June 20, 2010

Dear Members and Exhibitors,

After some e-mails and a few calls Cathy and I have made the decision to switch our dates for the Old Forge and upcoming Clifton Park shows by having Old Forge on September 24, 25, 26 and the Sportsplex Fall Show on October 1, 2, 3. Locally, the Old Forge date will be off the Warrensburg Garage Sale weekend and still be within the autumn foliage season. Regionally the new Clifton Park show date will not conflict with Rochester and Marlboro at the end of September. Not what we wanted to do but it is done. The new fliers are enclosed, please look them over, and we would appreciate an early response; a one table deposit, as usual, will be fine.

Our August Saratoga City Center show flier for August 27, 28, 29 is also enclosed and you can see our upcoming dates for future shows there thru next March. The late August event has been very good and we expect another sell-out. The loading will be much easier as the old Atrium entranceway will be open and have direct access to the floor. There is on-going construction but that should have no affect on the show. Other access areas are also still open. Hotels, as usual, should be reserved as soon as possible and we have an extensive list on our NEACA.com website; see Gun Shows for links.

Soon, we will have new pages and updates for each of our events accessed thru our site and Gun Show page. There you will find any hotel/motel deals, restaurants, directions and important or of interest links. You can also get new or changing information if you follow me on Twitter: @DavidPetronis, one word as shown. The 21st Century is here boys, enter it. If you haven’t, you can call us for further details or by sending in any of your show applications with deposit you will receive all the information you will need about that show.

A few dealers have mentioned Labor Day weekend to me for an event. We are in process of working something up for this Labor Day or the week later – I know, against another show – what can I say? If we decide on it you will like it and still have Monday off, leave the date open for a while. Several other things are also in the wind.

OK, you know what is ahead but what happened recently? We had 335 tables on the floor plus 8 booths for our first Clifton Park Show this past May. Not a bad showing and it was the largest event in this northeast region. Not our 750 table capacity but we will get there. The facility was great, the food was great, the carpeted floor felt great on the feet and move-in and out went very well. The air conditioning was also great and much needed as, once more, the weather outside was terrific – but not for a gun show crowd! The turn style showed just over 2000 but paid attendance was less than that – again, the weather is something I can’t control. Even our Saratoga Show last March had the best 70 degree weather the area hasn’t seen in decades and Old Forge in May was a beautiful weekend. Rained the weekend before and rained the weekend after the Sportsplex Show. Luck of the Irish?

I heard some nonsense that we didn’t advertise the Sportsplex Show; only for about six months prior to and heavily the final two weeks. From fliers at most other shows to thousands of post cards mailed directly and distributed by dealers and shops, to signs and word of mouth should have been enough for six months. Then Gun Digest, Gun Week, Gun Report, Big Show Journal, Gun internet sites plus Man at Arms, Antique Week, New England Outdoors and even the Winchester Collector magazine. Not enough? How about every weekly newspaper and Pennysaver from Canada to Peekskill, Vermont to Syracuse and daily newspapers within 100 miles. Don’t forget five ten inch color ads in the local Gazette, the largest coverage for the area, twenty-five expensive spots on WGY radio with Beck, Rush and Hannity.

And I did have several bull crap signs on Route 9 with arrows and because of a screw-up with my printer our large signs weren’t made in time. Finding that out on Wednesday precluded me from dropping everything else that needed to be done (overseeing the table and booth setup of this first ever show to make sure the dealers would have ease of set-up) to hand paint a large banner for Route 9. So, I guess we didn’t advertise – enough. Sorry, I promise this next time I will have signs up a month prior to the show across the road on Lindsey’s Orchard. The owner called me and made that offer personally. Yes, this will become the largest and best show in the Northeast even if the sun is shining! Please send in your deposits and applications as soon as possible so I can get on with my job – advertising our shows not having to call dealers for tables.

For you dealers who didn’t do as well as expected, all I can say is that it was not thru our lack of effort. Cathy and I worked constantly for extended hours every day for months on this show. The benefits of which still have not been seen but with our continued efforts and your support, the Fall Show should reap the harvest. Don’t give up on this as all we heard from the folks who came was that this was probably the best show location most of the people had ever attended. They will tell their friends and neighbors.

Till next time …. see you in August,  Cathy & Dave