1899 Morgan Dollar Obverse, Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions      1899 Morgan Dollar Reverse, Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

Convention Chairman's

Winter 2015 - Message

I'm really looking forward to our upcoming 76th Anniversary Convention, to be held for the fourth consecutive year at the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center, located just 10 miles from O'Hare Airport and across the I-90 freeway from the well-known Woodfield Mall. Our site is especially user and attendee friendly, with more than ample free parking, no less than three dining outlets in the hotel itself and a short direct indoor connection between the hotel and the adjacent convention center. I know that security is always an important consideration for our CSNS convention goers. Being able to go from the hotel to the convention center without going outside or having to drive from elsewhere is a major plus that contributes to everyone's safety.

Illinois and Schaumburg also provide a business-friendly environment, with virtually all the items bought and sold in our bourse area enjoying an exemption from Illinois sales taxes. In addition, unlike some areas that could be at least theoretical venues for our convention, there are no burdensome dealer licensing or registration laws to worry about.

Schaumburg seems to be growing in popularity with everyone. Last year our bourse was sold out in mid-February. As I write this in late October, we are actually just two booths short of our total sales from the 2014 75th Anniversary Convention. If you are a dealer who has been procrastinating, it would be a good time to secure your 2015 space. Although Bourse Chairman Patricia Foley has added a handful of additional booths to accommodate those who wound up on our waiting list last year, once the last booth is sold, it is sold and it would be a shame to not be included in the considerable commercial and profit opportunities offered by our 280+ booth bourse area.

I know that some of our dealers can be world-class procrastinators when it comes to actually booking bourse space. I also know that for quite a number of years it often was possible to get a CSNS booth in the few weeks just before the convention. I'm afraid those days are past. Sometimes the cost of not doing something is higher than the cost of actually doing it. Delaying until all our bourse space is gone and being deprived of the considerable business opportunities offered by our bourse area falls into that category. If you want to avoid being shut out it is really important that you get in touch with Patricia ASAP. Her email is foleylawoffice@gmail.com.

I also hope that when Patricia and I are in attendance at various other numismatic events to market our own convention, you'll feel free to offer us your opinions about our convention. Everyone has their own specific needs and objectives they want to satisfy at any event that they attend. We value your opinions and encourage you to share them with us, either in person or via email.

CSNS Education Director Ray Lockwood has assembled another intellectually stimulating, two-day Civil War Educational Forum. Rather than recite the details here, I'll suggest that you visit our website, www.centralstates.info, where you'll find the convention schedule of events.

On the education front, Ohio's David Heinrich, our Young Numismatists chairman, will once again be presenting a program aimed at introducing our younger attendees to numismatics. Ours is very much a family-oriented event, so please be sure to include your children or grandchildren in your plans.

We'll also once again have an exceptional exhibit area. Fran Lockwood, who served more than ably as our exhibit chairperson for 17 years, retired last year. She is being succeeded by Jack Huggins, who has served as our chief judge for many years, and is well qualified to manage our educational exhibits.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the convention for both Patricia and me is something that never would have occurred to me when I first started managing numismatic conventions in 1981. Whether we are sitting in the message center, Patricia's convention management booth on the bourse floor or simply walking the floor and interacting with our booth holders and other attendees, we'll overhear bits and pieces of conversations that in many cases have a common theme - the excitement someone feels from an acquisition that they've just completed.

A convention of the size of our CSNS event probably has well in excess of $100 million worth of inventory on display. In addition, our two Heritage Signature sales typically gross about $50 million. People know that if they are looking for something special that has been a challenge to acquire, either our bourse area or our auctions present superior opportunities to bring such a quest to fruition. It can be really satisfying to hear about how our convention contributes to the fulfillment of people's collecting interests.

The CSNS convention is much more than simply a big coin show. It is a real convention, with an array of educational programs and lectures, a first-class educational exhibit area and the social opportunities offered by our Friday evening educational exhibitor/speaker reception as well as by our Saturday morning awards breakfast. I think that the first CSNS convention I personally attended was in 1978. I've been to every one since and have half a lifetime of memories associated with these events, memories of friends no longer here, of humorous incidents, of memorable transactions and in general just a whole host of experiences that have enriched my life in ways I never would have anticipated. In some respects that's really what our event is about --- creating memories. I hope that you'll join us in forming some of your own. That may not seem so important to you now, but someday it will.