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5toosweet
Looking for any advice on organizing a Sports Card Show. When I was younger I remember going to one in my home town and I thought it was one of the more fun parts of the hobby. It wasn't very big maybe no more than 20 tables but it was the place I went for buying loose packs and singles of my favorite players. They would raffle off prizes, have little inexpensive games to play and it was just a fun atmosphere to be in. - was thinking about eventually having a monthly show in my home town but I want to find the cheapest place to have it so to bring the savings back to the dealers. I really don't want to start off by making a profit. If I can make the money back I spent on the space from selling tables that's would be all I ask for. I figured if card shows is what helped hook me into the hobby maybe it would do the same to other youngsters. I just want to create an atmosphere that would attract not only the veteran collectors but also the rookie collectors as well. I also thought about trying to help out the LCS somehow by advertising or raffling off a gift certificate. Any and all suggestions are welcome.
northicehero99
Some of the shows here have been held in malls, bingo/meeting halls, fire halls, and community centers. You should probably check with those types of organizations to see what they would charge to hold a card show. I think the community center here was free for the card show. The mall was more expensive, but also has a lot more traffic. Bingo/meeting halls might charge a flat fee for rental and then you could base your table prices off of that amount.
RGBII
Abel,

Check with a Holiday Inn or similar chain near you. They can help with
planning and space requirements. You'll be surprised at the cooperation
that you receive. Local Moose, VFW's and similar clubs are other outlets
for a venue.

Get all of the dealers, collectors and enthusiasts that you know involved.
Require a deposit from your dealers. This tends to lessen the last minute
no shows. 40-50% of your table fee is sufficient for this purpose.

Advertise big! This can be done cheaper than you think. If you have a Penny Pincher or similar local publication, call their advertising department for rates. Give yourself a lot of lead time before the show.

I'll print you up a batch of 18" x 24" corrugated plastic yard signs for your show (no charge). Feel free to give me a call with the details (you know where to find my number).

Hope this helps and good luck with the venture.

Collect Hard!,
RGBII
redwing40
I've been thinking the same thing, since we are in the same state, lmk if you need help, jackson not to far, Mt. Clemans has its card shows, have tables there for rent, would be nice to get this going!
5toosweet
northice - I was planning on having the show at the location they used to be at years ago at the local banquet hall. I think Im gonna explore all my options first before deciding on the location. Thanks for the advice!

RGBII - Good idea on the deposit. I plan on talking to my LCS owner to see if he knows anybody that would be interested. I was also planning on advertising outside the county in their local newspapers. Maybe spread the word around at other shows as well. I will let you know about the signs when everything comes together. Thanks Richard!

redwing40 - I would do the Gibraltar shows but its out of my budget to stay in a motel for the weekend. PM me any other ideas you have. Would love to get as many TCC members involved as possible.

5toosweet
I figured this card show would be a good way to promote TCC!
ronaldinho0003
I'd probably head over if you hosted one. I'm from the Holland/Zeeland area, do you know how far that is from Jackson?
5toosweet
QUOTE(ronaldinho0003 @ Jan 8 2012, 01:21 PM)
I'd probably head over if you hosted one. I'm from the Holland/Zeeland area, do you know how far that is from Jackson?
*


According to Bing, if you traveled thru Lansing to get there it would be just under 2 hours. About 120 mile trip. That would be great if you could make it. Bring some friends with you. I will post the details once things get rolling.
ronaldinho0003
Yeah, I'd definitely bring some buddies. PM with some more details once it gets finalized.
5toosweet
QUOTE(ronaldinho0003 @ Jan 8 2012, 01:49 PM)
Yeah, I'd definitely bring some buddies. PM with some more details once it gets finalized.
*


Sounds good Trent!! Will do.
dodgerblue38501
I've promoted and organzied several shows over the years but none in the last few years. I always tried to cover the cost of the venue and any tables that I set up with rental fees. As the promoter you don't want to profit from table fees or other dealers will boycott you. If you can get an autograph guest from a local team, even if its not a big star, you can make a decent profit selling items to have autographed (photos, baseballs, etc).
sschind
It's been many years since I have set up at a card show but I do 1 or 2 fish and reptile shows a month and there are a few things I have always thought would be great for the promoters to do. I'm not going to add any specifics about the organizing part since I've never really been through it but as a vendor here are a couple of things I would like to see.

1) Drawings for the attendees. Get some raffle tickets and have hourly drawings. You can get donations from vendors or you can offer show coupons good at any vendor and the vendor gets the money back from you. Four $10.00 coupons would cost you $40.00.

