a chance to interface with members of the Team ESS, experience products, and hold meetings.  Ensconced within a spacious 20’ x 20’ floor space, the Team held court for four long days, taking time to explain the company’s new and upcoming product offerings.

Front and center  was the Crossbow Suppressor.  The latest addition to ESS’ new “Cross Series” of eyeshields, the Suppressor frame is designed to maximize the comfort and effectiveness of ear protection or communications gear when used in conjunction with eye protection. Another ESS industry-first, the Suppressor frame option and retail Crossbow/Suppressor kits (Crossbow Suppressor 2X, Crossbow Suppressor 2x Plus, Crossbow Suppressor ONE) had already been generating a tremendous amount of interest in the Military field, where ESS’s unparalleled strength as an industry-shaping innovator is already well-known.  Riding a wave of military-interest into SHOT Show, Team ESS anticipated a strong positive reaction to the Suppressor but was surprised by the amount of word-of-mouth recommendations made to others by those who visited the ESS booth.   The flow of traffic through the booth was heavy, and steady.

“You guys have finally done it…”, “…the solution I’ve been looking for.”, “…a real game-changer.”  Over the course of SHOT’s four days, the string of compliments and comments made by attendees stretched on unabated.  Tactical trainers, gun range operators, Airmen, federal agents, and many others expressed their interest in using the Suppressor product, and Team ESS members like Vince Baertschi (the one and only, he of the “I Know Vince” patch fame) took it upon themselves to hand out a record amount of free sample product, ensuring that the Suppressor not only left an impression – it left in attendees’ possession.

There was another new ESS product out for show & tell at SHOT as well. The latest ballistic-grade, MIL-SPEC sunglass offering, the 5B, was present in first-shot production model form.  Aggressive and sleek in its appearance, the 5B generated a lot of excitement among ESS distributors and customers alike. Slated for commercial release later this year, the 5B will push the technical envelope for ESS sunglasses, offering new features and configurations for frames and lenses while still providing the highest levels of military-grade protection, a characteristic for which ESS products are widely-known and a reason they are the most trusted eye protection solutions used by militaries worldwide.

Toward the week’s end, ESS hosted a pair of happy-hour engagements in the Venetian’s Dal Toro Showroom, which is stocked with rare and exotic sports cars. Opening up with an extremely well-attended reception for ESS’ international distributors,  ESS VP of International Sales Connor Duncan greeted friends old and new during a two-hour event that provided a welcome bit of relief from the non-stop walking, standing, and constant meetings occurring on the nearby tradeshow floor. Following the international reception, about 150 ESS domestic military, law enforcement, and industry friends joined the party, mixing with the contingency of friends from abroad, the ESS Team, and several notable representatives from ESS’ parent company Oakley in a spirited get-together. 

SHOT Show ended on a high note, with Team ESS’ own non-stop meeting schedules finally drawing to a close and the allowance of a few minutes spent during break-down reflecting on the success of the show and the anchoring physical presence of the brand-new 'industrial-feel' ESS booth.  As is the case when attending a large tradeshow as an exhibitor, there was little time available during SHOT Show to pay mind to the innovations and exhibitions of other industry manufacturers, but based upon the words exchanged in restaurants and on casino floors in the long Vegas after-hours, the overall mood at SHOT Show was upbeat, and a willingness to spend exhibited by buyers and distributors was a generally-positive sign.

With SHOT now in the past and the rest of the 2011 tradeshow schedule still outstanding, Team ESS would like to thank those who made our time at the 2011 SHOT Show both memorable and successful. As 2011 is going to be a busy year at ESS, remain on the lookout for new information about upcoming ESS products!


Crossblade Series






"Dear ESS, On deployment in 2012, my vehicle was struck with an IED while performing route clearance in Afghanistan. The IED flipped my vehicle, knocking me unconscious and launching my rifle into my face. My cheek, nose, and eye socket were shattered from the impact, but my eye was saved from the ESS Crossbow I was wearing. When I put a pair of Crossbows back on, you can clearly see where I would have lost my eye if I wasn't wearing them." SSG Pronzati