MAX 33 is now in the books! Hard to believe this show has been going on for 33 years. That’s right, and I have made every one. It all started back in St. Louis, then Baltimore which was cool. Since then, we’ve trucked to Monroeville, Charlotte, Indianapolis and now for the 9th year in a row, we are back in Monroeville, PA, which is about 20 miles from Pittsburgh. Before I forget to tell you the 2018 MAX show will definitely be in Monroeville once again. It will be held earlier next year from Thursday September 20th until Saturday September 22nd. This gives you plenty of time to plan ahead.
Here Are the Juicy Details About MAX 2017
This was the ninth year in the Monroeville Convention Center and I still believe everyone will agree with me that this is BY FAR the best venue of any hall we have ever been in, especially if you were in the front hall. The lighting is very good, the aisles are spacious. The concrete floors are hard on your feet so you need to wear appropriate footwear. The location is easy to find, but the parking is not quite sufficient so you need to be very careful to park only in designated areas or risk being towed. There are numerous hotels and restaurants within a short driving distance. The Doubletree Hotel is right next door to the show and is convenient but expensive (about $167 per night). There are numerous other less expensive hotels in the area, and the airport in Pittsburgh is not that far away but is a very costly taxi ride. I know this for a fact because this was the first year that I did not make the 11 hour trek with truck and trailer to the show.
My son Patrick suggested I fly instead of driving, and he did not have to ask me twice. Non-stop out of Boston on JetBlue was under $300. It actually took me longer to get from the airport in Pittsburgh to the show in Monroeville than it took me to fly from Boston to Pittsburgh. Fortunately, I ran into Otani, my old friend from Japan, so we split the cost of the taxi (about $110).
Next year, I’ll use Uber which I’m told is about $48.
The entire OVMS staff is very familiar with the ins and outs of the MAX show because many of them are long term attendees. They are seasoned promoters and ran the show like a well-oiled clock.
The entire staff, from the management to the security guards, were friendly and cooperative and deserve a big pat on the back for a job well done! I felt from start to finish that they were in our court and went out of their way to make this a good experience, not only for the dealers who filled the tables at the Convention Center to full capacity (just under 1,000 tables), but also for the public who did attend.
The crew had an 11 hour drive down from Massachusetts, due to traffic and construction. They made it back in a little over 10 hours, so overall our journeys were without event.
The OVMS sets the rules and they stick to their guns. They are consistent in applying and enforcing their rules and we fully agree with this.
For example, they insist that all dealers remain open for business until 4 PM on the Saturday of the show. This allows attendees, who in many cases come from long distances, to be able to cover the entire show. This creates potential selling opportunities for dealers. It also portrays a more professional approach than attendees being run over by dealers trying to make an early exit from the show. It also looks bad to a person who had paid a full admission price to see a half empty hall. I am fully in favor of this rule as long as it’s applied in a consistent fashion.
I have never missed a MAX Show in the 33 years since it started and have every intention of continuing to support this show. It is still a vital part of the hobby.
I totally encourage those of you who have stopped going to the MAX for one reason or another, or who have never attended a MAX show, to plan on attending next year.
If you need additional encouragement or have a question, call us!
Speaking of Attendance, from our perspective, I thought the attendance was better than 2016. I could be wrong, but it sure stayed busy at our tables. It was the first show where I had both Volumes I and II of my well received books
THE STORIES BEHIND THE TREASURES OF WORLD WAR II “The Making of a Collectorholic”
available and I sold lots of numbered, personalized and signed copies. I was electrified by the kind comments from readers of Volume I.
Once again, I know the people who did attend were pleased by the variety, quality and quantity of the items being offered. I had a number of collectors show me items they bought at this MAX Show that really were bargains! Many times they said they were able to pick up an item or two for their collection.
I was pleased that I had the opportunity to spend a little extra time with some collectors, so it turned out to be beneficial from that standpoint. I met people for the first time and that will pay dividends down the road. I also saw people that had not been to a MAX show in years return and that was good to see!
One of the highlights of the show was meeting Dr. Mike Sundborg and his ten year old son Peter. We had interacted electronically and spoken on the phone before but it was our first face to face meeting. Peter had such a good time at the show that he told his Dad he wanted to have a table at the show next year! See, isn't the MAX show great!
Sales were decent and better than the last few years! Once again, thanks to the beauty of the internet, several of my customers asked me to bring items to the show. This certainly helped. The exchange rate was better this year than last year at this time but I did not notice an additional influx of Europeans, Russians or Asians. Who knows what the future holds regarding the pendulum swing of currency?
Purchases were also numerous. Once again, even though I honestly did not have the time to wander the aisles at all, I did manage to get myself in trouble on more than one occasion. I was selective in what I bought but there is plenty that you will see with coming updates on the site, so stay tuned!
My staff consisted of the always present Dave MacKinnon, as well as my son, Patrick, now a seasoned veteran of his seventh MAX Show. Also, along for his sixth MAX show was my staff photographer, Jeff Demers.
If you are looking for a professional photographer to shoot one piece or your entire collection for a very reasonable rate, please contact Jeff. He brings new meaning to the phrase “Have camera, will travel!” Just take a look at the photos on my website to see his work.
And finally, my good pal and adopted son, Kevin Bourgeois, rounded out the Ruptured Duck team.
I hope to see even more of you at the next MAX!