I had some concerns before this show. In 2014, my August show ran up against the National. I figured that the National being in Cleveland that year wouldn't effect my show in Milwaukee. Wrong! My August 2014 show was deader than a doornail. Seemed like most everyone was in Cleveland, both dealers and customers.
Well, four years later, I figured my show is on a roll and yes I would be losing some dealers and customers to the National in Cleveland again, but I had some confidence that the show would be fine. I lost dealers Gary and PJ to the National but I replaced them with Harry and Matt. So I still had a full house of dealers. I also purchased a nice variety of wax to giveaway. In 2014, I had no giveaways. Folks seem to really like my giveaways these days.
I took my usual Facebook ad. I gave out a ton of fliers. I posted the show all over the internet and lo and behold I had an excellent turn out! All the dealers reported excellent sales. I gave away quite a few packs of cards and even purchased some boxes from Roger to maintain inventory.
The August 2018 show was great! Thank you everybody for attending my show!! My sales were terrific. I purchased some basketball cards from Bart. Tom brought me some old gloves. I ended up finalizing the deal on the Connie Mack autograph. Just a great day all around.
Surprise, I met a new manager at the hotel on the morning before the show. Maybe my fifth or sixth of the year. The new manager told me that Stephanie, the lady who had been giving me a hard time, was gone. I figured great, maybe I can keep the show at the hotel. She gave me an email address of the new manager in charge of booking events. I emailed the booking manager. No response! So I emailed the new manager I met at the show and she got the booking manager to respond. The booking manager actually called me. I asked to renew for 2019. She said no! I argued, basically stating the truth that my event is generally the only event in the hotel each month and they have eight banquet rooms... eight EMPTY banquet rooms. Why in the world wouldn't she want to renew my event? She said she would have to discuss it with higher management and get back to me.
This is all getting very complicated. So the event manager works at a management company out of Huntley, Illinois. She doesn't work for Marriott Corp., the owners of the Four Points Sheraton in Milwaukee. A few weeks go by and she calls stating I can only reserve a few months ahead of time, not for the whole year. I say that won't work, I need to reserve for the whole year so I can promote the show and lock in the vendors. She says sorry, she can't do a whole year. I tell her that if I ran my business that way, I'd be out of business. I said I would move my show elsewhere. She did not care.
I have been looking for a new venue for the past six or seven months. Every place is too expensive. I've had quite a bit of communication with a place that would work but the guy won't seem to commit. At the moment, I'm kind of back to square one and am open to suggestions.
When I first decided to create my show more than four years ago, I never anticipated that the most difficult aspect would be the venue. Ugh! I'm going to continue my search. Hopefully, I'll have some good news soon! In the meantime, I can't thank you guys enough. The support for my show has been tremendous. I feel like I owe it to everyone to find a new venue and keep the ball rolling. Wish me luck!
On a sad note, one of the hobby good guys, Abel Frausto, pictured below, passed away on September 26, 2018, after a long battle with cancer. Abel was the promoter of the monthly card show in Jackson, Michigan. Back four or five years ago, when I had more time on my hands, I was a regular dealer at the Jackson show. Abel was terrific. He always offered to take me out to dinner when I arrived in town the night before the show. He ran a great show which was always packed with dealers and customers.
He taught me a lot about promoting a card show. He explained to me the importance of social media in drawing customers and dealers. He showed me how he created a social media presence for his show. I basically copied everything he did in Michigan for my show in Milwaukee. I owe a lot of my success to Abel. He was so incredibly supportive of my show. Just recently he commented on my post last month on the WSCA Facebook page, offering congratulations on my Four-Year Anniversary of my show at the Four Points/Clarion.
When he was diagnosed with cancer, he vowed to fight. I followed his battle, along with many others, as he posted his ups and downs on Facebook. My heart goes out to his two young daughters. The world lost a real hero and the card-collecting hobby lost a champ with Abel's passing. RIP Abel Frausto.
Final note, my next Four Points show is coming up on Saturday, October 6, 2018. See you then!