Last weekend, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which has a paucity of shows, actually had two shows scheduled at the same time. The first was the already scheduled "Awesome Card Show" in Richardson, Texas while the second show was a two-day show held in Grapevine which seemingly popped out of nowhere just a few weeks before the event.
Because I had already committed to the Richardson show on Sunday, I decided to head out to the Grapevine show on Saturday. A few days before, I contacted my good friend Leon Luckey, head of the Net 54 message boards and asked if he wanted to car pool. Since the last time we went to Grapevine, it was a book and paper collectibles show, I had to assure Leon this was a BASEBALL card show and not one of those other options. Once I convinced him, we made arrangements to drive out on Saturday morning. I had only found out about the show through a Beckett Grading email blast.
The show was held at the Great Wolf Lodge, which is a gorgeous facility with an indoor water park. Across the street is the Gaylord Hotel, which is also a nice place to spend several days. The show was held on the 5th floor and no, there was not really a convenient way into the show for the dealers. I had wanted to see if I could take a table for just Saturday based on the previous commitment but the table price was beyond what I wanted to spend for one day basically to promote my upcoming show in Plano on March 9. Thus, I went and just took some flyers to hand to the dealers and some collectors.
My purchases were limited to a few dollars while Leon actually found a T-206 with a scarce back which he purchased from long-time dealer Roger Neufeldt. When Leon bought that card, Roger realized immediately he had made a mistake but instead of pulling the card out of stock, he went through with the transaction and even gave Leon a slight discount. That action is why I'm very proud to consider Roger a good hobby friend as someone who totally honors his word. Meanwhile, Leon was smiling the whole way home about his purchase.
Then on Sunday, I did set up at the Awesome Card Show in Richardson. I have discussed in the past several of the plusses and minuses of Jimmy's shows but the more I talk to him, the better I understand many of the reasons for how he runs his shows. With the competition from Grapevine (one of the dealers at Richardson set up in Grapevine on Saturday and claimed the promoter told him about 100 people walked through the door) and the really gorgeous February weather, I was concerned about the show and how the day would progress.
The first hour was typically slow as I still am not in favor of the "early-bird" buyers hour; however, Jimmy has done something brilliant with that. He has two door prizes during the day and now runs the first one during the early-bird hour. He claimed that was my idea, and though I don't remember saying that, the concept makes perfect sense to me. If you have people paying extra money to walk through the door, give them a better chance at the door prize. And yes, by the conclusion of the early-bird hour my table fee was covered.
The rest of the show went relatively slowly. However, one really encouraging sight was seeing people I had never seen at the Dallas Card Show. I would say maybe 75 percent of the people who attended were not the usual card show regulars, but instead were, in most cases, people who had collected in the 1990's and were returning to the collecting fold. That is a very good sign for the hobby continuing to gain strength over the next few years as with a recovering economy that number might continue to grow. And amazingly I sold very few singles (one of those singles did pay for my Grapevine trip) and mostly had a set and odd and ends table which is where my of my sales came from.
So, the show was a decent enough day in Richardson, and I would probably give another shot in April when the next show will occur. We'll also have at least one more update on my card show preparations in the next week or so as we get closer to March 9.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]