The Stamp Show NY 2016 international show is going on when this pricelist hits the mail. It is being held in New York City which is by no means an inexpensive city for lodging, travel, and food.
New York is a huge city (over 8 million population) and surely home to thousands of stamp collectors. Many of those local collectors will probably attend the show. But for the out of town attendee, attending the show for just 3 or 4 days will cost over $1000 if they stay in a nearby hotel and eat at something a little better than a fast food franchise, but less than a five star restaurant. You can buy a lot of stamps for that $1000 outlay. Some collectors will not attend the show due to the high cost.
An advantage of using a large city like New York or Washington is the availability of hotel rooms. There is plenty of public transportation. For the non-philatelic companions that come along, there are plenty of other attractions to take in. The disadvantage though is, of course, the cost.
It is kind of a catch-22 situation.
Holding the international show in a smaller city has its challenges. For example, Columbus, OH is in the top 50 largest US cities. I’m sure the cost of attending an international show in Columbus would not be as expensive as New York. However, Columbus does not have an airport that has direct flights to a lot of foreign destinations. International travelers would have to fly into a larger US city and change flights to Columbus. And the public transportation system in Columbus is not as extensive as New York.
Booth fees in New York are not cheap. Yes, there will be some inexpensive material available. But the majority of dealers are going to leave the 20¢ and $1 items at home. To cover costs and make a profit, they need to bring the $20, $50, and $100 items with them. Booth costs ranged from $49,000 for the largest and best located booths to $3500 for the smallest booths that were not in the main flow of traffic. Even at $3500, that is a lot of material to sell to meet just the booth cost. Don’t forget the hotel cost and travel cost too! A dealer is probably going to have to generate at least $10,000 in sales during the show to generate enough profit to just meet the expenses of attending the show. A more realistic figure is at least $20,000 in sales to meet expenses and provide a reasonable profit. You just cannot generate that much in sales on penny stamps and 10¢ covers alone.
Would more collectors travel to a smaller venue like Columbus where the cost is not as expensive? I do not know. Assuming booth costs are substantially less than in New York, dealers could afford to bring along more inexpensive material and not have to generate a high dollar figure in sales to meet show expenses. What do you think?