by Rich Klein
Talk about not getting the memo. I attended a show on Mother's Day in Irving Texas promoted by GTSM Sports Marketing. The show, which was listed in Beckett as having 80 tables probably had 20 in all. My old friend Roger Eiffel had four tables in the front of the room and there was one other dealer with several tables of 25-cent cards. I will say if I had the patience or the interest to go through the quarter boxes I would have done very well. Among the cards I remember in those boxes included 1989 Donruss Curt Schilling Rookie Cards and a 1992 Donruss Diamond Kings Cal Ripken Jr.
The other baseball card tables were manned by long-time dealer Roger Neufeldt who had the four tables in the front of the room. The only reason Roger did well--almost as well as he did at the last National he said-- was that he mailed out over 250 promotional postcards to his customers letting them know he would be set up. Yes, I received one, but no, I did not pay any attention until I read on a chat board about the local show in the Dallas area.
What the promoter did correctly: They had admission deals on places such as Groupon and the show was listed on the Beckett web site.
What could the promoter done better: First: Find a slightly more accessible location. I did see a notice on a chat board how hard this place was to locate. I will disagree with that premise to this extent: I ran Mapquest and the directions were perfect. I will say that while the location should have been better, getting there was not as difficult as it was made out to be.
The admission charge was extreme. I do not know about you but $10 to enter a show in which there might be a maximum of 20 tables is way too much. I would have either reduced the table prices a bit to sell more tables or lowered the admission charge. Talk about not getting what you purchased. I do understand that facilities cost money to rent but there has to be an expectation of value that the experience is worth the cost. $10 will buy you admission to a lot of nice attractions in the Dallas area.
Granted, holding a show on Mother’s Day is risky. The promoter deserves some credit for going against the grain and potentially filling a void, but when the dealers don’t commit, the admission price should be adjusted to reflect that.
After this experience I will promise you I will never attend another GTSM event. Felling like I got ripped off is a feeling that is hard to forget. I always comment on the National's $18 per day admission fee, but compared to the show I went to on Sunday, the $18 National admission-- even with adding he parking fee-- is a real bargain.
There’s a show near me the third Saturday of each month in Allen, Texas that has free admission,. If I did not have another commitment next Saturday I would attend that show. Not only does the promoter have free admission, but I receive two or three emails in the week leading up to each monthly show as a nice reminder.
I’m still hoping to learn something a little more concrete about the status of of former Pro Set executive Lud Denny. If anyone has a real answer, please drop me a note.
Well here is hoping the next time I attend a local DFW show the experience will be far better than the one I had Mother's Day.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]