Klein’s Korner: Rich Reviews a Card Show in Frisco, Texas – I did promise I would pen a review of the big card show in Frisco recently and am happy to do so. First, the flyer I used was updated by the promoters to note the admission price and I should have dug deeper to find the updated flyer with the admission information. Yes there were many changes during the run-up to the show and a more coherent message might have been useful for all attendees.
And that brings up an interesting concept, which is what should one charge for show admission? My brother-in-law and myself go round and round on this because he is of the belief I should charge $2 for my hotel shows and I believe $1 is sufficient. His point is, and there is some validity to this is if I draw 100 people at $1 that is not as much money as drawing 75 people at $2 each. That is $50 more in my pocket than I currently receive and the extra dollar should not hurt anyone at the door. The reason I charge admission is two fold. The first is to have an headcount of who walks in the door and the second is I can actually refuse admission to anyone I so desire if I charge admission. If I do not charge admission, it is considered a public event and I am legally unable to prevent anyone from entering. Thankfully, that issue has never come up but it’s always something to keep in my hip pocket. His other point is the more money people have invested in coming in the door, the more they feel they should spend at the show. I would personally rather have more money available for my dealers.
Now, I bring this up because I always thought the $10 was too stiff for entry to this specific show. The admission was updated at the show for people to either pay $10 for a day or $15 for a weekend pass. I had mentioned I would have been $5 for a day and $10 for the weekend. Now if 500 people come in at $20 per then you have generated ten thousand dollars and you would need 1,000 people at $10 to match the total monetary take. Would you draw 1,000 or more people at $10 each? If you are comfortable doing so then use the lower rate but if not, then the higher rate means you have even more serious collectors coming in the door. Also, you have more money for less effort and I have heard at least one successful promoter uses that concept when it comes to autograph costs.
And, at least for the dealers, almost all of them had shows ranging from good to excellent. I know one local dealer who took in five figures from a visiting out of town buyer and another local dealer told me he more than paid for his tables with his dime and quarter boxes. For the dealers isn’t that what really counts in terms of how a show was by how much income they generated?
On the other side, I was sort of correct about the concessions and restrooms. One did have to either climb steps or walk around the building for both of those. Not impossible but difficult thereof and also time consuming for any dealer to get away from their table.
As the three days went on the show staff, most of who work on Kyle Robertson’s monthly shows and can change things on the fly when needed, were able to make various adjustments as to aspects such as getting names for the mailing list and improving the signage so people would know where to pay admission. Things were definitely running smoother by Sunday than when the show began on Friday afternoon. Any first time show does have those learning curve issues so they were not totally unexpected. I actually met a few collectors who came to show based on my preview article.
A couple of side notes. One of the major hobby message boards brought up numerous issues about various DFW area hobby personages. One of them was tangentially accused of being able to improve cards being sent to graded companies by average collectors. The thing was, the weekend before that broke, he showed me a purchase he had made from PWCC of a SGC 98 (Gem Mt) with the hopes of having a successful cross-over to either BGS or PSA in a similar grade. In his opinion, one look at the card showed such a result would not be possible. However, since the story broke on that message board, he’s actually received more cards than he had ever gotten in a previous month and his business is booming to levels he had not even dreamed of. That’s correct, the law of unintended consequences from those posters is helping his business grow to new heights. Why is that? Well, collectors now think if they send him cards, he can turn their cards into higher grades so they make more of a profit. Yep, everyone wants a piece of the greed action.
After all, the most expensive card in the hobby is well known to be trimmed. Since the trimmer of this card admitted so in a federal court I don’t have any issues mentioning or showing this card. But, I will guarantee you that if I somehow hit the lottery and ended up with this card the price appreciation will continue. Name me another card that is a basis for an entire book. With the provenance and history, the future remains bright for this card. Is it morally right this specific card is so valuable? I don’t think so but the sheer fact is almost everyone would want to own this card because of the heritage and long-term profit potential. Other cards may or may not be trimmed but I suggest anyone who wants to learn more do their own research and make their own conclusions about this subject and any cards.
On a downer note, a popular local dealer informed one of the local dealers and collectors he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He did seem to indicate his doctors thought they had caught it early enough where there will be some long-term effects but the spread can be stopped. His treatments began last week and we all wish him well. For many of the dealers at the show the news did bring a downer to the event.
So overall the show was probably a “B” but with a few adjustments could probably be an “A” going forward.
For more from Rich Klein, follow him on Twitter @sabrgeek.