The American Numismatic Association is moving to end early bird badges at future conventions.
“There is no reason to support early bird people,” ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd on Jan. 8 told a meeting of the board of governors held at the Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando, Fla.
He ticked off the reasons why: they don’t stay at the official convention hotels, eat in their restaurants or buy bourse tables. ANA takes great financial risks to guarantee rooms at hotels and cancellations leave the organization holding the financial bag.
Shepherd said this was unfair to the dealers who support the conventions by taking tables.
The board was meeting in open session to discuss its thinking on the question of its future shows, how many there should be and whether to restrict the number of cities that they go to.
No decision was made. That is expected in March when the board meets at the ANA National Money Show in Fort Worth.
Board members informally expressed their views and a consensus seems to be emerging to restrict the rotations of both the National Money Show and the Summer World’s Fair of Money to fewer cities, say three or four with a wild card site thrown in from time to time. The summer conventions would be in the North and the winter/spring event would be in the South or West.
The next day, on Jan. 9, it was formally announced to the trade papers that the ANA would indeed begin sponsoring a pre-show in cooperation with the Professional Numismatists Guild. The old PNG Day would be abolished.
The first pre-show will be held ahead of the Chicago World’s Fair of Money in the summer of 2011.
The pre-show would run Friday to Monday in the same facility as the regular convention. The regular convention itself would open Tuesday and run through Saturday. There would be no Sunday hours on the final weekend. The bourse floor would close at 5:30 p.m. each day, earlier than the 7 p.m. that has been common in recent years.
Had it been possible, Shepherd said, the first pre-show would have been done this summer at the Boston World’s Fair of Money, but ANA couldn’t get the dates.
“I haven’t set the bourse fees, but I will make them very inexpensive,” said Shepherd.
This is made possible because all of the sunk costs are in things like convention floor plans and hall rents.
“Variable costs are fairly minimal,” he explained.
“We can produce a pre-show in our own convention center for less than what these people are paying out at a hotel facility.”
There are other advantages.
Shepherd said an ANA pre-show makes everything much more secure.
Participants only have to move in once. They then will have the same table for the regular convention. Grading services and the auction firm would be in the same place as well.
“Now we’ll have everything in one facility,” Shepherd explained.
The pre-show will be wholesale dealing only. There will be no public. Any dealer attending the pre-show will also have to attend the regular ANA bourse. Table assignments will be based on the star system.
Jeff Garrett observed that this is the first time ANA and PNG have worked together. He said both organizations were trying to provide a better alternative.
PNG will get some revenue from tables it sells to members.
Other issues that were discussed at the Jan. 8 ANA board meeting included news that there basically were no changes to report relating to the ANA’s ongoing legal issues at this meeting. Legal counsel Ron Sirna was optimistic that things were going ANA’s way.
Work on bylaws revisions has commenced.
The ANA’s seven-month transitional operating budget preceding the new Nov. 1-Oct. 30 fiscal year generated a surplus of almost $1.5 million.