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SOS 2016 - THANK YOU from the OVMS


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#1 Shenkursk

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 06:00 PM

The AGM crew returned home a few hours ago, and when the truck is finally unloaded, our SOS will officially be over.  Well, sort of.  As those involved in events planning know, the work on 2017 SOS began while this year's event was still fully up and running.

 

On the drive home I had about 5 hours to reflect on the show, and scribbled some hasty notes to hopefully recall nuggets of information and ideas that will hopefully help us in the never-ending process of making improvements and adjustments to this event.  I have a few proposals that I would like to run past you all for your thoughts, but we will save that for a few days on when a bit of rest might bring them more clearly into focus.

 

One theme that kept coming up over and over again for me and in discussions with the other officers and directors of the club was our profound and sincere gratitude and thanks to everyone who attended, and to all of those who may not have been able to make it but help out by spreading the word, lending their support and enthusiasm for the Show-of-Shows.  A successful show does not happen by sheer force of will alone; it is in fact something of a consensus.  Without the support of the collecting community, all of the planning and effort that goes into one of these would be for nothing.  THANK YOU.

 

For those who do not know already, we also chalked up a nice win in the shoplifting department which was the direct result of sharp observation by several OVMS members, and very quick and efficient police work by the force of Louisville Metro officers who were working the show for us.  Before you ask, (as they are DEMANDING at the W-A forum, I see..) I will not be posting photos or names of anyone involved until such time as we are advised by our legal counsel that it is appropriate to do so.  However, there is a lot of gossip floating about, so here's the straight story.  An individual was suspected of shoplifting an expensive item from a dealer who had just sold him another piece.  The dealer spotted the individual at another dealer's table, and politely asked him if there had been some mistake.  At that time, the second dealer noticed a similar item missing that the fellow had been looking at earlier, asked him about it, and the subject 'remembered' that it was in his pocket.  Knowing that at least one other similar item was stolen from a friend the day before, they wisely put the subject at ease, as though all was happily resolved.  The dealers involved immediately gave an excellent, detailed description of the suspect to our OVMS staff and Louisville Metro officers, who arrested the subject.  The stolen property was recovered, including items reported stolen from the previous day.  

 

I will not comment on the status of any prosecution, as that is now between the individuals involved and Louisville Metro Police Department.  However this turns out for the fellow who was caught, he will never again be admitted to any OVMS show, and we will communicate all details to other show promoters so that they might do the same.

 

Of important note, he was a 'dealer helper' who was NOT a member of the OVMS.  This underscores the security reasoning behind our desire to require all dealers and dealer helpers to be members.  Our experience is that a majority of thefts occur during the necessarily chaotic set-up period when only dealers and dealer helpers are supposed to be in the show.  In this case, the witnesses noted the man's badge and name, which of course traced back to absolutely nothing in our system.. because he wasn't a member.  Fortunately, they also observed great accurate details that allowed us to efficiently get a net over this guy, so it worked out.  Is the membership requirement a foolproof safeguard?  Of course not.  But, like any good security system, it is both a deterrent and a good tool to have in your arsenal.

 

One other thing - in the course of marching around the hall, I noticed a number of seller 'referrals' happening at the show; sellers who may not have had the specific item that a customer was seeking were using the show guide book to point customers to other sellers who they knew or suspected would have the desired artifact.  I (literally) bumped into several who took the time to personally walk the customer across the hall and make introductions.  Makes me smile.  There are of course always a few examples of guys whose customer service lapsed because they were too busy trying to figure out which Star Wars character is best resembled by the big booger they just mined.  Frustrating, yes, but it is what it is.  Wouldn't be a militaria show without them.  Those inclined to be courteous and helpful, though, are an asset to the fraternity of collectors and help to make the show a fun event for all involved.

 

Thanks to everyone!  Let's work together to make 2017 as good or even better than this one.



#2 tarbridge

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 06:08 PM

We are also Thankful that OVMS provides us with such a First Class venue that allows us to ...commerce. ..grow our collections. ..and at times be kids again. A Big Job Well Done to you all.

Edited by tarbridge, 22 February 2016 - 06:35 PM.


#3 Bugme

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 06:16 PM

Thus, the new security features going in next year. This is great news about capturing the culprit! 



#4 doinworkinvans

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 06:22 PM

Next year....oh next year....hurry please.......I have the all clear to go!



#5 Mr.Jerry

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 05:12 AM

I am already excited for next year!  Thanks to the OVMS staff for making it run so smoothly, it was a great new hall, nice load in/out options.  And thanks to the Expo center staff for trying their hardest to keep the bathrooms clean amid the onslaught. The extra tables and chairs were a welcome addition.

