A bustling bourse. A sea of dealer cases full of coins for sale. Exhibits, activities, awards. Reuniting with fellow hobbyists. After more than a year of coin show cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 15th Annual Summer FUN Convention, hosted by the Florida United Numismatists July 8-10 in Orlando, was a much-welcomed event for hobbyists, dealers and event organizers alike.
And what a reunion it was. FUN reports that the show was the largest event in its history – a sellout with a waiting list.
Public attendance alone totaled 3,500, nearly 1,000 more than an average Summer FUN show, according to Cindy Wibker, convention coordinator.
A record-setting 282 dealer booths were staffed by 824 people, and there were 104 early bird dealers. The average booth count for past shows is 200, Wibker said. “It was a hugely successful show!”
Not only was the number of attending dealers a success, but so was the business they did.
“Dealer sales were outstanding,” said Tony Swicer, FUN vice president. “Several dealers told me they sold $35,000-$40,000 on Thursday alone. One dealer sold out of stock completely and bought more from other dealers and sold out again.”
Coin club members were able to attend the show en masse thanks to FUN-sponsored buses that transported them to the Orange County Convention Center. These included members of the Greater Jacksonville, Ocala, Palm Beach and West Hernando Coin Clubs.
Bob Hurst, FUN president, presented four Presidential Awards July 8 at the convention’s opening ceremonies. Randy Campbell, Gary Braisted, Bob Russell and Kenny Mullins received awards. Jay Chamberlain received the Polly Abbott Award July 9, and Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez received his Saturday afternoon.
Four educational programs drew approximately 104 attendees to the show. Tony Bonaro’s YN Program was attended by 37 kids, and his Scout Merit Badge Program brought in 56 Scouts. The Coins & Kids’ booth drew more than 100 young people.
The Panning for Gold booth gave out 1,440 pans to hopeful participants, and thirteen exhibitors offered 25 cases of numismatic displays.
Despite the pandemic surge easing up this summer, show organizers took the health of its participants seriously. Temperature checks were taken each day, and masks were required. No problems were reported.
It’s safe to say that FUN – and the hobby at large – couldn’t have asked for better results from the first major show held in the wake of a long dry spell.
Vice President Swicer said it best: “This was not a good show, it was a great show!”