I know I can’t be the only one who was sorely disappointed when they showed up Saturday morning to find the ballroom practically empty. Had I known the show was essentially over on Friday night, I would have made the effort to get there on Friday. I realize that the show organizers don’t have any control over when exhibitors pack up and leave, but why continue to advertise the show as running through Saturday when it’s apparently a given that 90% of the exhibitors will be gone?
I doubt Vic will be on here, but as a fellow “Show Master”, I’ll try to answer. We do try to keep the show open as long as possible to accomodate those who can’t get there during the week, but it is an uphill battle. Traditionally alot of table holders try to get to gun shows on Saturday. Threats, incentives, and cajolling only go so far. Gun shows can tell a table holder that if they leave early they won’t get a table at the next show. Unfortunatley, we don’t have that same luxury with cartridge shows. We’ve had some minor success in this area at our August PA show, but it’s not likely to change in any drastic way unless we get more table holders to fill the few cartridge shows left. Better yet, more cartridge shows in every backyard!
Suggestions are welcome!
Depending on when you showed up on Saturday, I think the 90% empty figure is an exaggeration. I would say that at 9:00am on Saturday there were at least 80% of table holders still there. But by 10:30 - 11:00 most were picking up and packing. Bear in mind that most of these table holders had actually been at the hotel since Tuesday and had already done room trading that day / evening, and also floor trading between table holders on Wednesday during setup. After two full days of normal show trading on Thursday & Friday, most have had their fill and need to pack for a long flight or drive to get home for Easter Sunday among other things. The selection of rare cartridges / deal cartridges is also slim by Saturday anyway. If it were any other weekend and were not a holiday weekend then they would probably stay open the whole weekend. But, since our hotel rates for block rooms and the show floor itself can only be had at the decent low prices they are had for on the slow days leading up to Easter (a slow time for hotels), it must be held then, and ended on Saturday. This works for most since most of the collectors there are either retired or semi-retired men that can go on weekdays. I had my table open until 10:45 that morning, and it became very slow with few off-the-street collectors showing up that late. If there were many people who came in on Saturday then more table holders would stay open to wait for them, but there never are many on Saturday. Also, the check-out time in the hotel is 11:00, so not long after the table holders have turned in room keys, they mostly need to pack and hit the road. But anyway, I do see your point-of-view. If I came in on Saturday mid-morning, then I would wish there more tables open also. You just have to go on either Thursday or Friday.
I was sort of disappointed too to see people leave early, some left Thursday afternoon! But, like me, some get tables just to display or as a holding pen, having little to sell or trade. My table was empty Saturday. For sure, the earlier you get there, the better!
I was sorting thru tubs when another dealer came along and started dumping them in his boxes which he hauled out the show! Dealer to dealer sell out on Friday. I put back what I had and moved on.
But, as Chris said on another thread, the show is run by a private promotor, not IAA, and voicing our feelings here probably will have little effect except to get it off our chest and we are not supposed to do that here.
I’ll go back and only wish there were other shows closer to where I live. There are only 6 or less IAA members in SC and probably no more than a dozen citizens interested in the hobby so having a show in state is unlikely.