Central States Numismatic Society
Serving the Numismatic Community since 1939
Convention Chairman Quarterly Report
CSNS Convention Chairman Kevin Foley
Summer 2016 - Message
Our 77th Anniversary Convention is now history. Of all the CSNS events that I've produced and managed since 1998, I really believe that this one went the most smoothly, with a minimum of the road bumps that are almost inevitable at a convention of its size. What really made me feel the best, however, was the considerable number of dealers who approached either me or the bourse chairman with unsolicited comments about how well they'd done. It is no secret that the numismatic marketplace has been somewhat subdued over the past year. When an event yields positive commercial results for our dealer booth holders that exceed the overall state of the market for numismatic items, that is something that everyone who played a role in the event can take more than just a little bit of pride in.
Some people tend to forget that it is really the booth holders, early bird/professional preview attendees and our auction company, Heritage, who provide the bulk of the financial resources that make all of our other activities that are not self-supporting possible at all, such as the educational exhibit area, The Centinel, our numismatic research grants, our coin club speakers subsidy program, club free DVD program, club library donation program, charter bus convention trip grants and traveling educational seminar programs.
At the Awards and Installation Breakfast at our just concluded convention I asked those present who were booth holders to stand up so that they could be recognized. All too often the people who are providing the financial support for organizations such as CSNS tend to be overlooked when it comes time for the simple gesture of saying, "Thank you." I'm not at all certain why that is, but it certainly seems to me to be true, i.e. that the revenue producers who enable everything else to happen at all within numismatic organizations are often overlooked and typically taken for granted. I certainly hope that we don't fall into that trap.
Speaking of financial support, the convention issue of The Centinel, as well as the printed convention program, included mention and recognition for our multiple convention sponsors. These business firms, individuals and coin clubs collectively donated $28,000 to enhance the quality of our convention and enable us to provide a higher quality event than would otherwise have been the case. That is a considerable sum and is the highest amount that we have ever raised through what is known in the section of the Convention Manual that establishes it as the "Board Sponsorship Project." Thank you to those on the Board who successfully participated in this important fund-raising responsibility by obtaining sponsorship donations or making such donations from their own personal resources: Patricia Foley, David Heinrich, Brett Irick, Ray Lockwood, Jack Huggins and Chris Seuntjens. I trust and hope that our 2016-2018 Board members will be up to the challenge of surpassing the results achieved by their predecessors, both from a production and actual effort standpoint.
I've remarked in the past that our convention is more than just a big coin show. One of the areas where I feel we really surpassed ourselves at the 77th Anniversary Convention was with our educational programs and seminars. Anyone who attends numismatic events is likely all-too-well aware how disappointing attendance typically is at many such educational affairs. I know that Education Director Ray Lockwood put in a considerable effort in recruiting speakers and planning the content of these programs. While both he and I felt that we were offering our attendees a product that should excite them, in the final analysis the verdict is rendered only by how many people actually show up and whether they stay until the end. Perhaps this is somewhat analogous to the political candidate who seems to be doing well in the polls, but nevertheless is unable to escape from the anxiety of uncertainty until after the votes are really counted and she knows for certain that she has really been elected. Well, Ray, our attendees did vote and our programs were generally quite well attended and more, especially our Chicago History Educational Forum and the Numismatic Editors Forum and Workshop. Ray now faces the considerable challenge of surpassing the unsurpassable. Somehow, however, I feel he'll be equal to the task.
In my message in the printed convention program I mentioned what a good feeling it is to be alone in the exhibit hall later on Tuesday night when everything is all set up and ready for the dealers and the bourse chairman and I can just sit there for a bit and look around at what is waiting for our dealers in the morning when they (take your choice: enter, stampede, swarm, rush, explode) onto the convention floor to begin their business dealings. I really do think that our convention presents the highest quality face of any numismatic event anywhere. All of our tables are skirted, including the backups and all the chairs are arranged symmetrically both inside and outside the booths to present a uniform appearance. Some of my friends in good humor (at least I hope so) accuse me of being overly anal retentive about the appearance of our event. Perhaps I am, but I've always thought that it looks distressingly flea-marketish to come into an event where many of the dealers have paid well upwards of $1,000, sometimes considerably more, for the space that they occupy and the chairs appear to have been randomly dumped in the public aisles or behind the booths in a fashion that looks like a vandal has struck, or the attendees have to look at a disorganized jumble of cases and other equipment that appear to have been accosted by a giant egg beater underneath the backup tables.
Yes, it does cost more to present a more professional appearance for an event, but doing it right is doing it right.
Next year our 78th Anniversary Convention will be held for the sixth consecutive year at the Schaumburg Convention Center and connected Renaissance Hotel. Our bourse dates will be April 26-29 with Heritage auction lot viewing beginning on the 25th and our security room opening on the 24th. Please check our website, www.centralstates.info, where by the time you receive this issue of The Centinel, full details about making your hotel reservation will be posted. An important way you can support our convention is by staying at the Renaissance under our room block. If you are coming to the convention next year, I hope you'll lend that measure of personal support to CSNS. The Renaissance and Schaumburg Convention Center are extremely popular and we are in competition with other events for future date and space allocations. If we are to remain there in the future (and an overwhelming majority of you have nothing but good things to say about it) we really do need to have you do your individual part by staying at the Renaissance. Yes, it is more expensive than lesser properties - and the key word here is lesser - but without a robust room pickup, we'll be faced with an uncertain site and date selection future in a possible locale that fails to offer the advantages our present site does.