Whatever the future might bring for coin shows, there are a few that are so important that I cannot imagine the commercial hobby without them.
One of these is the Baltimore show. Actually, there are three Baltimore Whitman Expos each year. The next one is Nov. 9-12. The two following events are scheduled for March 22-25, 2018, and June 21-24, 2018.
There is no quicker way that I know of to take the pulse of the marketplace than to walk the floor at the Baltimore convention center. I first had the opportunity to visit that facility at the American Numismatic Association summer convention there in 1985. It was a gangbusters show. Baltimore never seems to disappoint as a show location.
Whitman continues to put on quality shows there. It should be a regular stop on my reporting route, but it isn’t.
Why, you might wonder?
In this day and age of tight budgets, my firm chooses to send an ad sales person to the show above all other staff. I think it is a wise decision.
Ads are what make numismatic newspapers possible. April Krueger of the numismatic ad staff is fully capable of keeping me alerted to whatever I might need to be aware of.
Further, the Whitman organization is such a top-notch operation that if I ever need help or information, I can ask them and know in advance that I will receive it. What more can I ask?
Well, in a perfect world, if I had the chance to visit Baltimore more often, I could enjoy more meals involving fresh crab. But then I think that I just might get too spoiled with so many such opportunities. We can’t have that, now, can we?
There is always a major auction held in conjunction with the Baltimore shows. What goes on the block usually generates headlines.
But for me, there is an even more important reason Baltimore has few peers. This is the opportunity to meet a large cross-section of ordinary collectors in one place. Because Baltimore is within driving distance of such a large share of the American population, it is a perfect location for me to find out what’s on the minds of many of my readers. Staying aware of what readers are thinking is of critical importance.
Because I can find so many readers at Baltimore is another reason why it is such a truly great show. But this cross-section of collectors doesn’t come for my benefit. I am incidental. Collectors show up to spend money with dealers who have tables on the bourse floor. This is the basic reason shows are held in the first place.
Because Baltimore has been so good at bringing dealers and collectors together, I view it as one of the indispensable numismatic events. Long may it prosper. Long may we all have the opportunity to conduct our business in an environment where so many of our needs are met.
Whitman is to be saluted for doing this. I extend my congratulations.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.
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