Cleveland Rocks! 2018 National Convention Attendance Highest in at Least 12 Years
Before the first guests were allowed in on Wednesday, it was apparent that the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention was going to be busy. Signs were hung at the I-X Center ticket booths that all levels of VIP passes were already sold out.
As the Wednesday sneak peek rolled into Thursday, Friday and then the weekend, the crowds continued to come out in droves.
“We are extremely pleased with the crowds who attended the recently completed 2018 Cleveland National. Our dealers all reported strong sales and heavy traffic all week. Corporate exhibitors indicated that their promotions were well received and that they were please with the attendance,” said John Broggi, National Sports Collectors Convention Executive Director. “Being in Cleveland once every four years is something we hope to continue.”
Broggi noted that attendance was likely the highest the show has had since Mike Berkus took over in 2006. The VIP sellout was a first. Broggi also said that online ticket sales were up 35 percent higher than the previous high.
Looking to Chicago in 2019, the National is already working with card companies and TRISTAR to offer a larger number of VIP passes. But that requires more autographs and exclusive cards.
Another sign of a strong show came with booth sales for the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention. They sold out in two days. According to Broggi, they’re usually at 70 to 75 percent at this point.
“The 2018 National was a success by almost every measure. The convention center is large and well maintained. The bright signage everywhere added to the positive vibe all week,” Broggi said. “Attendees came early and stayed late.”
But there was a challenge that many experienced, something that wouldn’t have been an issue even a decade ago.
“The only negative we heard from exhibitors was the lack of free Wifi and that was addressed before we left Cleveland,” Broggi said. “The I-X Center announced that they will provide complimentary exhibitor wireless internet suitable for web browsing and email service to all dealer and corporate booths for the 2022, if it is held in Cleveland. If higher bandwidth is required, they will offer incentive pricing on an individual basis.”
The 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention runs from July 31 to August 4 at Chicago’s Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.