 

And as one of my crew was one of the people that had a very high end neck order stolen, props to the dealers and Local law enforcement that were able to use clear heads to resolve a bad situation. Communication was they key to this apprehension.  I am very happy to hear that the individual will be banned.  This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated.  

 

A few ideas for the OMVS crew-

 

Have a public cork-board "message board" for posting wanted items and such and just general communications.

 

Provide small table signs with "dealer stepped away - please do not handle" message but have a place for a cell number on it.

 

If possible run the show till 8pm Thus/Fri  as there is just too much to see and not enough time.

 

Shorten the "go see the veterans" PA announcements, while I understand the idea is to let people know about them, but they go on too long and are somewhat unintelligible, and become self defeating as people just talk louder over them.

 

Provide an ice cream delivery service to dealer tables (ok I just wanted to see if you were still reading these)



#6 Shenkursk

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 08:22 AM

Good ideas Jerry!  I really like the signs with a space for a cell phone # - I know we can make that happen.  Not sure if we can get Homer off the PA, he loves it so (and is passionately dedicated to paying tribute to the veterans), but yes.. they do go on and on, and I don't think I heard much more than the first few words as you are also correct - everyone just turns up their own volume to compensate.

 

No way to do the ice cream thing, but two years ago the KEC did promise a coffee cart that would go up and down the aisles.  Never materialized, though.



#7 Sparty On

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 08:35 AM

 
 
Have a public cork-board "message board" for posting wanted items and such and just general communications.
 
 

 
This is a great idea!  It would certainly save a lot of time searching for that particular item.
 
A couple of suggestions I would like to make are not breaking down until 5pm Saturday vs 3pm.  The reason for this would be for those late arriving members of the public.  For example, say someone from the public doesn't get to the show until early afternoon (1-2pm) and before you know it, it's 3 pm and that member of the public starts seeing tables get broken down.  If I were that person I'd be a little upset to find out I just paid admission for only about 1-2 hours of buying time when I thought I had about 3-4 hours to walk the isles.  Unless of course they are told this will happen beforehand before admittance.
 
Secondly, why not open the show to the public on Sunday as well?  I witnessed several people wanting to come into the show on Sunday but they weren't allowed because they weren't members.
 
Mike
 

Edited by Sparty On, 23 February 2016 - 08:45 AM.


#8 BILL THE PATCH

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 08:38 AM

Where is the 2017 show? Or is it the same venue every year?

#9 MAW

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 08:47 AM

"Attention in the hall......attention in the hall......."

 

Interesting suggestions so far.  Most are good ideas.

 

 

Some extension of hours might be warranted...but there's a fine line there somewhere.  I wouldn't mind an extended Thursday.......

 

Table top signs and a message board are decent ideas.

 

 

P.S.

 

Good job to all of those involved in taking down the guy with sticky fingers.  I hope more details are posted when it is possible to do so.


Edited by MAW, 23 February 2016 - 08:54 AM.


#10 CNY Militaria

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 10:53 AM

 
This is a great idea!  It would certainly save a lot of time searching for that particular item.
 
A couple of suggestions I would like to make are not breaking down until 5pm Saturday vs 3pm.  The reason for this would be for those late arriving members of the public.  For example, say someone from the public doesn't get to the show until early afternoon (1-2pm) and before you know it, it's 3 pm and that member of the public starts seeing tables get broken down.  If I were that person I'd be a little upset to find out I just paid admission for only about 1-2 hours of buying time when I thought I had about 3-4 hours to walk the isles.  Unless of course they are told this will happen beforehand before admittance.
 
Secondly, why not open the show to the public on Sunday as well?  I witnessed several people wanting to come into the show on Sunday but they weren't allowed because they weren't members.
 
Mike
 

I'd be against a 5pm take down. 3PM is late enough for those of us traveling 7+ hours that night to get home. The show is always stagnant after noon on Saturday anyways.



#11 Shenkursk

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 12:06 PM

I'd be against a 5pm take down. 3PM is late enough for those of us traveling 7+ hours that night to get home. The show is always stagnant after noon on Saturday anyways.

 

It is important to recognize that many people are indeed traveling 7+ (and often many, many more) hours to attend the show.  We had one dealer who has a three-day drive to get home, and was purple-faced furious that we would not open up a door and let him drive a car into the show at 3:00 pm on Saturday.  Doesn't matter that the show is still going on, or that public admission is still being sold.. he thought he could save one hotel night by departing exactly at 3:00 and getting a few hours further down the road Saturday night.  I worry for the safety of these folks who try to get it all done in one day.  I used to try to do that as well, but have changed tactics on the long hauls; much more relaxing to get all packed up, go have a nice dinner, rest, relax, spend the night, get a good breakfast, then start fresh the next day.  Sure, it's one more room night, but really - is saving $100 or even $150 really worth falling asleep and rolling the truck on the way home?  Nope.  Where security is a concern, we will sometimes modify that and go an hour or two down the road to stay at a completely different hotel rather than the one that everyone has been in all week long at the show.

