US Stamps

Are stamp shows making a comeback or changing?

Nov 24, 2021, 9 AM
The Saturday line at the entrance to the Chicagopex 2021 stamp show that took place Nov. 19-21 in Itasca, Ill., a suburb of Chicago near the O’Hare airport. The crowd was a little lighter than the editor had anticipated.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

As of this writing, I have just returned from my seventh major stamp show of the year in different parts of the Midwest and East Coast. I had tentative plans to attend two others, but those two October shows were canceled.

To say the least, shows are trying to find their groove while coping with the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic. And from what I have seen, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that would work for different locations and those who attend shows.

And what has been a fairly consistent observation is that attendance is expectably lower.

The most recent show I attended was Chicagopex 2021 held Nov. 19-21. Show organizers did their usual amazing job of getting the word out through advertisements, social media posts both before and after the show, and press releases.

Those efforts likely paid off, but attendance still seemed light. Maybe the Great American Stamp Show held just months earlier in a nearby Chicago suburb was partly to blame. Perhaps collectors burst their stamp show budgets at that show.

All of this had me thinking on my drive back to Ohio. Will stamp shows make a comeback? Have we become used to purchasing online and by mail more frequently because of the pandemic?

I would love to hear your thoughts and possibly use comments in the Letters to Linn’s page or in a future editorial. Please email or write to Letter’s to Linns, Box 4129, Sidney, OH 45365.

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