We didn’t know what to expect in Vienna, VA last weekend. After all, it had been 3 years since we had last done this venue, and we we unsure of whether the redesign of the community center would help or hurt it. The other uncertainty was the Vienna mail list, as this was an aging demographic when we last attended this show.
We are happy to report that Vienna hit on all cylinders. It was almost as if there had been no absence. Darren Coker is the second generation of one of the original Vienna promoter’s, his father Dan. That pedigree was on full display, as he not only managed to fill the room with dealers, but more importantly, he attracted a large and diverse group of collectors. There were several anchor dealers absent from Vienna, replaced by part-time and vest pocket dealers. When we talked to a few of these firms, they indicated to us that they were in a wait-and-see mode, and were going to base their decision to set up at future Vienna shows on the success of last weekend. We hope that these companies are now on board for future shows, because this venue has nowhere to go but up. Furthermore, viable and credible rare coin dealers are imperative to the show’s success moving forward. Good dealers attract good customers!
For a small show, Vienna was very robust. We were encouraged by the quality of the customers through the door. Unlike Wilmington where getting a customer to spend a hundred dollars was like pulling teeth, these folks were spending four and five figures with some regularity. This was undoubtedly a reflection of the Fairfax and Montgomery County demographics, which are coincidentally, the first and second most affluent counties in the United States.
We had several folks comment on all of the holes in our cases on Sunday, spaces that had been occupied by certified coins when we set up the day before. For us, a measure of a coin show’s success is not only based on how much we sell, but what we buy. On the buying side, Vienna was outstanding. Perhaps it was our front and center location. Equally as likely, was that this is an area where we have been doing numismatic business for decades, and we have many customers who call Northern Virginia home. Whatever the formula, we feel fortunate that we were able to be part of the renaissance of this great little coin show. We are very optimistic about the prospects for the future.