I'm not attending the National this year for the first time in more than 30 years and while that was a fun ride, I've been able to put even more of my energies into Plano II, the show we are running twice a year to benefit our synagogue's (Adat Chaverim in Plano TX) Brotherhood (our men's club). We do have a simple web site at Planocardshow.com and as of today, with a month to go before the show, we are sold out of table commitments and have already created a waiting list.
That's great news, obviously, and for our group and our charitable ventures we're thrilled. We are going to be able to have both a silent auction as well as door prizes and are always looking for more of both. I'm going to give a shout out here to my favorite saint, Megan Galinski-Broggi, who in between taking care of the dealers at the National, is going to mail us some goodies when she returns to New Jersey. We appreciate her thinking of us from so far away. And I never say this enough, but anyone who dealers love as much as they do her, is a very special person indeed.
I’m wondering if our being sold out is a good sign for the popularity of local shows. I had a conversation with one of the pair of regular dealers from the Dallas Card Show who are thinking of going monthly with a venture of their own. We talked about their goals and things like door prizes, admission costs and other factors in running a good local show. While we probably won't get back to the early 1990's where there was a show almost every weekend, there is little doubt that the interest in more shows is a great positive for the hobby. And increase such as that fits in nicely with everything we keep hearing about collectors returning to the hobby after about a 15-20 year absence.
And hopefully we can all work together to keep growing the hobby. I received a very nice call from James of Awesome Card Shows who is running one of his in Arlington (which is about an hour away) a week before our event. He wanted to apologize but I laughed and said that was fine and he offered to let me hand out flyers at his show and may even send a notice out to his e-mailing list. We appreciate his kindness in advance.
Nick Redwine of Nick's Sportscards mentions that frequently when I visit his shop and this page on Facebook sees those types of comments constantly as well. There was also a thread on the PSA boards where a collector mentioned the show at which he has been setting up as a dealer is getting more and more dealers.
Even better for the hobby, this may not just be limited to the Dallas area. There was recently a small thread on the popular Collectors Universe board in which a part-time vendor was bemoaning there were more people setting up at the shows and even a couple of stores opening in the Indianapolis area. Almost everyone who responded agreed that was a good prognosis and the strong will survive while the weaker will not. To me, anything that brings more cards and collectors into an interpersonal relationship rather than just on the Internet should be viewed as a major positive. I hope those new stores do great in Indy and I hope the show this man does continues to flourish as well. I know last year, my good friend Gary Sipos who runs the long-standing Garfield New Jersey show told me that 2013 was his best year in more than a decade and 2014 is shaping up to be even better.
Now for those in Cleveland, find all those "white whales" you want and for those in the rest of the country may your interest in cards continue to flourish on a local basis.