The President of Reed’s American division released a statement that says they have decided to postpone the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show. Interestingly, they indicated that they haven’t actually scheduled any other dates.
Reed Exhibitions has decided to postpone, for now, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show given the controversy surrounding its decision to limit the sale or display of modern sporting rifles (also called ARs) at the event. The show was scheduled to take place February 2-10 in Harrisburg, PA.
“Our original decision not to include certain products in the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show this year was made in order to preserve the event’s historical focus on the hunting and fishing traditions enjoyed by American families,” said Chet Burchett, Reed Exhibitions President for the Americas. “In the current climate, we felt that the presence of MSRs would distract from the theme of hunting and fishing, disrupting the broader experience of our guests. This was intended simply as a product decision, of the type event organizers need to make every day.”
“It has become very clear to us after speaking with our customers that the event could not be held because the atmosphere of this year’s show would not be conducive to an event that is designed to provide family enjoyment. It is unfortunate that in the current emotionally charged atmosphere this celebratory event has become overshadowed by a decision that directly affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits showcasing products and services for those interested in hunting and fishing.”
“ESS has long been proud to participate in the preservation and promotion of hunting and fishing traditions, and we hope that as the national debate clarifies, we will have an opportunity to consider rescheduling the event when the time is right to focus on the themes it celebrates.”
What’s interesting about this decision is the refusal to give any kind of timeline to vendors or possible attendees for future dates. That sounds more like a cancellation than a true effort to simply postpone the event.
It makes me wonder if they are calling it a decision to postpone in order to keep exhibitor money instead of giving refunds. (See update below for new information from a vendor.) The fact is that they have already spent a large part – if not all – of that money. It cost them around $500,000 to rent the Farm Show Complex, plus untold sums in advertising and staffing to organize it up to this point. (Not to mention, their Public Relations contractor has probably substantially increased her fee for this mess. She would be right to do so since she didn’t sign on for fighting the entire sportsmen’s community.)
I will take a detailed look at the contract for vendors that a reader sent me to see what the policy is on the issue of refunds for the event being postponed instead of canceled and will update this post as more details come out.
In the meantime, I would ask that everyone who is celebrating the community standing together against anti-gun attitudes spend today contacting their US Senators & Congressmen. We need to fight the gun control proposals being launched today. Anti-gun senators are about to start a big press conference to announce draconian limits on the firearms and accessories we use. The Vice President is starting a new media “conversation” to tell us again how much he wants gun control bills sent to the White House, and the President is about to launch a campaign-style series of rallies to generate support for more gun control.
UPDATE: A vendor comments that Reed has just now decided to let them know about the decision (after making it public), and they are now finally promising them refunds.
NSSF has also said that they are now reconsidering their business with Reed for running SHOT Show. Funny about that since NSSF originally begged vendors & attendees to continue giving money to Reed by attending the ESOS. I’m going to assume that whatever conversations happened earlier this week really blew up spectacularly for such an extreme change in position.
UPDATE: PFSC releases a statement on the so-called postponement of the ESOS, and here are the highlights:
It is sad to read the statement from Reed and the reason they chose to use for their position. Had it truly been their concern (the family hunting/fishing experience), they should have been eager to engage with various stakeholders in a discussion on the issue and any related impacts. Instead, they chose to stand their ground and refused to negotiate. …
From the feedback that we are receiving, we are not sure that their term “postponement” is the appropriate word to describe the future of a show hosted by Reed. Their unwillingness to even discuss their decision to not allow the displaying or advertising of certain types of legal firearms and accessories solely based on emotion and misinformation of those types of firearms does not sit well with sportsmen and women who believe the decision was nothing more than an attack on our 2nd Amendment Rights. Firearm sales typically don’t even take place during the show itself. Background checks and required federal and state requirements are strictly adhered to and Reed Exhibition is fully aware of this.
Given this statement, it really does seem that Reed basically told the gun community to go do perverse things to itself in “conversations.” It also indicates that Reed may not ever come back to this community. I guess that means if some enterprising company wants to take on the massive effort of hosting a Harrisburg Sportsmen’s Show, there may be quite the opportunity now.
40 Responses to “The Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show is OFF”
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- Is this "political?" Are WE giving in to pressure? - INGunOwners - [...] is really good at knifing traitors. Read this Pennsylvania based blog to learn how it fell apart:…
- More people who deserve your support. « Whipped Cream Difficulties - [...] ESOS has now been postponed, but Guntag pulled out before the announcement was made. They took a stand on…
- Newbie Shooter - [...] very impressed with the response by the gunnie community to Reed Exhibitions’ bigotry at the Eastern Sports and Outdoors…