 

I think the perceived Saturday slow-down is because the show starts so early in the week; Wednesday if you count dealer drop-off day, which essentially becomes the first day of the show.  One of the challenges I face as their advertising guy is: how do you advertise a show to the collecting public, if you hold it during times that many of them can't actually attend?  If we were to shift everything forward one day, that would give everybody exactly the same amount of SOS, but open it up (in theory) to a lot of folks who don't bother attending now because they can't get there until Saturday.  This is one of the areas where we are going to be looking for feedback, specifically from those who are collectors but don't currently attend the SOS.

 

Growing the SoS in particular, and the hobby in general, is one of our primary goals.  If a schedule change can accomplish this, then we're going to seriously consider it.  I know that there will be weeping, wailing, and foot-stomping.. that would be the result if we had someone stationed in the lobby handing out $100 bills.  

 

One thing that we are looking for in show feedback, though, are ideas that are geared toward "this is something that would be good for the show, for the customers, for the dealers, for the hobby, etc., and not so much "this would be good for ME personally."  The fellow with the 3-day drive informed me that by refusing to let him drive his car to his table on Saturday at 3, we were "being selfish."  He's a friend, and I sincerely value his friendship, but it was pretty hard to keep a straight face for that one.



#12 Mr.Jerry

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 01:33 PM

As I was standing in line I was listening to the poor OMVS ladies deal with all kinds of special requests and whining from people that were clearly spelled out for everyone before hand. ("I know I didn't have any table helpers listed on my form, but I have 6 now...")   But some people think rules are just for everyone else.

 

All I could keep thinking was "well aren't you just a special little snowflake...."

 

Props to all those OVMS women!



#13 ScottG

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 02:21 PM

   Since I am truly neutral in this, but have been a member of OVMS, a dealer, a helper, and even a casual Saturday visitor I thought I would opine. It seems as Jeff said, that no matter what changes happen someone will complain, its just the nature of any business. Dealer set up day, member day and public time are all part of the offering. If dealer time, or member time were excluded, then what benefit would their be to join or participate? Watching the conversations here and on other sites is interesting as most of the complaints come from those who feel that all of the deals are gone before the show opens to the public, or those that can't navigate the show in one day.

    If that is the case, then an extension of hours somewhere would most likely help the late arrival. In order to do this, the dealers must be on board and hopefully they could get some respite from a better hotel deal, ie. a group of local hotels offers a free day for early three day bookings, or a dramatic price reduction for an extra days stay... You get the point, it would require advance coordination with a tourist bureau, hotels, etc...

     In the case of missing that "great deal" because the dealers get there first, nothing can change that. Someone always gets their first. It seems OVMS is doing their best to limit "helpers" to require membership, and to put on a world class show. Still, many complain. By becoming a member perhaps you get a helper badge, perhaps an early chance to reserve a table, or you get in with the other members. Whatever the case, the opportunities are there.

      The reality is, everyone wants to be a helper to get in at dealer set up. Then we all read how tables are covered. If there are dealers and helpers, then tables should be staffed in theory. I wonder how many would complain if OVMS enforced a policy of having tables staffed at all times during open hours? After all, if you have a helper and a spouse or both, then what is a good reason for not being there? It seems to me that OVMS takes the feedback seriously and considers all options, so what would happen if there were vast rule changes regarding hours, helpers, tables being open, membership, security etc... Everyone should consider that. I am sure OVMS does.

      The bottom line is that to make a show better, feedback must be considered and implemented and they seem to be trying to do just that. No one has to attend, so to complain because its a 30 hour flight in your zeppelin to get there and for some reason its 50 hours to get home, is your problem. The solution is, don't go. To complain about dealers getting the best items is also simple, become a dealer. To complain about Saturday tear down, Its once a year, make early plans, get there when the public doors open and have fun. From what I have seen this year, it ran like every show I ever attended in any capacity. People who went found items they liked, and they bought or traded. They heard about "that awesome thing four aisles over" that someone else got, and they met up with friends and acquaintances for a good time. Nothing that OVMS does can change most of that, and when they do implement change, it is with everyone's satisfaction in mind.

