While more and more business in the coin world is being transacted online, there is still a place for the traditional coin show. We only set up at a handful of shows each year, but I still walk the floor at plenty, to both network and for the ability to see pieces 'in hand'.
The shows we consistently set up at are the Mansfield Numismatic Society Annual show, the two Manchester New Hampshire shows, and the New York International Numismatic Convention. Mansfield is a great one day event, the biggest in Connecticut, and it brings out lots of casual collectors who may only attend this one coin event all year. The Manchester shows are a bit quieter, but there are many newer collectors who come each year as well as more established collectors who are looking for harder to find pieces. The International is my favorite of all coin shows. It is simply a whirlwind of activity for several days, truly bringing in collectors from around the world. I would absolutely recommend any world coin collector who has not had the opportunity to attend to make an effort to do so, it is simply unlike any other show in the United States.
I have found shows (in England, they generally refer to such events as 'coin fairs') in Europe to generally be a bit more formal than the shows here. However, I over the years I have found plenty of quality material at small, local shows throughout New England that may only have a handful of dealers set up. In general, I have found shows on the East Coast to have more variety A-Z in material. In Colorado and Nevada, it seemed the shows I went to were more focused on bullion. One of the more eclectic mixes of material I saw was when I attended a California show in Santa Clara. Besides the typical mix of coins, collectibles and jewelry one would expect to see at a show, there was a gentleman there selling just about everything. I watched as a collector purchased an antique bugle from him!
This week, I'll be traveling down to Orlando for the Summer FUN (Florida United Numismatists) Show. Hopefully, the heat will not be too prohibitive! Feel free to comment below on your favorite coin shows!