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Why you should attend NRHSA

Learn how to make your store the best it can be with new classes and seminars
Published: April 6, 2017
Click here to register as an attendee for the 2017 NRHSA Table Top Expo.

Come to Las Vegas May 7-10 for the 24th annual National Retail Hobby Store Association Table Top Expo, held at The Orleans Hotel, not far off the Strip. This is the only hobby trade show of 2017.

As of late March, over 65 exhibitors were registered. Click here to see the 2017 exhibitor list. Key staff from distributors and manufactures will be present as well as familiar faces from past years' classes and seminars.

"The reason to come is for the connectivity with the other businesses," says Noel Bays, president of NRHSA. "You get to hang out with other hobby retailers and build relationships. Sometimes when you're working day in and day out in your store you can lose touch with the industry as a whole. So it's nice to get out and talk to others and find that they share the same struggles you do. We're all rooting for the same thing when it comes to the industry and NRHSA is the place to see that."

This is truly a show for all hobby retailers, as shown with the extensive line-up of seminars, classes and demonstrations which cover a diverse array of subjects.

"Because educational shows are a hallmark of NRHSA, we decided to do more of them," says Bays. "This year we have more workshops in smaller doses so people can see and do more."

If you want to increase your add-on sales, attend the "Selling hobby paints to scale modelers" class taught by Keith Pruitt, Hobby Merchandiser, May 7, 1:15pm. Learn what types of paints are available and what works best on different surfaces. The more you know on the subject, the more you can teach your customers, and the more paint you can sell.

If you want to expand your R/C air customer base, join Jason Merkle, Horizon Hobby, May 7, 2:15pm, for a seminar/session that will highlight the differences between Horizon's AS3X, SAFE, SAFE Select and SAFE Plus technologies. These systems make it easier for your customers to learn to fly and also allow them to fly more advanced R/C aircraft.

If you have questions about digital layouts, check out "Understanding digital and the components" class with Curtis Jeung, Märklin, May 7, 2:15pm. Find out what you should stock to ensure you can cater to your customer's digital needs.

If you're interested in developing a relationship with Tamiya, come to the "Developing a Tamiya Racing Program" discussion with George Canare and Eric Paley, Tamiya, and Theo and Lindsay Captanis, Pacific Coast Hobbies, May 7, 3:15pm. Learn how to earn extra income by hosting Tamiya Mini 4WD races as well as birthday party races and private events. Tamiya will be offering a beginner package complete with everything you need to get started. Everyone who attends the seminar will get a Mini 4WD car and a chance to race the car you build at the NRHSA Welcome Reception. Note: To make sure there are enough cars, email Amy Hannon at ahannon@integrated-solutions by April 24 if you plan on attending this specific session.)

If the inner workings of batteries mystify you, join Kevin Koch, Uncle Don's Hobbies, May 7, 2:15pm, for the class, "All you ever wanted to know about batteries". Learn about battery types, chemistry, usage, charging rates, disposal, safety, and more. Batteries covered will include: NiCad, NiMH, LiPo, LiFe, LiFePO4, Li-Ion and lead acid (Pb).

If the idea of visiting competitors makes you nervous, attend a discussion on the "Value of visiting other hobby shops" led by John Rosselott,, May 8, 8:30am. Rosselott will go over the benefits of visiting other stores and being visited yourself. Learn how to share successes and best practices with the community and grow together.

If you're interested in integrating a racing program within your shop, you'll want to check out "Building a store racing program" panel with Todd Anderson, RC Excitement Inc., Chadd Brockman, MHOR R/C Raceway, and Jeremy Truxillo, Big Boys Toys and Hobbies, May 8, 8:30am. You'll learn about three different options of racing programs and how to incorporate them at your facility. Brockman will discuss off-road racing on both indoor and outdoor courses; Anderson will show you how a multi-level indoor crawler course can maximize a small space; and Truxillo will share ideas on hosting parking lot races.

Along with seminars, you can also attend the annual R/C boat race—an exciting and colorful event held May 9, 8:30am, and a Bachmann-sponsored pool party on May 9, 7:00pm.

Click here to see more scheduled events.

"These couple of days away from your business will have you recharged, full of new ideas, and excitement about new products," says NRHSA's Facebook page. "It is an event you cannot afford to miss!"

"Las Vegas is a great location because when you're not at the show you can get out and have some fun," says Bays.

Click here to register as an attendee for the 2017 NRHSA Table Top Expo.

For additional information, contact Karen Benton or Janet Svazas by phone at 630-510-4596 or by email at