I have been enjoying a great convention here in Orlando, Fla., thanks to the efforts of the Florida United Numismatists.
But can I believe what I see?
I have seen a bourse floor thronging with large numbers of people.
I have heard the proverbial buzz as the thousands of conversations blend into one steady pulse of background noise.
People I talk to are generally in a good mood and upbeat about the show.
But is this translating into good business?
Almost the first person to approach me at the Krause Publications booth yesterday morning was a dealer I have known for years. He said the show was terrible. No business was being done. Set-up day was disappointing.
As far as he was concerned, the show was over and he said so.
I respect his opinion, so I was mentally checking what I thought I was seeing with what I was being told in this particular conversation.
I was puzzled, but the show is open to the public for four days and this conversation was at the outset of Day 1. So I filed it my mind and went on with my day.
Nothing else occurred to weaken my initial positive impression.
Toward the end of the day yesterday another dealer I have known for years came up to the booth. He said it was a great show. There was business being done in many areas he said. I respect his opinion.
So what kind of show is it?
To be sure, I will check back with the first dealer closer to the end of the show to see if he changes his mind.
But also I know that large bourse floors are strange things. If you have ever walked one, you know that you can go from an area at the front of the hall with crowded aisles to dead spots toward the back and at the ends.
Simultaneously you can see high activity and low activity.
Which is the truth?
Both can be. But collectors are mobile. They walk around. While they might not be at one part of the bourse while I am, five minutes later the picture can change completely.
That is what makes a show and its results a dynamic event that builds its record over time.
I am still betting that this is a good show, but I will let the professionals educate me on Saturday when I speak to a number of them for the record.