On behalf of the OVMS, I want to offer our very sincere thanks to all who participated in any way; our dealers, members, public, those who shared links and said encouraging things on the forums and social media, etc. It is a team effort, and we are but a small part. Events like this are successful only when a great many are working together, and your participation and support is profoundly appreciated.
This was a transition year for the SOS - we are trying new things, and working on improving others. We learned lots of lessons at the show (as we do every year) about what works and what doesn't. Clearly, something must be done differently in regard to packet pick-up; that line was crazy. I believe there was a technology crash that caused part of that, but will know more shortly, if there is a way to prevent that from happening again, we're on it. I also want to apologize for the fact that the weather machine we purchased for the show broke down Friday night. Perhaps we got too greedy programming it for weather in the 70 degree range.. should have been a bit more realistic and tried for upper 50's. We'll do better next year.
Next week we will have a hotwash where we can get this all on paper before memory fades. If you were there and have observations and suggestions, please send me an email with "SOS2017" in the title line. [email protected] (Email, please, no PM's. Would like to keep them all in one place so I can find and organize them.) The most useful suggestions usually are offered within the scope of "this would be good for the show / collecting community." We also get tons of suggestions motivated by "this is what I want for me, personally"; usually involving moving the show to within 20 miles of whoever is offering the suggestion.. often entertaining, but not particularly helpful. If your suggestions are not particularly good for the collecting community, but you feel that they might be humorous - go ahead, we could use a laugh or two. Just let us know at the end that you are kidding, unless for some reason you really do want to see the SOS moved to Minot, ND in January, and run from Monday to Thursday.
A few observations, just from my limited perspective as a participant:
Contrary to what has been stated here earlier, I believe attendance was UP from previous years. Will know for sure in a few months after OVMS has tallied all of the data and we get a report at the next board meeting, but the line out front waiting for public admission on Friday went all the way down the hallway toward the entrance to the north hall. Our photographer got some good photos which I will post once he gets them downloaded and sent to me.
Buying was GREAT! I bought some very exciting items for future catalogs, and found a few gems for myself as well. Had to slow down at some point for fear of running through the whole bankroll with days left in the show.
Selling was much stronger for us this year than last. Ran out of stuff to put out on the table and had big empty spots, emptied one clothes rack entirely, half of another one, and we had several mannequins that went through more wardrobe changes than a supermodel at a fashion show. In previous good shows, our happy total was attributed to a few specific areas (i.e., it was a great show because of all of our British medals, or the big collection of WWI painted helmets, etc.) This year, the sales were spread out throughout the variety of items that we brought, and were strong at the high end of the market, and on the less expensive stuff as well. Bodes well for 2017, I think.
I did speak with two friends who were very disappointed in their sales, but one had a table covered with stuff that I would pay money not to own, and the other is a good guy, but notoriously hard to deal with and has very unrealistic expectations when it comes to pricing his items. Honestly, I don't recall either of them EVER being happy with a show.
We had items that I hesitated to bring which sold right away, and items that I thought would be the first thing to sell that we ended up carting home. You just never know.. so bring a bunch, bring your best, price it as realistically as you can, and you will end up having a good show.
Do please think about what you saw that worked and what didn't, and type up any suggestions, kooky ideas, gripes, advice, etc. that you can cook up, and let me know. We really do take this all into consideration when planning.