Over the weekend, we had our second iteration on what used to be called the Dallas Card Show. We purchased the name a couple of months ago and have used the mailing list to help the show grow and maintain so people can be used to a monthly show again. We have been using the Southfork Hotel in Plano, a venue which I first learned about from attending postcard shows there. The staff is really good and the location is nice as well as you can see the hotel from a highway.
But for this show–and this is on me–when we were selecting our dates. I did not check the Beckett Calendar and did not notice the third Great Wolf show was scheduled for the same weekend. I know those promoters on their first show had chosen a date when Awesome Card shows already had scheduled a show but that is still no excuse for me not thinking about that in advance. So, understanding we were a bit behind the eight-ball, we still went ahead with our show plans for the month. The good news is that our paid attendance was about the same as the previous month and nearly 3/4 of the dealers (including me) had pretty decent days. Because of the slower dealer sales, we let them spread out and in a response which shocked me, almost all of the dealers who got extra space paid extra for that despite me saying that was not necessary. I was very pleased with honest and responsible the dealers at that show are.
We also did give away a small amount of money ($10 each hour) to entice some people to come by. The funniest part about that was at 3:30 we had one collector left in the room and when I handed him the $10 scrip he asked why. I explained if we’re going to do a giveaway, we have to honor our commitment and I was happy he was able to use that money towards his purchase. I’m also amazed by how early dealers get to a show. There are some dealers who, when I say an 8 AM set up time are at the hotel before 7 and yes being an early bird I was shocked to find I’m not even the first in the door.
On a happier note, I’m happy to say that all signs look good for continuing the show monthly for next year and our December show is just about sold out with commitments. That is truly exciting to see that and, in addition, our Adat Chaverim show (Plano III) already has about half the room (including some vendors who don’t do other DFW area shows) with table commitments. As a promoter, I’m happy that people are looking forward to our shows and want to be part of them. We even had one vendor who drove up from Austin, about a three hour drive each way, for the day.
Thus, on Sunday I headed off to the Great Wolf show. They moved from a meeting room with a long walk on the 5th floor (the one I attended in February) to being part of the convention center. That really made the show much easier to find. They also had excellent signage available. Since I know several of the vendors there, I did ask how they were doing and the response varied from OK to great. One advantage of show that runs more than one day is that is many dealers are willing to travel a great distance so they have a longer time frame to sell their cards and that sometimes means there is material in the room which is not always available at the local DFW shows.
There were several empty tables. The word I got was several dealers did sell virtually everything they had on Saturday, and yes, I guess if you sell out sometimes other people cannot expand their space by that much. Even if just dealer to dealer sales, that is encouraging. It shows that people think there is a market for cards at all price levels. Now of course, paying $5 to get in the door does make one a bit perturbed when they see empty tables. I will also say that I saw at least ten people who either set up or attended our show on Saturday that were there on Sunday. I will also say, for a $5 admission charge, there should be more than the chance to win a signed Lawrence Taylor jersey. Every person who is willing to pony up $5 to get in the door should, in my opinion, get some packs or free cards or something for their efforts to come to a show. Personally, I think our show made them do a better promotion job and I’m happy about that. Now if they would give back to people who walk in the door for a $5 charge, that would make things even better for the attendees.
Was the show worth $5? Well I was not really in a buying mood as I had purchased a couple of nice lots the day before but I did see some very active dealer tables and some not so active. In addition, any time I get to chat with long-time dealer Roger Neufeldt and spend some time with him, it is always worth the trip. Roger and I are going to try to work on some way to work together, whether in conjunction with the Southfork Show or on one of his one-man shows. He is a big supporter of the work we’re doing for Plano III at Adat Chaverim and will help us spread the word about our non-profit show as well. In addition, if I have a small part at his one-man show, then that is also another pair of eyes to assist him and that’s a win-win for all of us. I’m excited for our shows at Southfork next year, we are working actively on autograph guests both active and retired but will never announce anything formally till we have a definitive word.
I’m also excited for the chance to work with Roger if all goes well and I’m excited for our Plano III show.
But even better than that, I’m excited for our Secret Santa project. One nice customer of mine owns several Jersey Mike stores and has informed me that on an evening we choose, he will let us secure space for an in-person DFW area Secret Santa. No, he won’t feed us for free, but having a place arranged during holiday season is half the battle. I figure we have about a month, so if you are interested in the DFW area in-person event, please let me know. And of course, if you’re outside the area and are interested in participating in our national Secret Santa exchange, drop me a note at the address below.