Another Dallas area show promoter recently approached me about running his shows inside the hall where our Plano Card Shows have launched. We debuted earlier this year and a second show is planned this summer. He mentioned he had heard really good things about our facility which are all true and I was honored he even asked us. Although I knew where this request was going to go, I still wanted to do my due diligence before responding with an answer I could have told him was coming.
My first step was to bring his request to the Adat Chaverim (Plano, TX) brotherhood (Men's Club) board and after a few minutes discussion we agreed unanimously for me to see what, if any were the conditions, we needed to rent out our social hall. I will point out during the summer, the facility sits mainly quiet.
I was given the name of the person who is responsible for renting out the social hall and we had a very friendly email conversation. Her first question was, ‘would these shows affect our shows?’ I responded with probably a bit but I showed how the math would work out and we'd actually take in more overall money with some minimal effort.
The next question was about a cleaning fee for after the event and because that would be a minor expense we agreed he would be able to cover that easily. Then the third and final question came up and this was the show stopper. That question was if he would he be able to secure insurance for using our facility.
If you have ever wondered why so many card shows are held in hotels, this little adventure confirmed the reason for that. You see, hotels do so many events that the insurance for a room is covered in the rent while for places such as ours that rarely have outside interests coming in for one-shot events, the promoter must cover insurance. It does make sense because although I have seen very few issues at a show, you never know what might arise. And calamity has happened at card shows, believe it or not.
The biggest example of a reason to have insurance is based on an incident I saw first hand at the 1997 National Convention. The I-X Center roof in Cleveland leaked and basically ruined the displays set up by Rich Altman and Mark Lewis. If anything such as that occurred during a show at our synagogue and we did not require the promoter to have insurance, we could be out a great deal of money. And that is a hidden cost of promoting a show. You see, when we talk about the National Convention charging $26 at the door such as they did the previous year we are not privy as a group to know if they have to pay considerable insurance separately. This is just another cost to consider in running a show.
Here are a couple of other notes that might be of interest to those promoting shows around the country. For our second show, we are going to reach out to various local sports teams to see if they can provide us any items for our door prizes/silent auctions. I was shocked when I contacted my rep at the Frisco Roughriders (AA minor league team in the Texas Rangers organization) and was informed they do not allow ballplayers to sign the days of any games even with an small honorarium and for a legitimate non-profit such as we are. I would have hoped we'd been able to secure a player for 1-2 hours just to have a pro athlete to sign autographs. Heck, I'd be happy with Guilder Rodriguez, who is 30 years old and bounces between AA and AAA.
While the team rep did ensure the team would send over some door prizes or memorabilia for the silent auctions we run, I was disappointed at not being able to get a player early in the day. Now that the Stars and Mavericks are out of the playoffs, I'll be checking in with them.
And as I have written, we'll also take any and all card donations for door prize or silent auction purposes. We try to make sure anyone--especially kids-- attending our shows walks away with a few freebies or low cost items. Donating cards is a great way to get items out of your house and get great tax credits for next year. Please contact me at the email address below if interested.