Fall - 2015 Report
As I write this, the American Numismatic Association convention, to be preceded by the ANA/PNG trade show, is just a few days away. Both the convention chairman and I will be in attendance to market our own 2016 77th Anniversary Convention, which will once again be held at the Schaumburg, IL, convention center and adjoining Renaissance Hotel.
As I write this, our own booth count is just over 240, with only 50 booths still available. Considering that our convention dates are still nine months in the future, I feel that this level of advance booth sales constitutes a real endorsement by the dealer community of the results they expect from participating in our convention bourse, which will be April 27-30 next year. Over the past several years our bourse area has been growing in size, and we will be at the point in 2016 where we've reached the practical capacity of our exhibit hall.
Our bourse area has a wide range of booth prices available, from $350 singles near the rear of the hall to $1,275 "L" corners in the very front. Because of the pace of advance sales, there are actually only a handful of booths left in each of the different price categories. So I'd advise dealers who haven't signed up yet to contact me as soon as possible. I know that sometimes it can be tempting to procrastinate, but the cost of not doing something often is greater than the cost of doing it. I think that is especially true when it comes to securing a booth at our 77th Anniversary Convention.
Heritage will once again have two separate auctions at our event, one specializing in rare currency and the other rare coins. Heritage has had some simply outstanding auctions at our past conventions, and I know that they can be depended on for a repeat.
At our 75th Anniversary Convention two years ago we had a special booth manned by Mike Bean - Plate Printer. Based in Olney, MD, Bean has been popular at Eastern shows, including the Baltimore Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo as well as the former Strasburg currency shows, but seldom appears at events in our part of the country. I'm especially glad that we've been able to arrange for him to be part of our 2016 convention, as his spider press and steel-plate engraving sales booth was a particularly popular part of our 2014 75th Anniversary Convention.
On an educational front, Ray Lockwood advises that plans are well under way for a multisession educational forum focused on Chicago history. While all the presenters have not yet confirmed, I'm anticipating that we'll have a forum that will prove every bit as popular and well attended as the Civil War presentations that we've had for the last four years. Hopefully, Ray will have the entire roster of presenters finalized by the time of our next Centinel.
For those of you who have an interest in competitive educational exhibiting, I'm excited to announce that the winner of last year's Ruhama and Leon Hendrickson Best in Show exhibit award, Nancy Wilson, will be doing a program on how to exhibit, assisted by her husband John, who is himself an accomplished exhibitor in his own right. Nancy has actually won our best in show award more than anyone else, being tied with the late Bob Kutcher for that singular honor.
For those of you who are more into the commercial end of the hobby, we'll have two presentations that I highly recommend. One will be by Kathy McFadden, executive director of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets; and another by Minnesota attorney Jim Diracles. ICTA serves as a lobbying group and regulatory watchdog that defends the interests of participants in the numismatic trade, both dealers and collectors. If you live in a state where you enjoy an exemption from sales taxes on your numismatic purchases, chances are that the efforts of ICTA are a major reason for that. McFadden will be giving an overview and update of ICTA activities over the past year.
Sometimes collectors seem to feel that ICTA is an organization that exists for the benefit of dealers alone. I really think that nothing could be further from reality. When a dealer is burdened by regulations that increase his costs or present burdens to the operation of his business -- who do you think ultimately pays those costs? You, the consumer. Whether you are involved in the commercial end of the business or not, you have a very real interest in what ICTA does, and it would be to your benefit to keep well informed about what ICTA is doing and why.
Closely related to the ICTA program will be a presentation by Diracles. Diracles has been carrying the heavy water for the numismatic trade in dealing with the impact of the not-long-ago adopted Minnesota dealer-registration statute. No doubt, many of you have at least some familiarity with the law. I highly recommend going to this talk, as it will open your eyes to some of the unintended consequences of a well-intended measure to protect consumers that can negatively impact the very people it was designed to help. Whether you know a lot about this subject or almost nothing at all, I highly recommend that you attend the presentation.
Many of you have known me since I was in elementary school. One of the greatest pleasures in my position as bourse chairman is the feeling of accomplishment that I derive from being part of the structure that contributes to people I've known for many years being able to earn a living and provide for their own families and children. While there is certainly a fun element to all of this, it is also a serious responsibility. I'll once again have my own booth near the message center at the 2016 CSNS convention. I hope that all of our attendees will feel free to come over and let me know who you are and share your viewpoints about what you want and don't want at our convention. The only way that we can meet the needs of our customers - and that's all of you - is if you share your thoughts with us. That's what I'm there for, to listen to what you want our event to be. I do hope you'll take the time to visit with me and let me know your own ideas.
One of the reasons that the convention chairman and I attend other events to market our own convention is to keep in touch with all of you. I think I may have told you in the past that former CSNS Gov. Ron Horstman once said, "You learn more by listening than by talking." That is good advice, so I hope that when you see either the convention chairman or me, either at our own convention or others, that you'll take the time to visit with one or the other of us and let us know what is on your mind.
I'll hope to see you in Schaumburg April 27-30, 2016.