Fall 2014 Report
I very much enjoyed being able to talk with so many of our booth holders and potential booth holders for our 76th Anniversary convention next April in Schaumburg at the recent American Numismatic Association convention. The numismatic trade is a business that is, at its core, built on personal relationships. Whether you are one of our booth holders, a serious collector or someone who is just beginning and may have attended our convention for the first time at our 2014 event, there are two words I want you all to remember when you think of me, approachable and accessible.
Our Central States Numismatic Society convention is a product. You have a choice of many similar products that you can select from. I want to have our convention be a choice that you will make, not only in 2015, but in the future. To do that I need to know what you need from our event, where we meet your expectations and, perhaps even more importantly, where we fall short. The only way I can do that is if I hear from you. No, I won't be offended if your input is critical. Quite the contrary, I'll feel challenged to do better. I like considering new features that might fill a need we aren't meeting, so please don't be shy about talking with either me or our general chairman when you see us at other conventions marketing our own event. We'll both be at the autumn Whitman Numismatic Expo. An important purpose in being there is to connect in person with the people who come to our anniversary conventions to find out what you think - to get your ideas for innovations that we might not have thought of. Contact information for both of us appears on the masthead page of The Centinel. We work for you and want to be responsive to your definition of what you need from a major numismatic convention.
I've been working at and coming to coin shows and numismatic events since I was probably about 10 years old. I've known some of you for almost 20 years. While it says "Bourse Chairman" in front of my name, I hope you'll all remember that I am still "Patricia" to all of you. Don't be intimidated by the title. If you have something to say, I'll be there to listen. A friend once told me, "You can learn more by listening than by talking." That is good advice that I try always to remember. My job is not just to maintain the quality of our event, but to participate in its improvement. I can't do that as effectively as I'd like to if you don't let me know what you think and what you want.
Our convention bourse is in a definite growth mode. Last year we had a waiting list of 13 dealers who wanted booths, and we were unable to accommodate them. I know that in the past it was often possible to wait until the last few weeks to secure a booth at our convention, but that just isn't the case any longer.
As I write this, a full eight months in advance of our 2015 convention, we are already slightly in excess of 90 percent sold out. Indeed, about 10 percent of our booth holders are dealers who didn't have space at all in 2014. It can also be perilous to procrastinate about making room reservations at our host hotel, the Schaumburg Renaissance. I know that 485 rooms sounds like an almost limitless supply, but it really isn't. Last year the hotel was sold out over several of our nights at least two months in advance of our convention, so I do recommend that you call the Renaissance soon at 847-303-4100 and mention rate code "CENCENA" for our $153 rate. And please, only book the space you'll actually need. Over booking and late cancellations simply deny other people who want to stay at the Renaissance the opportunity to do so.
In order for us to even be able to have a Central States Numismatic Society convention at all, we have to make sleeping room production guarantees to the hotel in order to be able to secure the convention hall exhibit space. Yes, it may cost more to stay at the Renaissance than at a lesser property a few miles away, but by doing that you are helping to ensure that there can be a future at all for our convention. The convention chairman is in charge of our site selection. For as long as I can remember he has been telling me that the first question he is asked when he visits a potential site is: "How many hotel rooms will you need?" It is really a very simple equation: Enough hotel rooms produced = CSNS convention continues in the future. Inadequate hotel room production = doubtful future for CSNS convention. Please keep this in mind when you decide where to stay next spring.
At our April 2014 meeting, the CSNS Board voted to donate $2,342 - $1 for each member - to the Industry Council for Tangible Assets in addition to our $300 a-year dues. ICTA is more than an organization that lobbies for laws and regulations that will be of commercial benefit to its dealer members. If you reside in one of the states where purchases of numismatic material are exempt from state sales tax, ICTA likely played a significant support role in assisting more locally based efforts to achieve that goal, which results not only in more business for dealers, but lower acquisition costs for collectors. ICTA deserves your financial support. I hope the example of the CSNS Board will prompt other to also increase their own support for this organization.
In closing, let me just say how much I've enjoyed the past year and a half as bourse chairman and the opportunity to enhance long-standing friendships with many of you, as well as the formation of new relationships with others. I'm especially looking forward to our 2015 event and hope that you'll all feel free to visit with me for a least a while when you are there.