At the advice of IAA Director Jon Cohen (JonC) I am asserting my First Amendment rights to discuss the problems with cartridge shows.
The biggest problem with most cartridge shows is that they are dead well before the end time of the show. Hours are advertised which are not realistic and which have lured collectors to drive great distances only to find the show nearly vacant except for the promoters and their wares.
If there was a real drive to increase the hobby and attract the new collectors, the shows would be open on Saturday for a full day’s business. The FACT is that the majority of important business is conducted during set up and the first few hours of the first day. In the case of St. Louis it starts well before the set up, in the various rooms of attendees. By the time the show opens to the public most of the goodies have changed hands and have been cached or priced up by another dealer.
This is 35 years of cartridge shows from California to Chicago to Pa and in between speaking.
For the past several years of attending shows I leave before the doors open to the public.
Show promoters have a vested interest in touting their show, of course. The real problem with this hobby: it is run by and for a small number of collectors who promote themselves and their collecting.
As a populist who wants to expand the hobby I have been fighting this elitism for many years.
I no longer attend cartridge shows because I have far too much of this stuff already. I have no desire to discourage anyone from attending any show which they want. I do have a right and a responsibility to answer real questions about my own experiences and those of others known to me.
Concerning promoting the hobby. I have given away more collectors cartridges than most folks have in their collections and more books and reference materials than any collector has in their library.