We catch up with Marc Newton, MD of Rigby for this month’s Campfire blog to discuss the company’s presence at the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) Convention back in January. Marc delves into the experience Rigby had at the event, detailing their new immersive booth set up, discusses his highlights from the show and emphasises Rigby’s commitment to fostering connections and community.

Marc, can you share with us your overall experience of this year’s DSC Convention?

It was, without question, the best show we’ve ever had in the modern era of Rigby. Our booth and brand delivery were exceptional, marking it as our best show yet. With a new spacious setup, spanning 80 by 20 feet, we dedicated significant effort in making it look spectacular. Opting for a safari diorama theme, highlighted by an African sunset backdrop, we created an immersive experience featuring the Rigby Land Rover, safari tent, Rigby Art, gun displays and Shikar Store accessories.

Engaging with our clients, meeting new ones and others from within the industry was immensely rewarding. The was a real vibe and energy to the Rigby booth, making it a memorable event for us. While I always enjoy attending the US shows each new year, this one was my all-time favourite.

What were some highlights for Rigby at the event?

Reconnecting with our valued clients was a definite highlight and we unveiled some exciting new products, which added to the anticipation and buzz on booth. Our annual VIP evening was another standout moment, providing an exclusive opportunity to host our top clients for intimate discussions about our business direction and upcoming releases. Beyond business engagements, spending quality time with attendees was truly rewarding; after all, it’s the people who make these events memorable.

Amidst the hustle, I managed to carve out some time with my trusted Pentax K1000, a 40-year-old film camera, capturing moments not only on our booth, but of friends in the gun trade, across the show. I always feel so privileged and lucky at Rigby to experience so many different things and meet so many amazing people, that I think it’s about time I started documenting that a bit more.

You released two new guns at the show – the Shikari double rifle and Big Game Lightweight – Can you tell us more about the reception they received?

The reception for both was overwhelmingly positive. We’ve seen a surge in orders and received enthusiastic feedback from customers who appreciate how these offerings honour Rigby’s legacy. It’s gratifying to see our products aligning with the expectations of our clientele and to have their continued support. We’re thrilled to be taking orders and are excited about the future prospects for these rifles.

In your view, how does Rigby distinguish itself in the gun trade industry?

I believe our forward-thinking approach and progressive outlook set us apart. The welcoming and inclusive nature of our team resonates with customers, creating a sense of belonging and community, but our dedication to adventure is a real cornerstone of the brand.

Our booth was stacked with people for four days, and that kept us very busy, so the results speak for themselves. We had 13 members of staff on booth, and all of them were busy almost all of the time connecting with people.

Your focus on the people behind Rigby is quite evident. Could you tell us more about how your team got on at the show and the connections made?

At Rigby, our team is at the heart of everything we do. We had a fantastic experience at the show, creating new connections and strengthening existing ones. We are like a family during these events, starting each day with breakfast together, where we discuss what we are aiming to achieve that day.

We have something called the ‘Rigby Rose and Thorn’, where each team member shares a highlight (‘rose’) from the previous day, such as a successful sale or witnessing a colleague’s achievement, as well as a growing edge (‘thorn’), representing areas for improvement. We create a really positive, safe environment where the whole team is encouraged to speak openly about how they feel, and I think that’s how you make a company really successful.

What do you think sets Rigby apart from other gunmakers, especially in terms of the connection between the company and its customers?

Our commitment to fostering a sense of belonging and community among everyone associated with the brand. At Rigby, there’s no distinction between those within the company and those outside of it – we see our customers as integral members of the Rigby family. Whether that might be a seven-year-old boy receiving a complimentary cap or a seasoned collector purchasing a Rising Bite, each individual contributes to the fabric of Rigby’s legacy.

Our company is defined by the collective efforts of everyone involved – from our dedicated team members to the passionate customers who support us. Together, we form a united community, working together to uphold and preserve its heritage.

How does Rigby connect with the gun trade industry?

We have lots of friends in the gun trade industry and it’s always a pleasure to reconnect, especially at events like DSC. I enjoy capturing moments with my camera to preserve and share with our friends. I’ve recently sent off some of these snapshots for development. What’s nice about our industry is that there’s a real sense of fellowship and a bond between us all.

Looking ahead, what are your goals for Rigby in the coming year?

As ever, we’ve got lots of secrets up our sleeve which we’re looking forward to unveiling in due course, but for now, we’re preparing now for our 250th anniversary next year, which is going to be a huge milestone for the company.


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