It is now about 24 hours after our 1st Adat Chaverim Brotherhood Baseball Card and Sports Memorabilia show (the Plano, TX Card Show) has concluded and I'm personally exhausted but I'm happy to say we deposited twice my stated goal into our brotherhood (Men's Club) bank account and we're going to have extra money to help some kids go to camp.
We were able to set up the room on Saturday evening. I thought we'd assign on a first come, first served basis in the morning but instead we did assign tables and only had to make two minor adjustments. Jeff Schwartz, one of our fellow brotherhood board members, drove out to my house and packed everything into his SUV, which helped immensely. Preparation is always big when promoting a show.
The first adjustment was (and I realized this about 5 a.m. Sunday) that I had forgotten to put one of the dealers onto my list. Fortunately we had two extra tables set up for guests and we used one of those. We had a mix of circular banquet tables and 8-foot rectangular tables and one dealer who came early asked to switch to rectangular. Both those changes were easy to make.
One other issue which came up was ensuring the vendors could have wi-fi access. Somehow our technical gurus made a slight mistake in how to set up the room so we could give all our guests access. We were able to contact him early on Sunday and by the time the doors opened, everyone had wi-fi access.
Those were actually our biggest issues for the day which tells you that things went very well. Now we had the floor set up and actually had some dead time during set up.
The only thing I forgot to do for the front table was create a count sheet to see how many people came in but our best guest put attendance at 175-200, which isn’t bad for our inaugural effort. Everyone who came in received three packs if they chose: 2014 Leaf Football Draft; 2013-14 Hoops and 2013 Score football in addition to the Upper Deck Hockey Day in America sheets. The first 25 people who came through the doors received an unsigned 8 x 10 photo of Bart Starr. One mission accomplished: everyone who came in was able to get something back for the suggested $1 donation thanks to our corporate friends.
We had a nice crowd all day and although I did not make a sale until nearly 11 a.m., my sales turned out to be pretty strong. I had a lot of really nice customers, but I have to say my favorite was a young girl, no more than 10 years old, who loves vintage cards. Her dad told me she goes to Nick's Sports Cards frequently and Nick, Debbie and Jim always treat her so well. She just loves old cards and she can talk with a great deal of knowledge about the players.
We were checking with the dealers fairly regularly and most did from decently to very well. The door prizes were very well received and thanks to some last minute packages we were able to do four prizes twice an hour.
A few other random notes related to the show:
I read Mike Fruitman's Facebook post and then his email about a man who decided to abscond with a $300 box from his store in the Denver area. It’s the same man we believe has hit all the Dallas area stores and shows. Interestingly, after the column I wrote mentioning he was caught on video at Triple Cards, I have hardly seen him. At another area show, I saw him arrive and then leave within 10 minutes. I didn’t see him at our show. Mike’s posted some surveillance pictures from the weekend and hopefully he can be caught before anyone else is victimized.
My brother-in-law stopped by and helped with some last-minute social media publicity. One of his friends came in and sold a collection to Leon Luckey and Scott Brockleman who were visiting with me at that time. Leon and Scott just completed an auction featuring an original collection of a man born in 1899 who collected Tobacco cards in his youth. Leon told me that he check he was sending the family was 25 percent above his high estimate, which says a lot about the market for pre-War cards (their website, by the way, is here).
I personally sold some graded cards, vintage cards, a nice amount of Rangers cards (good to see as that is not something I sell a ton of) and even a few sets.
We had about 10-15 Beckett alumni stop by and it is always good to see old friends. All seemed happy to just be walking around and seeing some people they knew and loving the hobby as in the old days.
We were wrapped up by around 5 p.m.
I think if we really want to expand, I think we can get about 50 6-ft tables into the room. If we ever hit that amount, then I know we have made it to our long-term goal. Right now, any growth will be slow and measured.
Finally, I just want to say thank you for everyone who helped during the project.
First, to the men’s club board and other temple members who helped out during the day and the night before. There are way too many to mention by name but you all have my deep thanks and gratitude. I can handle the pre-show mechanics but we're doing enough on show day so we need extra help.
Second: To all the hobby people who gave us material starting with Jeff Rosenberg, Mandy Fuerst and Bobby Mintz of Tri-Star Productions. Bobby's brother is a member of Adat Chaverim.
Scott Prusha at Panini sent both door prizes and packs for all attendees. Nick and Debbie Redwine of Nick's SportsCards, Al G of Triple Cards in Plano, Chris Carlin and Grant Sandground from Upper Deck, Eddie Kelly of Pro Look, Clay Luraschi and Christine Schwartz of Topps, Joe Clemons and Brian Gray of Leaf all helped with card donations, too.
Having Beckett Grading and Beckett Auctions in the house gave the show a boost and we’re grateful to Mike Simmons, Rob Springs and Bill Sutherland.
If I'm missing anyone, please let me know and I'll add to this list. And, of course, I have to thank the editor here at Sports Collectors Daily, Rich Mueller, for letting me write about the progress on these pages, which helped raise awareness of what we were doing.
I’m so glad for the vendors who took a chance on a first time show and the attendees who put us on their calendar. I mentioned one dealer who planned to give us a little extra at the end of the day and he did ‘tithe’ a portion of his sales. Every dollar counts and we are thrilled with that as well.
For the short and long term, we are in good shape. I had enough free cards so we are holding Blowout Cards poster "John Ryno’s donated cards as well as a nice card from Beckett and some of the extra packs sent by Panini for our "Chai Noon" temple fundraiser on Saturday Night March 30. We will add four items to our silent auction and I know I'll be bidding on those items. If anyone has items they wish to donate for a tax receipt sheet (we did hand this to all the vendors), we're happy to accept this on behalf of the temple.
We will still have unopened packs for the next show as well as a nice grouping of cards to be used as door giveaways. We are targeting the Labor Day time frame for Plano Card Show II. We're happy with our first venture and will keep going at this for what will be hopefully a long time.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]