       The reasons that this show is the most successful show in the world of militaria is the location, the format, and the planning. To nitpick things and ask for rule or policy changes/exceptions will only make things worse. The key to success is a well planned show in a world class venue central to amenities, and the majority of the attendee's and OVMS has done that. People across the dealer/helper/buyer spectrum all have issues, but they generally return because its fun, its huge and lets face it, it is quite lucrative as well. Outside of extending hours and adding the table/phone number placards I just don't see what more can be done that isn't too invasive.   Scott.



#14 vintageproductions

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 02:22 PM

I personally would like to thank Bill, Jeff, Greg and the rest of the OVMS staff, for making the show run so smoothly.

 

For those that are not in the show promotion business, you may not see all the little things  and problems that happen behind the scenes. The OVMS staff goes overboard with making everything run like a well oiled machine.

 

Thanks again and can't wait for next year......



#15 roadwayguy

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 06:22 PM

Would like to add my praise to the OVMS staff.  It's all those "behind the scenes" details that make things run smoothly--and no one really understands how time consuming those little things can be until they've worked to put on a show of some sort or if those things didn't get done, it would be oh so blatantly obvious.  Love the idea about some evening hours--yes, it makes a longer day for the sellers, but isn't that why they are there?  And totally agree with the idea of having tables staffed at all times--we lost a lot of time trying to go back and find someone at a table so we could get a price..... which brings up another point--it would be nice to have prices at least present and hopefully more visible so that you would know if you wanted an item enough to wait your turn while the seller dealt with several other customers ahead of you.  But I realize that is probably easier said than done.  Maybe a suggestion on the registration paperwork at least. Another "atta boy" is that we were the beneficiaries of sellers recommending other sellers for the elusive items and advice we were seeking--and greatly appreciate that kindred feeling that militaria collectors share!  In summary, everyone keep up the good work!!!



#16 Austin_Militaria

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 05:35 PM

Wednesday night is supposed to be a short load in window and partial setup, not a selling time. Tell dealers that there is a restriction on selling anything on Wednesday night. That would probably help the line of cars waiting and speed up the load in process. Sales can start Thursday morning. It would be hard to enforce, but would help dealers load in more quickly.

 

And why not let members in a little earlier on Thursday? To me, 4 hours of dealers shopping other dealers on Thursday is a lot. This gives members a bit of better hope that they can get to something before someone else.



#17 tarbridge

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 06:18 PM

There is not a restriction on selling Wednesday ...and it would be just about impossible to police...most of us like the early buying time.

#18 vintageproductions

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 07:31 PM

Wednesday night is supposed to be a short load in window and partial setup, not a selling time. Tell dealers that there is a restriction on selling anything on Wednesday night. That would probably help the line of cars waiting and speed up the load in process. Sales can start Thursday morning. It would be hard to enforce, but would help dealers load in more quickly.

 

And why not let members in a little earlier on Thursday? To me, 4 hours of dealers shopping other dealers on Thursday is a lot. This gives members a bit of better hope that they can get to something before someone else.

 

Rob you could have just as easily as every other dealer came in on Wed. evening and dropped and set-up. Then there would have been lots of time on Thursday morning to do whatever else you needed to do.



#19 Austin_Militaria

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 08:28 PM

Bob, I am not complaining that I did not have time to shop, because I don't really shop SOS. This was just a an idea. There are antique shows that put restrictions on dealers of no selling until a particular time.

 

As far as the members 12pm time on Thursday, it is like going to an Estate Sale, you might not want to go if you knew that the seller had a pre-sale before the sale began.


Edited by Austin_Militaria, 03 March 2016 - 08:31 PM.


#20 vintageproductions

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 08:44 PM

There is so much stuff at the show that you could come in on Saturday afternoon and still find a killer buy that others had missed walking by it all weekend long.



#21 Shenkursk

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 09:50 PM

The "drop-off only!  No SELLING!!" rule was in place for a few years at the MAX Show prior to acquisition by OVMS.  It was absolutely, comically unenforceable.  Very much like declaring that rain shall no longer be wet.  One of the smartest things that Bill Combs ever said as OVMS President was "We will never make a rule that we are unable to enforce."  

