The National Rifle Association is upon us and with that brings the annual Content Creator’s Panel. Hosted by The Gun Collective’s Jon Patton, the Content Creator’s Panel rallies top gun content Creators from the world of YouTube for a night of food, fun and prizes. The selling point? Patton says it comes down to providing gun enthusiasts and NRAAM attendees with the chance to interact with those they watch on screen.
Ahead of the Content Creator’s Panel, scheduled to kick off on April 28 at 3 p.m. at the Biltwell Event Center in Indianapolis, Patton sat down with Guns.com to fill us in on the upcoming event.
GDC: This event has become a recurring theme each year at NRAAM. Give me the origin story. Where did the idea for this panel start?
Patton: Well the original idea was kind of borrowed from the game community. I’d seen these panels where the audience interacts and asks questions of some of their favorite gamers and game content creators. I thought that was an amazing idea and I thought what a great thing for us to do in the gun community — bring together some of the top content creators that often times are difficult to reach in a way.
I wanted to try and bring the fans together with the creators in a way that was just really special. It’s grown over the years and it’s just become a great place to hang out and spend time together like a neighborhood barbecue.
GDC: Guns.com went last year and it definitely felt like a community coming together to have some fun. This is now the fourth year of the panel. What are you doing to keep it fresh and exciting?
Patton: What I try to do every year is give more and more to the audience that comes out to this event. This year we’re doing at least 500 prizes when people walk in the door. It’ll be a patch, an AR grip from XTech Tactical and a binary target from USA Chemical Supply and there’s going to be 500 of each of them. So people are going to come in and they’re going to walk away with something.
The prizes are also more significant. There’s a gun from New Frontier Armory. It’s called the TGC 9. They’ve taken some of their parts and built a complete gun. The serial number will be the date of the event. It’s cool. There’s a Daniel Defense bolt gun, Kel-Tec CP33, Faxon is giving away stuff and Henry is giving away something that they haven’t even announced yet. The prizes are a little more refined.
GDC: You mentioned the content creators and obviously they are the big draw in addition to all the prizes. Who is going to be there this year?
Patton: 22 Plinkster, John Lovell, Military Arms Channel, MrGunsandGear, Shawn Herrin, James Reeves, Tactical Toolbox, Kentucky Ballistics and Talon Sei.
GDC: Nice crew. What’s your process for selecting who appears on the panel?
Patton: The people that are on the panel are friends of mine — people that I respect and people that care about me and The Gun Collective. That is the number one thing. These are people that reached out to me when my dad passed away or are part of my life and community. Next, they all are top content creators. They draw an audience. The core is they are a top content creator and they are part of the community and they care about TGC and me.
GDC: It sounds expensive with all those prizes and securing a venue so why do it? Why do you continue to bring this panel to NRA attendees every year?
Patton: My intent is to give back as much as possible. This is the one time a year when I have the ability to connect with the audience in a way that is very special and unique. So I’m going to take every opportunity to do that.
GDC: Fair enough. Anything else GDC readers should know?
Patton: We’re going to have finger foods for 700 people, so everybody’s going to have a full belly. There’s going to be a cash bar so if you want to get a drink you can. It’s a more relaxed environment. We’re going to have a cocktail hour before we jump into the panel. People who come to the event can see all the giveaway prizes. They can get pictures with their favorite creators in a photo booth sponsored by Bowers Group. It’s a perfect cap off to the weekend.
Also, for people who can’t make it, the Q&A portion will be live streamed on The Gun Collective’s YouTube channel. It will only be that two hour Q&A period and that will likely start around 4 p.m. on that day.
**Article updated 4/15/2019 at 11:05 a.m. EST.
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