Coinex leads the way...
Volume 43, Number 11, November 2006
It is autumn again and the “season” has well and truly begun, all the major auction houses have held, or are about to hold big sales, dealers’ lists are awash with new stock and of course the fair “circuit” is in full swing – starting as ever with the BNTA’s Coinex and the International Bank Note Society Congress (IBNS). Both of these events took place in new venues this year, although both remained in the Capital, Coinex at Earl’s Court and the IBNS at the Hotel Russell, Russell Square Bloomsbury. The move to Earl’s Court came after last year’s sojourn to the east of the City (the Excel Centre in Docklands) proved less than popular and a general call to “Go west” was heeded. There is, of course, nothing wrong with Earl’s Court as a convention centre – it was purpose built for big events and has excellent public transport links and ample parking and so the dealers attending, and the general public, had high hopes for the event, I don’t think they were disappointed. There were minor hiccoughs as there always are at such things– the escalator to the 1st floor was out of action and there was only one lift which meant something of a crush at the very start of the show and the signing really wasn’t up to much (one little sign on the door isn’t going to attract any passers by I’m afraid!) but such problems can be ironed out for next year I’m sure and they didn’t really detract from the show’s success. Of slightly more concern was the fact that the event had been split over two rooms, both on the same level but separate nonetheless. We were based in the main room and as such were guaranteed the full complement of visitors coming past our stand – I don’t know whether those in the smaller room can say the same thing. I feel that if we are to return to that venue – and the numbers coming through the door as well as the overall positive response from dealers suggest we should – then perhaps more signs, informing the collectors that further tables were located in another area, would be helpful. The London Coin Fair has managed to work across different rooms and the York Coin Fair too is held on separate levels and it seems not to have suffered so there is no reason at all to see why Coinex should. But as I say these were minor problems really and all in all the choice of venue must be applauded as an excellent one. More can and should be done in certain areas but on the whole it was I feel, the right choice – the numbers of dealers and collectors in attendance as well as the comments we received during and post the event seem to back that up. The IBNS is always a more sedate affair than Coinex and as we had a medal fair to attend on the Sunday we were only able to make it for the first day of this show and even then we had to “split our forces” with half staying for the second day at Coinex (which was every bit as successful as the first – something of a rare occurrence for a two day fair when normally the second day is far, far slower) and half heading across town to Russell Square. Apart from the exceptionally annoying fact that the local council had decide to dig up the road right next to the Hotel – necessitating a diversion round the one way streets of Bloomsbury – the venue was far easier to find and access than the previous one (the TUC centre) and with helpers on hand to assist with the lugging of boxes up the few stairs we had to climb it was almost a joy to arrive! Regular attendees to the London Coin Fair or Pam West’s banknote shows will know the area well – the Hotel Russell is in the next street to the Bloomsbury Holiday Inn and just down from the Bonnington Hotel where Pam held her shows until recently – which undoubtedly helped and with relatively cheap parking (for London anyway) nearby there really were no negative aspects to the venue at all – a fact reflected in the very reasonable numbers waiting for the doors to open. As with Coinex the event was split over two rooms but as they were adjacent to each other with an obvious connection this fact was overlooked and actually worked well, a cavernous room could well have given the impression that the attendance was lower that it was and whilst reports of the Sunday indicate it was slower than the first day the numbers arriving on the Saturday meant that the change of venue seems to have been well supported. All in all then a successful weekend for Coins and Banknotes. The overseas dealers, and visitors, were in attendance in good numbers, the British dealers all seemed to be doing well and the collectors coming through the door all seemed happy enough – I can’t help but feel they’d all have been even happier had both shows been under one roof in one giant extravaganza, a London Money weekend, but then maybe that’s just me….! Don’t forget the Young Collectors’ competition as announced last month 2If you won 3150 what coin (banknote token etc) would you buy and why?” We’ve already had a number of entries (quite surprising considering I remember my sons’ school days when every essay was left until the very last minute) but we need more – get your children writing – there’s real money at stake! If you didn’t catch last month’s COIN NEWS you can write to us for the rules of the competition, it deosn’t close until January 31 2007 so there’s still time.
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