2) Drawings for the vendors. All vendors get a ticket for the number of tables they rent. At the end of the show draw for a free table. The winner gets his table fee refunded or a portion of it or whatever but it's some incentive.

The idea is to keep people around as long as possible so an hourly drawing might keep someone from leaving at 15 minutes to the hour if they think they might get a free $10.00 coupon and they might buy something in that time.


Ok, I changed my mind about the organization tips. Don't let price be the driving factor in selecting a venue. Other things are just as important to a vendor as the cost of the table. Is there enough room for the customers to move around? Is there ample parking for potential customers? Is the lighting good enough so I don't have to bring my own? I'd gladly pay an extra 5 or 10 bucks to be sure I was in a place that gave the customers a good experience. You also might want to consider an every other month show. Too often can cause burnout both among the customers and the vendors.

As far as making a profit, I wouldn't expect one for at least the first 6 months. I'm not saying you have to lose money (but be prepared to do that also) but I would spend every extra bit I got putting it back into the show at first. More advertising, buying better prizes, giving more stuff away to the vendors to keep them coming back. My philosophy is that if you make a profit on your first show or two you did not do enough to promote it in the first place.

This last tip is a pet peeve of mine. DON'T play favorites with the vendors. Nothing makes me more likely to not come back to a show like the feeling that some other vendor is getting preferential treatment. Some guys whine and complain about every little thing and while they might get what they want I might not come back. The thing is I may or may not tell you why I'm not coming back. Don't automatically give your best friend the best table (and certainly don't take it for yourself) In fact I would suggest you not have a table or if you do make sure you have someone else to run it because as a promoter you should be walking the event and observing. If you park yourself behind your own table at the entrance and are never seen it won't make the other vendors very happy.

Anyway, good luck, I haven't been to a card show in 25 years as a buyer or a seller and with the national in Chicago less than hour away from me I'm not sure why.
5toosweet
Sschind, thanks for all the info. I was actually thinking of creating some sort of drawing among the vendors for a way to keep them coming back. The location im looking at currently can hold approx. 30 tables. It would be nice to fill that up every show. At first I knew I would not be looking at any profit cause I want to pour all the money I get right back into the show to make it better as it goes on. Drawings for the attendees was my main idea. Was gonna sell raffle tickets but I think its considered a lottery in my state and can only be done with a permit so thats outta the question. I really didnt want to charge an admission cause I know that would turn ppl away. So Im just gonna do the show coupons or buy items out of my pocket to put in a free drawing.

Keep the suggestions and tips coming!!!
edgerrin32
I thought about trying to do this, but just never put words into actions.

I would look up all of the dealers within about a hour away from you and call them and let them know that you was looking at setting up a event. They might be willing to help and they would spread the word to customers. And you could send each on a copy with the info on it and have them make some copies to pass out to people. Just a few stamps might bring in a bunch of people and dealers!! Just make sure you have that flyers and papers and word spread about a month before the event! That way people are not scrambling to make things happen last minute.

But I do wish you luck and let us know (if you do it) how it goes. cool.gif
finestkind
It's been a while since I've been to a card show. The bigger shows around Boston Mr. Mint (Al Rosen) used to always have the tables coming in the front door of the shows. biggrin.gif

user posted image




Best of luck with the show. smile.gif
Lew47
It's best if you plan the second one too so you can promote it during the first one.

Offering free tables to shops might be a good option too. Kind of a reward for them promoting your business in their shop, and get them to show up and make your show larger.
bears1980
i have been thinking about this idea also around my area but not to many card dealers around here but vfw halls and places like that are cheap

edgerrin32 if you ever put on a show lmk im not to far away
sschind
QUOTE(5toosweet @ Jan 13 2012, 11:48 AM)
Sschind, thanks for all the info. I was actually thinking of creating some sort of drawing among the vendors for a way to keep them coming back. The location im looking at currently can hold approx. 30 tables. It would be nice to fill that up every show. At first I knew I would not be looking at any profit cause I want to pour all the money I get right back into the show to make it better as it goes on. Drawings for the attendees was my main idea. Was gonna sell raffle tickets but I think its considered a lottery in my state and can only be done with a permit so thats outta the question. I really didnt want to charge an admission cause I know that would turn ppl away. So Im just gonna do the show coupons or buy items out of my pocket to put in a free drawing.

Keep the suggestions and tips coming!!!
*




I would reconsider the entry fee. Even if it is only a buck or two. I really don't think it would drive people away. If you are concerned you can make it refundable at a vendors table and you can reimburse the vendor if they turn in the ticket That way you can figure they will at least buy something. If that doesn't seem like it would work and you are planning multiple shows give them a coupon for half off the admission for the next show. If you can make the show work with only vendor table money anything you make from the admission fees will allow you to make it that much better the next time around with more advertising etc. I don't think anyone expects something for nothing any more and I seriously don't think a couple of bucks will turn anyone away.

