Plano III is in the books and yes the show on Sunday was again quite a success. We did have a few bumps along the way but fortunately nothing which took away from the collector or the dealer experience.
We were a bit shorthanded because some of our Adat Chaverin Brotherhood board members were away for various reasons. We had some rain early in the day and we were coming off the daylight saving time change which is sometimes hard to adjust to.
Two dealers arrived late. One had called me to say he was not going to be there until about noon and asked me to hold his table and the other is simply always late. Well, I’m sure there were pools taken on when he would make his appearance and whoever called 11:15 was the winner. He was set up next to a couple of friends and they changed his dealer name tag to “Fashionably Late”.
The other issue, and this is funny in retrospect, is since most of the other shows I’m involved with take place on Saturday, we had several collectors come by to the synagogue a day early, ready to buy cards. The only thing happening that day was a bat-mitzvah and the only thing I was doing was ushering.
I can’t give you an exact attendance but I was pleasantly surprised by all the faces I don’t remember ever seeing before at a show. Anytime you see new collectors there is always a lot to be said for our future. And, even better, most of those folks did not feel the need to regale with stories about how their mom threw away their cards or putting them in their bicycle spokes. Plus, most of those new collectors I saw were fairly well versed on cards and again that was a major plus. I even noticed many young collectors walking around. We also did see several of our fellow Beckett alums including Jeff Allison, Mark Brewer and Dave Sliepka.
I always walk around and ask the dealers how they did. It’s a small show but most told me sales ran from ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ and no one seemed disappointed. In between helping manage the show, I set up a table and was pleased with my own transactions but one vendor told me he did nearly $2,000 in business. Dealers worked with each other, too. One had two Mike Trout autographs which he sold to another dealer who then traded those autographs for signed Bowman Chrome cards of a major prospect.
Our grab bag giveaways at the door were a hit. Panini had provided us with packs and our friends from Beckett donated some inexpensive graded cards to supplement each stack. For a $1 suggested donation, our collectors get more than their money back in addition to helping our cause of sending kids to summer camp.
Reader Brian Koyama was our donation MVP and he has already indicated he will send us more cards. Brian had even sent along three nice autographed cards from Topps Dynasty which were big hits among collectors gunning for door prizes. In fact, one collector told me his son had asked him to pick up 20 tickets to see if he could win a Johnny Bench bat relic signed card numbered to 5 (no he did not win that card). We again want to give Brian, and all our other contributors, a major shout out as our success had much to do with what we were again able to give away at the door.
Our door prize ticket sales were far more than we ever had sold before. Part of our improved sales had to do with being able to recruit some assistance from our sisterhood to man the front table and sell those tickets.
We’d also like to thank Mike Berkus for his generous donation of the National VIP pass. The winner of the auction was one of our dealers and we were happy he won as he usually gives us a “tithe” of his show earnings and he was also the dealer who left us the 60,000 card donation for future shows.
And now, the best part is the conclusion. We had, perhaps, our most profitable show as between the door prizes, the extra donations and that generous dealer, we are already well on our way for our next set of gift bags at the door. And again, we were able to give our dealers free bagels and coffee as a thank you when they set up. We also had inexpensive hot dogs, drinks and chips available at the show. Our volunteer members have to be in the kitchen to cook and prepare the food.
We also have to have people walking the door prize tickets back to our area and runners to bring those items to the winners. At times I say “my show” but in actuality it’s our show as without the superb help, we could not be as successful as we are. To everyone who helps in any way, I say thank you on behalf of not only me but of all the dealers and collectors.
I’m already looking forward to the show at the Southfork Hotel is on April 18 with former Cowboys player Michael Downs as the free autograph guest from 11 AM to 1 PM. Our next fundraisinig show at the synagogue will be on September 6 and we’re hoping Plano IV is an even bigger success. As I’ve discovered since we started this journey a couple of years ago, local show promotion is a lot of work, but it’s incredibly rewarding when you can help a good cause.