 

That being said, Rob has a valid point.  The Wednesday night drop-off was instituted when we moved from our old home in Hall B to the Hall A + the East Hall addition.  There were so many folks on the waiting list every year that we sacrificed one lane of the drive-in to add extra tables.  Drive-in used to start Thursday morning only, but due to the reduced capacity of the drive-in, we figured that more time would be required to get everybody in and unloaded.  So, we added Wednesday night drop-off.  Our concern was that Wednesday would then become the start of the show, but we tried to reduce that by limiting access to tableholders and one helper only.  Of course the Life Members also have access whenever the dealers do, so what we ended up with was exactly what we feared - Wednesday is now in fact the start of the show.  AND, as was demonstrated in 2016, when we put a limit on the time, it in fact does not take quite so long to get everybody in as we thought it did.  80% of the hall or better was in, unloaded, and set up on Wednesday night.  I was in the back of the hall Thursday long before the drive in time was scheduled to be over, and there were only a few cars in the hall, with none waiting to come in.  Many people with one or two tables had brought their stuff in on carts and skipped the drive-in all together.  Not really a fair test or predictor of next year, of course, since we lucked out and had great weather.

 

It is my personal belief that having the SOS essentially start Wednesday night is a real problem that must be addressed.  On this and other forums, I see lots of serious collectors posting who say that they would love to come to the show, but can't take off in the middle of the week.  They figure that by Saturday all of the fruit has been plucked - so why bother with the trip and expense?  I have to say, I see their point, and am very sympathetic to it.

 

As Bob said, there is plenty still to do Saturday - our sales were steady ALL DAY, and I bought some great stuff Saturday afternoon AFTER most of the migratory birds had taken flight.  But, having the show essentially fold like a cheap suit on Saturday at 3:00 makes it a complete waste of time, effort, and money for us to advertise to "the public", since by the time they are showing up, the dealers have stuffed it all in a bag and beat feet like back-alley gamblers when the squad car rolls up.

 

This year we also had a number of people with a 5:00 flight out of SDF that got bumped up to 1:00!  (When the hell did they start doing that?!?!?)  When most exhibitors are trying to get home or at least X number of hours down the road on Saturday is not good for the long-term health of this show, my friends.  Frankly, if we were starting the show on Thursday again (like we did just a few short years ago) and staying ALL DAY Saturday, then going home on Sunday.. the show would be better off for it.  More collectors would find it worthwhile to attend, we might actually bring in some public with stuff for sale, and exhibitors would not be finding themselves in a pickle with surprise airline schedule changes.

 

I learned this year that one of our Law Enforcement officials in our local town and his son (an excited young collector) were going to make the 5 hour trip to SOS.  He worked Friday, and so was going to drive over Saturday morning.  Fortunately I caught wind of this in time to suggest strongly that they come in Friday night, so they would not be arriving right about the time that we were all leaving.  

 

Bill and I are working on a few alternative schedule proposals.  I will post them on this and other forums to collect some feedback prior to submitting them to the board.  I am especially interested in hearing from those of you who would like to attend, but don't.  Why is that?  Tell me what I need to do to get you to Louisville, and in that door.  Attendance was excellent this year, but it's the Show-of-Shows!!  We want everybody to come.


Edited by Shenkursk, 03 March 2016 - 09:52 PM.
speeling stuff rite is reely hurd!


#22 Ronnie

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 11:46 PM

There is so much stuff at the show that you could come in on Saturday afternoon and still find a killer buy that others had missed walking by it all weekend long.


I can't load my table with everything I bring. So when I sell something or several items I go into my trunks and pull out another item. I pulled out items on Saturday morning that sold on Saturday afternoon. So my table is constantly changing. If a shopper came by my table on Thursday and didn't come back....they missed out.
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#23 MAW

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 06:30 AM

I can't load my table with everything I bring. So when I sell something or several items I go into my trunks and pull out another item. I pulled out items on Saturday morning that sold on Saturday afternoon. So my table is constantly changing. If a shopper came by my table on Thursday and didn't come back....they missed out.
Ronnie

 

Ditto that.

 

I always take more with me than I can realistically put out on the table.....that's why I encourage people to tell me what they are interested in.

 

I put a group on the table Sat. AM that I had forgotten about, and sold it within 2 hours.

 

 

As for the Weds. set up and Thursday AM dealer set-up times and restricted hours,...I "get" the noon opening on Thursday being a "downer"....but personally, I am lucky to have covered half the show at a very quick pace in that time.  Invariably, if I leave, I'm called back to the table within 15 minutes...which is also a good thing...

 

But...as others have stated...this show is just too big to cover.  It's not 150 tables in one room....it's miles and miles of tables which are logistically impossible to cover. 



#24 kammo-man

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 09:20 AM

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1457111951.244059.jpg
The show was good to me.
Where else could I find a WW1 Cammo cannon toy for my living room !!!
The SOS rocks
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#25 Bob Carter

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 12:45 PM

The show is fantastic and I always have a great time, but I'm curious why the front desk to pick up dealer packets isn't open as late as the show is on Wednesday night ? I'm usually there before closing but have seen many dealers arrive to unload only to find they can't access the show.




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