I Hope You Made It to the Expo!

I just rolled in following the 2017 USCCA Concealed Carry Expo in Fort Worth, Texas, where I spent an amazing long weekend with 7000 of my closest friends.

Our video wizards, Tyler and Daniel, drove with me from Wisconsin to Texas and back — just over 2400 miles round trip — and that drive was worth every traffic headache and long, empty mile. We produced a video diary along the way and then did our level best to capture every minute of the three-day expo on film. Sure, there were some hiccups, schedule changes and last minute fires to put out, but this Expo really reinforced the idea of teamwork among the USCCA family. We had more than 50 staff members at the show, all pulling together to get things done.

The end result? Well, for the first time in my long experience of working at shows, I didn’t hear one complaint. Maybe people didn’t find me to complain, but I really think the overwhelming satisfaction of the vendors and the guests is a testament to the hard work of our USCCA team. It is a great group of people.

Since we started the USCCA Concealed Carry Expo back in 2015, we have more than doubled in size, drawing vendors and attendees from every corner of the country. I attribute that to our dedication to excellence and our desire to see every element of this industry grow. I really want every vendor who attends the show to sell out before Sunday afternoon.

I really think the best elements of the Expo are the training opportunities. We had a full slate of great trainers: from Dave Young to the folks from Next Level Training to Anthony Lambert on First Aid to George Harris on pistol topics … and many more. I just don’t have room to list them all in the space we have. And the classroom setting was not the only place where people could learn.

Our demonstration stage worked well, but will be revamped and improved for 2018. The live-fire range was so popular we had to go buy more ammo. The UTM practical shooting range allowed people to practice dynamic shooting movements with pistols and rifles and every vendor at the show was providing great information on their products and services.

Saturday night’s awards banquet included a great performance by comedian Steven Crowder and a moving speech by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr.  It was a great evening and I was happy to be part of it.

All in all, I’m really proud of the USCCA Expo and what it has become. But don’t think for a minute we are going to rest on our laurels. Planning for the 2018 Expo is well under way. You should mark your calendars now for April 13-15, 2018, and plan on heading to Louisville, Kentucky for USCCA Expo: Part 4. More details will be posted soon, but we already have the dates set, the location selected and the first planning meetings are scheduled to begin soon. Tell your friends. Plan a long weekend in Louisville. I predict another great show.

I hope to see you there.