Smart Move or Last Hurrah of Dinosaurs
By David C. Harper
a dinosaur? I ask myself that as the rapid pace
of change in my business requires a gut check
from time to time.
I have never used that term before, but it gets
the idea across. I use it now because it was
employed in a Coin Chat Radio conversation I had
with Professional Numismatists Guild president
The program, which was posted to
www.coinchatradio.com Sept. 24, features the
full interview prompted by the news that PNG has
reached an agreement with the Greater Houston
Coin Club, sponsor of Houston's Money Show of
the Southwest, for a PNG Day on Dec. 2 preceding
the show's Dec. 3-5 run.
This news is significant because PNG only has
agreements for these special days with the
American Numismatic Association and Central
States Numismatic Society. This is not because
others have not wanted PNG Days, but because
there is a desire to not dilute their
importance. PNG needs to have a strong
commercial underpinning for these events and a
national audience to guarantee that the
participants don't simply add an extra day's
worth of expenses to trips that already are
often long and costly.
I asked the logical questions of Montgomery. How
does Houston make the cut when other cities with
large shows on the East Coast do not and is PNG
putting resources into something that is out of
date in the Internet Age?
At one point he proudly states that he is a
Texan, and we had a good laugh about that being
the most important point in the decision-making
process, but he also ticks off the many
advantages of the Houston venue for dealers. It
is the fourth largest city in the United States
with many people within driving distance who
count themselves as collectors. It follows in
size New York, Los Angeles and Chicago - all
three of which have hosted major national shows
in recent years.
So Houston gets a shot with the enthusiastic
support of the show's organizers.
That takes care of why the location. Now comes
the question of whether PNG members are spending
money that might otherwise go to a better use.
That's when the term dinosaur came up.
Montgomery said he didn't think he was one but
he continued to believe in the importance of
face-to-face dealings in the numismatic
Veteran collectors and dealers can size each
other up much more rapidly and easily at shows
than anywhere else and make a quick
determination as to whether they want to do
business with each other.
This is the second time the personal aspect of
the acquisition process has come up for me in a
little over a week. Jon Lerner mentioned it in a
Sept. 17 Coin Chat Radio interview about
Coinfest, which is slated for Oct. 9-11.
The human element continues to be important in
our business. After the Lerner interview, I
wrote a daily online blog about this and it got
as many hits in a couple of days as my blog
usually receives in a month. Others either agree
with this idea or are so curious as to who would
make such a statement that they have to see for
themselves. Either way, I ask whether I am a
dinosaur for believing personal interaction
still is important.
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