It’s been a busy summer but we’re not done yet. Plano IV, which is otherwise known as the show we began about 18 months ago as a fundraiser for our Brotherhood (Men’s Club) at Adat Chaverim here in Texas, is set for Sunday.
I always like to remember what I’ve learned from those with show promoting experience. Mike Berkus, the co-founder of the National always talks about when he sees the empty room before the National is set up and wonders how he is going to fill it and hopes people actually show up. Seeing a room go from empty to filled with tables with all kinds of great cards and memorabilia and people looking to purchase those items is really cool. Our goal is to get as many vendors as possible into our rooms and make sure there are enough customers to keep them busy. Without both elements, we will not have a successful event.
I was also happy to spend a decent amount of time with Mark Macrae at the National. Mark, along with long-time New Jersey promoter Gary Sipos, were very accommodating when I discussed our first show with them and I’ve attempted to use the lessons I’ve learned at not only the Adat venture but also the show we run at the Southfork Hotel. So far, just about every eventuality has been covered by Mark in our chats and if something comes up which is new, we will adjust and move forward.
Here’s an interesting legal issue we ran into. Texas state law prohibits non-profits from running more than two raffles a year. And yes, we found out when we had three door prize drawings at 12:30, that would count as three raffles. Well, needless to say, while we were not aware of that law previously, we now know and have made some important changes.
One is that, as in previous shows, each person who makes a suggested donation will receive a “surprise” note in each bag which will enable them to redeem the extra goodie at our redemption table. We will use some really neat prizes donated by our vendors and friends. Those prizes include a Mike Trout PSA/DNA signed baseball courtesy of Brian Komaya who has been our donation MVP. We also have a Dez Bryant signed football courtesy of Kelsey Schroyer of ESPN Mint Condition and I found a Darryl “Moose” Johnston signed football at home. We have other nice things as well including some card sets donated by our friends at Frisco Auction Services and tons of cards for the bags. We are always looking for more donations and will need them going forward. Please either see me at a Dallas area show or send an email to the address at the bottom of the column if you can help.
Lone Star Collectibles is also conducting an on-site case break of 2015 Topps Jumbo Football and I’m hopeful this will bring in some collectors as well. Adding case breaks is something other show promoters are doing and I like the idea.
Publicity is increasing thanks to some newly discovered venues where we can post about our show for free. To a promoter, those outlets are invaluable because you never know who is reading them and might attend the show. I was even able to get our show into an events calendar hosted by a major newspaper here, the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. If I can find a new collectors by taking a few minutes to submit the information online, whether via free listings or a message board post, it’s worth it.
Derek Ficken of Beckett Radio and the new BGS Sales Rep for the Southwestern part of the USA has always allowed us to promote our Adat show on Beckett Radio. You can listen to this week’s edition here.
It’s always fun to work with a radio pro like Derek and our chats are so natural that we could run our pre-tape chat and then the live chat and it would almost exactly the same. At the National Sports Collectors Convention, Jason Beard, who is a regular SC Daily reader, came up to editor Rich Mueller and me and mentioned hearing me on the program. It’s great to know folks are listening and hearing our message and I’m glad Jason gets a few ideas from us for potentially running a hobby business in the Cincinnati area.
There are a lot of things which go into our successful show but the most important part is our brotherhood volunteers. We have great people who set up the room the night before and then break down the room after it’s over. We have someone who ensures the wi-fi is good to go for our vendors. We have runners and other people to assist our dealers and most importantly we build great camaraderie in the whole event. The morning after I got back from the National, we were in the social hall getting our goodies ready for the show. And while I was personally running on fumes that morning after my flight arrived sometime after 2 AM (and try to explain that to your wife), we got everything accomplished we needed to do.
While I do about 96 percent of the pre-work, during the event I can sit back and let better people than me run the show. By all means, if you’re anywhere near Dallas this weekend, I hope you can stop by and help a good cause while adding some cards to your collection.
Of course, I brilliantly scheduled our next show at the Southfork with Kenny Gant signing just six days after Plano IV so I’m just hoping to survive it all. I think it’ll be a good kind of busy.