The American Numismatic Association (ANA) has just announced the suspension of the 2020 World’s Fair of Money. The show, originally scheduled for August 4-8 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the largest annual coin and paper-currency event in the United States.
The ANA Board of Governors has been deliberating the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the show and whether aggressive mitigation requirements to ensure the safety of attendees made continuing with the Pittsburgh event feasible. Current State of Pennsylvania guidelines restrict indoor gatherings to a maximum of 250 people at any one time. The World’s Fair of Money typically attracts upward of 10,000 people during its 5-days which include live auctions, affiliated club meetings, and a bourse floor with nearly a thousand dealers and government mints from around the world.
The Board resolved in a vote on June 16 to postpone the show and to consider alternate sites and/or dates for the 2020 World’s Fair of Money.
According to Jennifer Ackerman, ANA conventions director, because of Pennsylvania’s restrictions on indoor gatherings, “none of the usual World’s Fair of Money offerings would be possible at the Pittsburgh show. No exhibits, no educational programming, no Kids Zone, no club meetings, no banquet, and a significantly reduced bourse. Our team has been in nearly daily conversations with the convention center, but it's become evident that they are unable to fulfill their contractual obligations.”
Pittsburgh World’s Fair of Money Committee Chair Tom Uram noted the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) had “anticipated a convention that would showcase the ANA and the city of Pittsburgh. But based on our analysis and review of all relevant information – the diminished show experience for attendees, health and safety issues, security, financial impact and the significant unknown outside variables – the host committee recommended that the ANA Board not hold the Pittsburgh World’s Fair of Money.”
Since 1891, the American Numismatic Association’s convention has only been cancelled twice; in 1918 during the flu pandemic and again in 1945 because of World War II.
Options for alternative venues are being looked at, including The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the Mountain America Expo Center and Salt Palace Convention Center, both of which are located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organisation dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its 28,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications and, in mots years, conventions! For more information visit www.money.org.