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Tale of 1,010 FUN bourse tables

Yesterday I had a telephone conversation with Randy Campbell, president of the Florida United Numismatists.

He wanted to give me the confirmed bourse table count at last weekend's FUN show.

The show is huge. It has been for years.

It is also getting bigger.

Randy said that by their count, there were 1,010 dealer tables.

One thousand tables!

Release of that number deserves a drum roll, or a musical fanfare or some other sort of introduction that lets the hearer know that something important is about to be announced.

Randy said this is the first 1,000-table show in FUN history.

I am not aware of another 1,000-table show by any organization in national numismatic history.

By the FUN methodology, an L-shaped corner table is counted as two.

However, the very large booths occupied by Heritage and other national firms are also counted as two tables even if they take as many as 18.

Since many dealers share tables, the table count is just a beginning point to determine what sort of commercial base the show has.

Congratulations are in order. I offer them here.

Attendance was at least 10,500 as counting of registrations was still going on.

Randy hoped that the figure would be 11,000 when all was said and done.

One technique that helps boost numbers is FUN gives member clubs $25 a head to those that charter a bus and come.

This is capped at 40, or $1,000. It is creative thinking.

FUN is a first-rate volunteer organization and Randy told me how much he appreciated working with people who were willing to donate their time to put on the show.

He recalled the old days when board members were expected to absorb the cost of being at the show as well as doing all the work.

Now volunteers are reimbursed for rooms, meals and mileage.

FUN has one paid employee.

I did not ask for confirmation of identity, but if that one employee is not Cindy Wibker, the ace bourse chairperson, I will eat my hat.

Anyone who wants to learn how to stage a coin show should pay a visit to FUN and talk to the FUN show veterans who do an incredible job year after year.

To be able to share in their enthusiasm in early January is to start the year right. I was fortunate to be able to attend the Tampa event.

Randy and I conversed also about the 2017 show in Fort Lauderdale as well as a return to Orlando in 2019.

It seems a little early to even think about it, but that’s the job of the FUN president, to look ahead.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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