Financially, Who Really Got Hurt By Boycott of Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show?

Nobody can deny the unorganized impact hundreds of outdoor industry businesses and organizations had when they spontaneously (or so it appears) and like dominoes, lined up to announce their boycott of the Eastern Sport & Outdoor Show that was supposed to be held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania this week. However, the decision to reject Reed Exhibitions’ choice to ban the display and sale of so-called “modern weaponry”, probably hurt the protesters and the community of Harrisburg more than it hurt Reed Exhibitions.

It’s pretty easy for me to sit here in front of my keyboard and talk about how brave the well over 300 venders were who told Reed Exhibitions to stick it, but if we can just gain a bit better understanding of the financial sacrifices some of these companies, micro businesses and individuals made, we all may gain a better appreciation for what it really meant to turn their backs on Reed; necessitated by a desire to stand up to the bullies (fascists) and protect their Second Amendment rights.

The Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show is the largest outdoor show the U.S.A. has. It is put on by Reed Exhibitions. For the vendors this show is more than a chance to get together to dine out, swap war stories and perhaps drink a bit too much. According to a press release found on The Outdoor Wire, many of the exhibitors at the show rely on business generated from the show to run their operations for the entire year. In short, it is their business in which they sink everything. From my own travels and dealings with outfitters and suppliers, these kinds of shows do, in fact, sometimes make or break a person’s investments.

Aside from the tremendous financial sacrifices many of these people made, the Harrisburg, PA area lost an estimated $44 million because the show was cancelled or postponed (not sure which. I’ve heard both).

Reed Exhibitions on the other hand may have lost some money but I’m sure it isn’t going to put them out of business. Reed is arguably the largest exposition company on the planet. In 2011 the company realized revenues in excess of $1.1 billion, with profits topping $262 million.

For those not aware, Reed Exhibitions also runs the SHOT Show, usually in Las Vegas, in addition to other shows worldwide.

While I don’t believe that Reed is going to suffer all that much difficulty by being forced to close the Eastern Outdoor Show down, many of the venders will be hurting. Please consider this if any of you are planning to purchase products or book outdoor adventures. These people went out on a limb in protest for us, we need to return the favor as much as we can.

In the meantime Reed will plug along and perhaps they will have a better understanding of the people they are dealing with. Also consider that Reed could possibly have accepted bribes from other companies or individuals to ban the weapons from their show. I have seen nothing yet that would indicate this happened but we live in a corrupt society rife with sinister thinking people with huge political agendas. Certainly the idea of this sort of bribery and payoff is very realistic. If nothing else, I willing to wager Reed was pressured politically from the gun grabbers of the world.