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Jump in and hope for the best

Reports of results at this past week’s American Numismatic Association convention in Pittsburgh are mixed at best.

The National Money Show is the ANA’s attempt to slide a third convention into the organization’s annual calendar.

It is an understandable attempt to clone success from the spring and summer shows.

Looking at next year’s budget helps to understand why.

The ANA plans to spend $6 million next year, or $5.94 million if you want to be more precise. It is a balanced budget, which should make every ANA member supportive. However, only $900,000 comes from membership dues.

Revenue from conventions is expected to be $2.5 million. It is the single largest source of income for the ANA.

A successful third annual show will reinforce this very much needed cash flow.

So we know what ANA needs.

What does the hobby need?

That is very much an open question. If the ANA finds itself meeting a hobby need with the third show, it will be a success. If it does not, it will fail.

If the third show does succeed over time, there will be smiles and pats on the back all around. If it fails, there will be finger-pointing.

However, simply judging from the annual budget, trying a third show is very much a risk worth taking. Convention revenue is one revenue stream that the ANA board has the most control over. Enlarging it will help insure the ANA’s hard-won financial stability.

Unless ANA members want to see large future increases in their dues, they should be eager to see the third show become a mainstay on the annual convention calendar.