By Jesse Robitaille
The National Postage Stamp and Coin Show set a new record for attendance this April, when more than 1,000 collectors gathered for the biannual event in Mississauga.
On April 7-8, the show returned to the Greater Toronto Area for the fifth time since 2015, when Trajan Media took over what was then known as the National Postage Stamp Show from the Canadian Stamp Dealers’ Association. After expanding the event to include numismatics and moving locations in spring 2016 to the Hilton Mississauga, the show has continued to grow each year.
“This is the best show,” said John Brown, owner of The Connoisseur, based in Naughton, Ont. “Staff work hard to have tables, displays in place and walkways clear. The little perks like water and snack bags are so welcome when you start to fade. Even the security staff go beyond with their assistance.”
Brown, who added he will man a table at the fall show on Sept. 8-9, also applauded the event’s record-setting attendance.
“Thanks to being well advertised, the amount of people that came through the doors was rewarding; more people translates to more sales.”
Dealer Terry Campbell, owner of Campbell’s Collectables, also complimented the busy bourse, which was located inside the hotel’s 9,000-square-foot Graydon Hall.
“There was a very good crowd on Saturday,” said Campbell, who added he will also attend the show this fall. “I was very impressed with the number of new people that attended. It was very good that I had the time to talk with them.”
He said the promotion of numismatic culture is arguably the show’s greatest highlight.
“I love numismatics. Having new people join our hobby and be fulfilled gives me great satisfaction.”
One dealer – Gerard Feehan, owner of Halifax, N.S.’s Citadel Coins – travelled more than 1,800 kilometres to attend the two-day show.
“I think it’s fabulous, fantastic,” he said, adding he’ll have a table at the show next September. “I liked the auction, too. Colonial Acres is a good company to promote the show, and the auction brought in more collectors and more interest. Not only that, but we had more buyers at the show, and I think it will only get better.”
Another dealer who praised the high attendance was Gary Miller, owner of Londinium Coins, who added it was “a top-notch show.”
“I was very impressed with the attendance and the number of people through the door on Saturday. You do a really good job of looking after the dealers; a lot of shows don’t care too much about us, but you guys do.”
Miller also commended the fact that among those attendees were new faces that specialize in ancient money.
“That was very impressive, and there were some young people I haven’t seen before, which was also very impressive.”
Steven Bell, owner of Banknote Certification Service (BCS), agreed it was a good weekend for business promotion and confirmed he will be attending again next September.
“There were a lot of collectors there, and I just promote when I’m there, so promotion was good. I gave away a lot of brochures and admission forms, and collectors seemed to be very responsive,” said Bell, who added BCS has certified nearly 60,000 banknotes since being established in 2008.
Brian Bell, owner of Geoffrey Bell Auctions, was also positive about the results of promoting his next sale.
“We handed out our catalogue to our clientele to promote our auction, and we did a lot of that. We also picked up a whole pile of consignments, so that was great,” said Bell, who added it was a “fun” weekend. “We will always go to support the show.”
Following the Toronto Coin Expo Spring Sale – to be held May 3-4 at the Toronto Reference Library – the next Bell auction will be held on Aug. 11 in conjunction with the Paris Coin Show in Paris, Ont.
Another dealer, John Masterson – owner of Beaver Bullion, Canada’s only hand-powered silver company – said he had a “really good time” at the show.
“What surprised me most was how steady business was on both the Saturday and the Sunday. I’ve found that sometimes on the second day of the show a lot fewer people show up, and I was happy to see so many customers on the second day,” he said. “My only regret was that I was busy enough as a dealer that I didn’t get to do much shopping.”
“I thought the show was quite busy,” said RCNA President Henry Nienhuis. “At the opening, I saw a huge lineup of people ready in anticipation of the show. Bottom line is I thought it was quite a successful show overall.”
Nienhuis said the RCNA attends major shows such as the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show to make the association’s presence known to attendees.
“A number of people don’t realize that the association exists, so we’re there to advertise and make our presence known. People did take away some of the free journals we had,” he said, of the RCNA’s Canadian Numismatic Journal, “and inside the journal there’s a membership form. If anybody is of that mind after consulting and reading, it’s easy for them to sign up or join on the website as well.”
ONA Past President Robb McPherson, who’s also co-chair of the 2018 ONA Convention committee and a regional director with the RCNA, said the “overall impression is good.”
“I attended with Lisa to help out with the kids’ table and potential auction,” he said, of his wife and ONA First Vice-President Lisa McPherson, who’s also co-chair of the 2018 ONA Convention committee and the national youth co-ordinator with the RCNA.
“As a representative of the ONA I figure I should also team up with RCNA to promote our organizations. Coin shows are one of the best places as that is where all the collectors come to meet.”
The duo added there was “a steady stream of youth” at their table throughout the two-day show.
“They always seem genuinely excited to be able to shop at their own table.”
FALL 2018 SHOW
The Fall 2018 National Postage Stamp and Coin Show will be held on Sept. 8-9 at the same location, the Hilton Mississauga, which is located directly off Highway 401 on Mississauga Road. As always, admission is $3 on Saturday and free on Sunday, and free on-site parking is always available to show attendees.
For more information about the biannual show, which is hosted by Trajan Media, publisher of Canadian Coin News and Canadian Stamp News, visit stampandcoinshow.com.