The Devyn, a very nice event venue in south Sarasota, held its first gun show this weekend. Christina McGuire, the young woman who put the event together, had never arranged a gun show before and had less than three months to do so. I give her kudos for what she was able to accomplish in such a short time.
Yes, I heard and read the negative comments on the gun forums. Instead of giving this event a chance, some vendors backed out after agreeing to come. Others chose not to participate and then made negative comments about the relatively small number of vendors at the show. Well, duh.
The first of anything is always a crapshoot. But I saw guns, ammo, and accessories trading hands. And I noticed that the vendors had more time to talk to their potential customers – more time to educate them; to promote their products, services, and websites; and to start or reinforce relationships.
Relationships are the key. Guns, ammo, and accessories are commodities that people can buy pretty much anywhere. But most of us buy from people we like and trust – even if the price is a little higher. This smaller event gave vendors a great opportunity to introduce themselves to potential customers who may have never heard of them before.
I hope the Devyn has another gun show, and I hope more of our local gun dealers and other vendors decide to participate so everyone benefits – the attendees, the vendors, the Devyn, and Sarasota.