Winter 2014 Report
It certainly is energizing to be the bourse chairman of a numismatic convention that is as popular as the Central States Numismatic Society event! As I write this, it is mid-November, and we have just four of our 267 dealer booths still available. When I first saw the Schaumburg site, I said to myself, "This location will be a winner." Thanks to all of you, both our booth holders and our attendees, that hope is coming true. No matter how nice a place may seem to the people responsible for selecting it, the final decision is made by the people who actually use it. You all certainly seem to like Schaumburg. Probably the free parking, both for hotel guests and day visitors, is the feature the site offers that I hear the greatest number of positive comments about.
But… no matter how nice a site is, it won't be well accepted if there isn't a good product to fit inside. I know our convention management team is constantly striving to improve our convention.
The Civil War Educational Forum seems to be a product of exceptional quality. When I first started coming to coin shows as a child my father always encouraged me to attend the educational programs. When I did, I was always puzzled by the fact that there could be a few thousand people attending the show, and only four or five would show up for the educational programs. The Central States Civil War Educational Forum seems to have reversed that unfortunate trend. Each of our sessions typically draws between 30 and 70 people!! Some of these sessions are directly related to numismatics, while others are not. One thing I can guarantee, however, is that every speaker is exceptionally well informed about the subject of his or her presentation. If you come to one, it might be hard to break away and not stay for the others. Please visit our website, www.centralstates.info, for a complete listing of the speakers and their topics.
One hundred and fifty years ago, the Civil War was still in progress, and the outcome remained in doubt. As I'm sitting here today thinking about our Civil War Educational Forum, I suddenly realized that 150 years ago, on this very day, President Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address. One hundred and fifty years ago might seem so distant in the past that it could almost be in another universe. During the lifetime of any of you who are old enough to read this message, there were still living children and widows of Civil War veterans. When you think about it that way, 150 years ago doesn't really seem all that remote. So, please do come to our Civil War Educational Forum - you might be surprised at what you'll learn and the modified perspective it might give you about the relationship between the present and the past.
Another nice feature we will have this year will be a booth operated by Mike Bean, a retired Bureau of Engraving and Printing press man. Mike will be at our show with an antique spider press. He'll be doing printing demonstrations from steel engraved plates and will be holding two drawings each day to award a special limited edition souvenir card that he will be creating just for our convention. Mike will also be offering for sale steel engraved note cards featuring various allegorical vignettes. These note cards are a personal favorite of mine, and I think they top just about any similar product you can find at any retailer!
As bourse chairman, I really work for you, our members, our attendees and our booth holders. I hope that all of you will always be willing to take the time to communicate with me and let me know what you feel we as a convention sponsor are doing right and where we fall short. You are the final decision makers about whether any numismatic convention is really relevant to your needs. I want to hear from you. I want you to always feel free to send me an email at email@example.com, call me at 414-698-6498 or, when you see me at a show, just call me over and tell me what's on your mind. Maybe I won't always agree with you, but I do promise that I'll always listen to you and discuss your opinions with other CSNS employees and other members of our organization. Your opinions are valuable to me and will help us make our convention into what you want it to be. Can't wait to see you all in April!