Usually, I would have a bit of excitement as the Whitman Baltimore Expo is to be held this weekend. After my previous experiences, not only am I not excited, I am not going.
When Whitman bought the Baltimore Coin and Currency Expo, they did a good job making a destination show on the east coast. It looked like they added some resources and injected new ideas that make a good show better.
But it seems to have plateaued.
For the last few years, if you did not go to this show on Thursday or Friday, the number of dealers staying around has diminished to the point of not being worth attending over the weekend.
If you work or have other conflicts then you might want to consider not wasting your time.
In my case, I have a lot of work to do in setting up a new business. I will be in the shop all morning and will be waiting for someone to deliver some display items in the afternoon. I have to finish setting up by Monday so that the final occupancy inspection can take place—the county wants to ensure that the place is accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I cannot open the shop without this inspection completed.
I could take the time to go up on Sunday, but the last time I did that I counted less than 25 dealers. It is not worth the 42-mile one-way trip with the cost of gas going up and the tolls.
And it does not seem that Whitman is trying to improve the situation.
Sure, they added “**Limited Dealers**” to their schedule but that does not warn the visitor that in two or three convention center halls there will be less than 25 dealers.
If I wait until next Saturday I can go to a local show and see more than 25 dealers. It will be a shorter drive, no tolls, and the dealers are closer together so that I will not waste my time crossing empty aisles.
This is really sad because I have always considered this “my show.” My show is dying and I do not know if Whitman really cares!