It is time to take a gentle poke at my friends at the Central States Numismatic Society. What prompts this, you probably wonder?
Well, I am motivated by my morning?s e-mail. In it was official CSNS convention press release number 14. Yes, that?s right, 14. For a convention that is not scheduled to start until May 10, 2007, in St. Louis, I submit that 14 press releases have gone beyond helpful into the realm of overkill.
My mind has gone beyond the point of wanting to be helpful to a major numismatic organization to wondering if they are going to send me the instructions for dealers to put their trash out into the bourse floor aisles at the end of each day.
There are good reasons for CSNS to send out more than one press release in the months before its annual convention. Certainly we all want to keep dealers and collectors apprised of significant developments, like bourse table availability, design of the convention medal and a list of speakers for the educational forums, but somewhere between a handful to No. 14, we have reached the point of annoying.
If I am feeling that way, perhaps readers are as well. They know CSNS is important and they know it deserves significant coverage, but there is a point where they too will tire of seeing mentions of the convention in print.
So, to all my friends at Central States: Keep up the good work. You run a superb organization and show, but you can lay off just a bit on the press releases.
Why did I single out CSNS? Well, the group tends to be trend setters. Also, they are not the only ones who have decided to smother me in announcements. There are others and I would like to shout, ?Whoa? to them, too.
It is true that too much is easier to fix than too little, so I will take this early opportunity in 2007 to remind clubs and others to let us know what is going on. Take advantage of our free show listings that publish show dates when we are first notified and then once each week for the five weekly issues that are dated immediately ahead of the show. Take advantage of this. You are doing your show a favor and you are giving Numismatic News readers a boost by letting them know to keep certain dates free for show attendance.
By the same token, if your show happens to be canceled, please let us know as soon as you can. Our readers are so dedicated that they have been known to drive long distances to attend specific shows. They are not too happy when they arrive, if they find there is nothing to attend.
To readers who want to drive a long way, take the precaution of calling the show chairman ahead of time if you are planning a significant drive. It is one thing to waste 20 or 30 minutes getting somewhere, it is entirely different driving or flying multiple hours.
All of this probably falls under the heading of common sense. Truth to tell, we all need a reminder now and then. I certainly can, though I hope that I will not be a customer for the new electronic homing device that leads you to your car keys.
Let?s go forward from here to what I hope will be a strong season for club and other organizational shows. They are a backbone of our hobby and the numismatic business. They are also great fun. You get to see people you know and buy that special coin that just happens to have been on your want list for a while.
Perhaps, too, you are one of the hobbyists who goes even further and gives educational talks or sets up an exhibit. You deserve my thanks and the thanks of all of my readers. It is not easy to write talks or to assemble exhibits. It is not easy to give up the time necessary. Educated collectors have the most fun and make the best commercial customers. Thanks for sharing.
So back to my friends at Central States. Good luck with your May convention. I am rooting for you. Just don?t send me another 14 press releases between now and then.