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Viewpoint: Where you stay during conventions matters

 (Image courtesy

(Image courtesy

By Kevin Foley

I read with interest your recent blog commentary on the issue of hotel room pickup as a factor in decision making by convention centers as to whom and when they will offer their facilities to.

Those who have an interest in major numismatic conventions, such as CSNS, FUN, Baltimore and the ANA, whether they be booth holders, visiting dealers, collectors or educational exhibitors, need to recognize that the primary reason why convention centers exist is to rent hotel rooms. Indeed, in many cities convention centers will not even consider contracting with any but the largest conventions that produce the most robust verifiable sleeping room production until 18 months out from any event dates. Those who fail to patronize the official room blocks of any numismatic convention that they attend in order to save a relatively modest amount of money that will not make any difference at all in their lives are actually affirmatively undermining the ability of the conventions that they benefit from to book the dates that the event sponsors most desire. Indeed, it is not at all an exaggeration to be even more blunt and state that they are undermining the ability of the convention to be held at all in the city that it (and its attendees) would like it to be in.

It may come as a shock to many numismatic convention attendees to learn that even the largest of the events in our specialized world fail to fall into the upper tier of room pickup – and therefor desirability – when convention and visitors bureaus and convention centers make decisions as to who is in and who is out.

So, when you make a decision to stay outside the official room block of the numismatic convention you are attending in order to save the few dollars that you’ll likely hardly miss, at least be honest with yourself and realize that you are affirmatively undermining the ability of the management of the convention in question to have their first choice of dates – or perhaps to be held at all in a city you’d like to see it be sited in.

Then, next time around when you feel like complaining that the Baltimore Whitman show never seems to be held on the same predictable weekend, or the ANA isn’t being held in a city that you believe would be a better market, or the FUN show isn’t always held in Orlando, as you’d like it to be, perhaps you might reflect on the extent to which you personally may have contributed to creating the very outcome that now leads you to feel aggrieved.

This “Viewpoint” was written by Kevin Foley, Milwaukee Wis., convention chairmain for Central States Numismatic Society.

To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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