Well it's been a busy few weeks. Starting out at the Spring ANA in Atlanta and 6 weeks later five total shows including Baltimore, a couple in No California, Las Vegas I have been hopping all over the place. After that stretch in a couple of cases where I had exactly 2 days, to reorganize and try to make sure sales were recorded, coins taken off the sites and so on then I get the fun of finishing taxes.
I must be very wicked as I haven't gotten any rest!
Overall, I would have to say the shows have been pretty satisfactory. Baltimore was a bit of its pace in part I feel to a lost day on Thursday with the new Hall of Fame Baseball Commemoratives being rolled out by the mint. While the coins themselves with their concave design are intriguing and different, the mint wasn't organized all that well at the show for the sale. 2 registers to check folks out is not sufficient! And early on no monitoring of the line which went clear outside, so those that had lots of helpers available could post one in line to wait, then when they got near the front send 3 or 4 more to stand with them which totally bogged down the whole thing. If done correctly a show release can be a fun part to a show, but sadly this was mainly a disruption to Thursday, which is an important day for the Whitman show. To the US mint's credit they did start passing out tickets to those in line late Thursday after some complaints filtered in so the line cutting fiasco ceased. So the next time a release is timed for a show, pass out some tix to those in line people so the line "moves" and their is less disruption.
While on this topic advice for the grading services. If you are going to do a special label and you know there is going to be high demand, bring a team of modern graders to the show. I wasn't significantly impacted compared to most as I suspected most of the walk throughs would never be returned nearly on time so I just dropped stuff to go back to the office. But those dealers who do a lot of show grading were really done a disservice. Even getting their submissions in as early as possible Thursday morning and paying up for the 4 hour or one-day grading service ($110 or $200) found themselves getting half their submissions back Saturday or not at all with it going back to Irvine and Sarasota! Not much good for having this fresh new material back for the show itself. This impacts business significantly for a group of dealers so plan ahead and get the appropriate staffing in place if a release like this is going to happen. Hint, hint.
Overall I would have to give the shows the following grades from the experiences of Holsonbake Numismatics and not in order of the shows but just a listing:
Atlanta - C- The facilities and convention center are really very nice, but the show was just not happening like it could. Is Atlanta just not a coin town? I suspect this may be the case. Certainly the ANA staff did a good job it just wasn't a happening show unfortunately.
Sunnyvale - A The promotor does such a great job and works hard at it. Good motel rate, lunch for the dealers both days provided, strong attendance promoted by various advertising outlets where money is spent and solid follow up on invites to past attendees.
San Francisco Old Mint Show - B- The promotor works hard and does a good job. This time the show was shifted back to a Sat-Sun schedule with Friday afternoon set up. Saturday was awesome and busy, but Sunday was zzzzzz. I just don't think Sundays work at hardly any shows anymore and it was a noble experiment but Thursday afternoon set up and Fri-Sat is the way to go.
Las Vegas - C- The promoter for this show works hard as well. The date was a bit later in the year and in my view too close to tax time. Traffic was decent and lots of inquiries but mostly tire kicking, and nearly every dealer I spoke with experienced the same thing. I would suggest moving it back to early March, or out to May. This show should have been much better because the traffic was there, but the sales weren't.
Sacramento Show - C+ The promotor gets the usual folks out and the show was OK, but the scheduling was so tight with the two shows above and just not enough folks attending had already been to Sunnyvale or San Francisco. In fact this is an overall general problem right now in No Calif.
There are just too many shows and the markets of the South Bay, East Bay, Sacramento etc. all overlap at least for coin show attendance. I would like to suggest that all the local Bay Area clubs consider having joint shows, reducing the number of shows in the area. I could have done a show in the Bay Area every two weeks if I had done all I was sent information and invited to do. As it was I did 5 out of 12, one was ok, two of which were good and two were about the slowest shows I have ever attended. Guess what, I won't be back set up at those wasting my time and money.
Baltimore -B solid show for us, if not a barn burner. Much improved from the Fall 2013 show which was definitely impacted by the government shutdown. Because of new contacts made this show could upgrade a lot of a few things fall into place. :)
So now the marathon of getting photos done and up is here as I have fallen way behind with the pace of inventory and so little time between shows. Doing something serious about it this weekend so I hope to have made SIGNIFICANT progress on this area.
Also look for more blog posts going forward now that the website is humming along in good fashion and we increase our effort in promoting the site. We have a lot of coins right now with some real beauties and tougher dates. So if you see anything that intrigues you give us a shout or drop us an email. Thanks, Glenn