September 27, 2001
Dear Members and Exhibitors,
Two weeks after the terrorist attacks my mind and my life are still not entirely normal, whatever normal was, and perhaps will never be again. Life, ideas, ideals, will probably never be the same, at least for the generations that just went through September 11th in America. But business goes on and I have to correspond and inform the members and the exhibitors who do our shows of what is happening in our future.
Our Saratoga Show was two weekends ago, just a few days after the attacks, and it went, I think, as well as could be expected. At the time, with the low turnout of public, I was fairly shocked and disappointed. Rumors of people just having to buy a gun and of all gun shows closed with ours being the only one open for the weekend, were generally untrue. In fact some shows were closed, others were open; some people felt the need to come and buy a gun but the majority of people in general, felt like they wanted to stay home. If you visited any stores in the last few days, people are still staying home.
Our advertising for the show was the same as we always do and one week prior over 3000 post cards were mailed to prior attendees around the Saratoga area so Cathy and I did the same job, or more, that we always have. In fact after we found that the Syracuse Show was closed, we began accommodating a good number of dealers who found that they had no where to go. I added tables to the show and changed my floor plan several times, which actually was work we really didn't need at such a late date, even though it meant a slightly larger show and additional income for the show. After accommodating the extra dealers I then heard the disgruntled remarks wondering whether we advertised the show or not or that the Saratoga area must be saturated already and there are no buyers left. This I did not appreciate.
Let me set the record straight. I personally had a great show and I rarely sell at my own show. I know some dealers had a great show and I know others who did not. That's the way it is at all shows. But I do believe that life in general has and will change. Whether it will be a lasting effect I don't know. But September 11th has certainly made individuals reflect upon their values and what they consider important. My reflections are no different, our shows are still important; it's the way we pay our bills and what we do. But to make it plain to our members and exhibitors, we will still do our job as best we can, promoting, advertising, etc., but I must say I don't have the same views or feelings I had before. I hope I've become more tolerant, and understanding, however, at the same time, I wonder whether what I do or what we do, is really still worth all our effort.
Our Saratoga show has become a very good show yet I constantly hear, whether in jest or as to be an irritant or even in what one person may believe a true statement, how I don't advertise or promote the show properly. For those people I've got to say, "bull crap!" All we do is advertise and promote Saratoga and whatever other shows we produce and what I get in return is snide remarks and the dealer who calls me three days before the show to see if I still have tables and "can I pay you when I get there," by check.
WE not only have a responsibility to the public and our exhibitors but the exhibitors should also know that they have a responsibility to the show that they are going to, to let the promoter know well in advance, and that their money that they should be sending in, is what's used for expenses and, you guessed it, advertising. Consider how much time and effort you would put in when you have a hall full of tables, all your money out and spent and then getting your exhibitors calling you a week or so before the event to ask for space at the show. This is no way to run a business.
As I said, things have changed. Enclosed you will find our fliers for our next Saratoga show in November; following that our Fishkill, NY show a week later, and a month later, the New Hartford, NY Show near Utica, which we've rescheduled from our September date. Fill them out, send in your money, do it now, don't lose the applications and don't call me after two weeks before the shows. I either want support from you as exhibitors early or I probably won't accommodate at a late date. We have a very nice core of New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates and faithful dealers who work as businessmen, never have a problem sending applications and deposits, who never have a problem wondering whether they got their flier, didn't leave their check book home, didn't forget their badges, didn't need to know if the show was still on, don't need a special invitation and even put our fliers up, advertise in the paper that they'll be in a show, recruit new m! embers or even given us displays or at least constant moral support, and when I say constant, we've been in this business since 1982. And to you I say, "Thank you with all my heart." To others who may not be as faithful but perhaps ignorant of that which they don't realize, I say, "things have changed." If you wish to support us in our continuing endeavors to succeed in a very difficult business do so now. Our dealer mailings number around 800 and after this mailing all who do not reply either with table applications, member applications, a call, note or e-mail as to why they should remain on our list, this will be your last mailing.
Even though we would like to have done more shows this year, our schedule simply didn't permit it. However, we are looking at some different things for 2002. Our Saratoga Shows will be in March, August and November, we'd like to see this New Hartford area develop and perhaps some of you would like to see some of our prior locations revisited, if so let me know. We'll continue expanding our web site, perhaps offering dealer space as we are now getting about 20,000 hits a month to see it go to NEACA.com. Thanks for your continued support and God Bless America.
Other News ...
If you were planning on going to the Syracuse, NY Gun Show this weekend, Sept. 15 & 16, the same date as our own Saratoga Springs, NY Arms Fair, Don't make the drive ... Syracuse has been cancelled!! It seems that the State may need the facility for possible use in connection with the terrible catastrophe that was perpetrated on the citizens of New York City. It also was rumored that the date of the show, being so close in time to this past tragedy, may be better to reschedule to a different time in the future. Whatever the case our Show in Saratoga is still on.
Our Sept. Show in New Hartford, NY has been re-scheduled to December 14, 15, 16, 2001.
NEACA Member Letters Archive