Notes from a National Newbie Part II: From the Floor – I’m not sure I could have managed my first card show being this size without my son and husband serving as my tour guides. They arrived at the show several days ahead of me, and Notes from a National Newbie Part II: From the Flooralready had the lay of the land. Knowing what I was looking for, they had booths scoped out that had products featuring women and my other PCs. As this was my first show, I can’t say for sure, but womens’ cards were somewhat hard to find. The women that I did see were Olympians, WNBA, WWE, some soccer, a few golf, and many celebrity items. It is safe to say that more womens’ cards were available in new boxes vs. as singles at tables on the floor. I purchased a box of Topps 2020 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team & Hopefuls for myself, and I was so thrilled to see the variety of sports and athletes included. The “boom” hit of the box was a Rose Lavelle Autograph Redemption.

I went into the weekend hoping to highlight the need for increasing the female voice in the hobby,Notes from a National Newbie Part II: From the Floor as well as, making the interest in products featuring women known. The best way I felt I could do this was just to ask for cards featuring women. When I did this at the booths I visited, I got a range of responses. The most common being, “You aren’t the first to ask, but sorry, we don’t have anything.” A few said, “You mean WNBA?” And then there was the  Signatures for Soldiers  booth. Shout out to them! Just minutes after eating a piece of gum from 1984 on the Main Stage, Tim Virgilio combed through their stock to help me look for female autographs, even though he knew they didn’t have many. I was so excited to find an autographed photo of Viola Thompson of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Tim said they want to make an effort to get more female signatures in the future. I would love to see this as their organization is for such a great cause, Military Missions in Action.

I was only able to spend Saturday and Sunday at the show, but I was able to get in on several highlights of the event. The Topps Pack Wars were an absolute blast even when we didn’t win anything, but even more so when we did. eBay’s DJ Skee cards were so exciting to collect as well. The three of us were elated when we completed the set, and we can’t wait to get the mystery card in the mail. I spent a lot of time at the Main Stage watching breaks and give-aways and hearing from so many people in the hobby. Last, but not least, I really enjoyed being able to sit down in the GTS Lounge when I needed a break from the walking and the crowd. As a bonus, I got to geek out a little with Notes from a National Newbie Part II: From the Floorthe rep for Cryptozoic, creators of Outlander Trading Cards, about the TV show based on my favorite books of all time. 

Overall, it was encouraging to see the hobby growing to include more women. I saw a lot of women running booths and buying for their own PCs. Several people that I talked to mentioned that the number of women in attendance was definitely higher than in years past. My favorite part of my two days at the show was seeing so many kids, girls and boys, adding to their own collections. The hobby is attracting new faces from all demographics, and it seems that the organizers have recognized that and want to include a wider range of people in future shows, both on the floor and on the Main Stage.

I went into the weekend with high expectations, and on the whole, I was not disappointed. I hope that was just the first of many trips to The National for me in years to come. 

Libby Koch

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