I don't know if I missed it but where would this show be held? If its close by I might just attend, which reminds me, take in as many swaps as you can. I don't care if they are flower swaps or antiques or fish and reptiles or whatever. if you can spend a few bucks to see how other people do it it can only help and don't be afraid to find the promoter and pick their brain. Ask why they do this or that or don't do something you had in mind. Many may not like to answer but most probably would be happy to and offer to put up adds for their shows at yours and see if they would be willing to do the same for you, especially if they are at the same venue.
5toosweet
Right here in my hometown. Jackson, Michigan.
edgerrin32
QUOTE(bears1980 @ Jan 13 2012, 05:15 PM)
i have been thinking about this idea also around my area but not to many card dealers around here but vfw halls and places like that are cheap

edgerrin32 if you ever put on a show lmk im not to far away
*




I would for sure!! I would post up on here. I know we have a few people that are not really far away. wink.gif
5toosweet
Its looking like a mid April show. I will start a new thread once the date is set.
RGBII
Great news, Abel.

Let me know when things are concrete. We'll get
you some signs ready and some ad copy.

Collect Hard!,
RGBII
5toosweet
QUOTE(RGBII @ Jan 28 2012, 02:57 PM)
Great news, Abel.

Let me know when things are concrete. We'll get
you some signs ready and some ad copy.

Collect Hard!,
RGBII

*


I plan on it. Should know more in a couple of weeks.
redwing40
QUOTE(5toosweet @ Jan 14 2012, 05:18 PM)
Right here in my hometown. Jackson, Michigan.
*


I'm 87 miles from you, I'm getting everything maped out for the trip! Keep me posted so I can post a ad up near my city! hitting Mt.Clemens soon and maybe print out some flyers to hand out there!
Have some family in your area also so I can stay a weekend, will have to see! cool.gif
5toosweet
QUOTE(redwing40 @ Feb 11 2012, 12:47 PM)
I'm 87 miles from you, I'm getting everything maped out for the trip! Keep me posted so I can post a ad up near my city! hitting Mt.Clemens soon and maybe print out some flyers to hand out there!
  Have some family in your area also so I can stay a weekend, will have to see! cool.gif
*


That sounds great!!! Well I have the location picked out. I just need the funds to confirm the date. Looking at April 21. So I hope its available for that day. I want to hit the Taylor show next month to gather some dealers as well.

I created a facebook page for our show:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jacks...202919649805635

RGBII
Good luck with the show, Abel.

25 of these are on the way . . .

user posted image

Host it well.

Collect Hard!,
RGBII
Luke2411
Abel, if I was still there, I would definitely make it. Hope it goes well. Good luck.
Tarasadie17
Richard, you are the man... thumbsup.gif

QUOTE(RGBII @ Mar 20 2012, 03:53 PM)
Good luck with the show, Abel.

25 of these are on the way . . .

user posted image

Host it well.

Collect Hard!,
RGBII

*

finestkind
Richard, those posters look great. Abel, best of luck with the show. biggrin.gif
5toosweet
Thanks guys! I owe a lot to the community here at TCC. I included TCC as one of the sponsors for the show since Richard helped with the advertising signs. I hope this will bring new members to the site. I am working on making this the first of many shows for the Jackson area. I will post pics for you all after the show has wrapped up.

Heres our facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!...202919649805635
droubaysports
i remember when there used to be a couple decent shows in Jackson. I used to set up occasionally at the Gibralter shows and would always stop in Jackson or Ann Arbor and see what was there
5toosweet
Just an update on the show. Its 2 weeks away and was really starting to worry that I wasnt gonna be able to fill all the tables. Well the past week I have sold about 15 tables! After talking to all the dealers some of them said they have been waiting for a show to appear in my local area. Its starting to come along really well and looking at doing this every other month. I really hope this thread encourages others to do shows in their area.
5toosweet
One week away and I have a full house!!!! I have 28 tables for everyones buying pleasure!!! This has turned out great. Anyone on TCC gonna show up?
SFGiants
QUOTE(5toosweet @ Apr 14 2012, 11:58 AM)
One week away and I have a full house!!!! I have 28 tables for everyones buying pleasure!!! This has turned out great. Anyone on TCC gonna show up?
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I would if I was anywhere reasonably close. But that being said, I hope you have a great time and may the mojo be with you!

Jerad
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