You have to have an ffl to get in.
Not true at all... I signed up this year before my business was even state registered. You have to answer a bunch of questions about the business you are affiliated with though.
But yeah it is closed off because it is for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, military contracts, private security companies...etc all the major military contracts and everything is announced at SHOT every year. Way too much business being conducted to have the general public in there as well. It is one of the biggest shows you'll ever attend if you do gain access. Imagine a large costco, double the square footage, and add 4 stories and you might be approaching the size of SHOT. I walked 12-15 miles a day last year for 4 days and still didn't see everything. Its unbelievable...