Show aims to fill void left by Atlantique City
PHILADELPHIA – The magic is going to happen again.
Norman Schaut, founder of ‘Atlantique City’, once the largest indoor antique and collectibles fair in the world, will restore and restage that great event as the ‘Fun Fair of Fine Collectibles’ on October 9 and 10 in the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. This new facility is conveniently located 14 miles west of center city and surrounded with 5,000 free parking spaces. Pipe and draped booths, with stanchion dividers and dealer identification signage will be available for $175.
Schaut launched the megashow in March 1986. He sold the show to Krause Publications in 2001 which canceled the show for 2010 in September, citing economic concerns. [Antique Trader is published by Krause Publications.]
About a month later, JMK Shows announced it was going to hold an event March 27-28, 2010 in the Atlantic City Convention Center under the name The Atlantic City Antiques and Collectors Show. Shortly after Schaut announces an October event, JMK added the same October dates to its Web site for a second Atlantic City show.
“I considered AC but realized that space and labor costs would not permit us to offer a pipe ad draped booth for under $200 and generate sufficient money to sustain the massive advertising campaign which will be required to motivate collectors to drive or fly long distances when they can shop the internet at home,” Schaut explains.
We also factored in the off-season population of greater Atlantic City at 39,000 while over 6,000,000 greater Philadelphians can practically walk to the new Expo Center.
“At this point in the world economy, when everyone is feeling the pinch, we are able to offer booths, display cases, accommodations and tickets at very affordable prices. To say that the reception in this country and overseas has been enthusiastic would be quite an understatement.”
The new ‘Fun Fair’ will be positioned as ‘The Happiest Show On Earth’ and promoted with the same marketing plan that launched ‘Atlantique City’ and continued its growth for the first 15 years.
Schaut’s aggressive, ten month campaign includes television, radio, newspapers, magazines, trade papers and direct mail plus the collector’s club program and innovative internet usage. Exhibitor interviews during the Friday set-up as well as live coverage on Saturday are expected to be greater than ever.
A unique video-active Web site funfaircollectibles.com is being designed by a studio animation artist and will present streaming photos of merchandise offered at the upcoming event. Viewers just click on an image to freeze the frame, enlarge the picture and display the dealer’s name with booth number.
To ensure that Friday, the drive-in and set-up day, is restored to the most important buying and selling opportunity of the year for exhibitors, floor rights and extra badges are not available; booth sharing and reproductions will never be permitted.
The October dates, as well as the first Spring show on April 17 and 18, 2011 were suggested by two of Schaut’s original exhibitors, David Pressland of Great Britain and Germany’s Uwe Heintze. These weekends connect with two of the largest collector events in the world; the Antique Automobile Club of America national meet in Hershey, which ends on the Friday before the new fair, and the semiannual Train Collectors Association activities that begin in York immediately after the fair.
Over 200,000 avid collectors attend these gatherings in eastern Pennsylvania and Schaut, who is a lifetime member of both, plans to attract them through their club journals.
Contracts are being sent to fine antique and vintage collectible dealers who feature one or more of the following categories: American, British and European toys, trains, dolls & bears, folk art, holidays, advertising, coin-op, banks, Americana, doorstops, country store, Disneyana, pedal cars, circus & carnival, mechanical music, soda fountain, amusement park, ephemera, movies, television, original comic art.
And the collectible categories go on and on; automobilia, posters, miniatures, theater, kitchen, robots, railroadiana, juke boxes, postcards, music, Coca Cola, slot machines, air, land & sea travel, marbles, casino & gaming, magic, breweriana, figural napkin rings, political, sports, music, erotica, ocean liner, aviation, marbles, gold and silver age comics, rock ‘n roll, pop culture, action figures, games, sport & celebrity autographs, the jewelry galleria and much more. Other specialties will be added by exhibitor request and committee approval as the year progresses.
Call 800-822-4112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a Collector’s Courtesy Pack including early entry ticket order form, map, discount accommodations and special airfares.