It’s been nice to see the little resurgence in card shows here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. From a time when any show would have been appreciated, we are going back to the 2-4 events per month routine more befitting of such a large metropolitan area. It’s obviously still not like 25 years ago where on any given weekend there would be a minimum of 2-4 shows per week spread around the area, but it is good to see a growth in people wanting to run them and dealers doing well enough to keep setting up.
This past weekend, we had another two-day show run by a group that had been holding them at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. This time the show was moved to at the Addison Convention Center. Attendance was a bit slow on Saturday but to be fair, the weather was wet and the temperature barely got above freezing on Saturday while Sunday was a cold, raw and wet day. When you have weather such as that in the Dallas area many people just say “I’m not going out in this unless I/we have to.”
It was a shame as several dealers such as Randy Cook. Larry Dluhy and Roger Neufeldt were all among those who came from a reasonably long distance to set up at this show. Randy has run a long-time hobby radio program, Larry has just closed down his card shop after more than 35 years (we will have a separate feature on Larry shortly) and Roger has terrific material and usually has a crowd at his tables. With dealers that good and many other local dealers in the room, the material offered for sale was as good as many of the old regional shows used to be.
Unfortunately there were no on-site concessions and I think the promotion of the show could be improved and more people attracted by reaching out to an older school collector base than what they are currently doing. Having said that, there were certainly some positives. Beckett Grading had a booth that was very busy. In fact, by the time I got there at 2 PM, they were telling everyone they were booked for the day and no more cards could be accepted for that day.
Our small non-profit show is coming up this Sunday at Adat Chaverim. We had our monthly Brotherhood (Men’s Club) Meeting this month and voted to have a second event in August. The proceeds help send kids to summer camp and our club is happy with the progress of the event (this Sunday’s show will be our third and it continues to grow).
One thing we hang our hat on (and it’s good advice for any promoter) is to give away free cards to anyone who donates $1 at the front door. It’s a nice way to say ‘thank you’ to anyone who attends and people love to see what’s in their bag, especially the kids.
Over the weekend, our volunteers spent time putting about 200 of those freebie bags together and we’re still taking donations for future shows. Whether it’s a free pack, free autograph, free supplies or something else, the most successful shows treat visitors well.
I had mentioned collector Brian Koyama had donated approximately 75 1989 Fleer Ken Griffey Jr. rookies and some other very popular cards so we can feel like everyone will receive something of value. The only thing which slowed us down was all these fine men on the brotherhood board (and assorted people we roped into helping) reminiscing
about their favorite memories of these cards. Jeff Schwartz. our vice president, waxed rhapsodic about spending the summer of 1985 collecting the Fleer set and the fun he had putting it together. He says it’s the one set he kept from his youth and I suspect he’ll always keep it for the memories.
In addition to those bags, we will again be able to give everyone who comes in a free BCCG card and we have a group of packs left from what Panini has sent us previously so it’s exciting to see that we’re able to give back to our collecting community. Thanks to Mike Berkus we will also be auctioning a VIP pass to this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. Obviously, since not everyone from Dallas will be able to attend, we figured the best way to handle this was to have a special auction on this item and allow someone who plans on going the chance to score the ultimate ticket which includes some free autographs.
Again, our tables are sold out and we’re looking forward to decent weather so folks have no excuse to stay home. Thanks to everyone who has helped us or committed to supporting the show in some way.
It’s great fun to be involved in helping one of the country’s large metro areas keep the hobby alive through shows. Buying, selling and trading online is OK, but there’s nothing like spending a couple of hours (or more) in a room with like-minded collectors, meeting new friends and acquaintances and thumbing through a stack or box of cards in person.