Paul Lefkovitz has been a member of Antique Advertising Association of America for nearly thirty years. Since 2014, he’s been responsible for the group’s annual convention. The past two years, those conventions have been a Zoom fest of virtual fun.
But this summer is different. For the first time since 2019, the AAAA convention will be in person.
“What a concept!” Lefkovitz says with a tinge of weary sarcasm and serious longing for the simple pleasure of finally getting back together with hundreds of his closest advertising-loving friends. “There’s a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounding the event. People have missed it.”
The AAAA is America’s largest club for collectors of all popular and antique advertising. The convention runs from Wednesday evening, July 13, through Saturday morning, July 16, at the Embassy Suites in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The full convention requires a registration fee of $125 per person for meals and events. On Friday, July 15, a free Show, Auction and Sale is open to the public, with no registration necessary. A Silent Auction starts at 1 p.m. and the sale runs from 3:30-10 p.m., with a break from 6-7:15 p.m.
Some sixty sellers of antique advertising – a record for the event – will help flesh out a host of other activities highlighted by a lineup of three distinguished speakers: Terry Kovel, Allan Petretti and John DeVolder.
Kovel is a revered authority in the antiques and collectibles field. She and her late husband, Ralph, published the first edition of their seminal work, Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, in 1968. Terry Kovel has been a driving force behind more than one hundred antiques and collectibles books, several TV shows, a widely read syndicated newspaper column, popular website and practically every important development in the collecting field for about the past seventy years. Kovel will field audience queries during an informal question-and-answer session Thursday, July 14.
Petretti is the author of Petretti’s Coca-Cola Collectibles Price Guide, long considered the encyclopedia of Coke collectors. A talented artist in his own right, Petretti’s Friday seminar examines the art of soda pop advertising, as well as other topics drawn from his vast experience in the field.
DeVolder is recognized for his broad expertise in breweriana – beer or brewery-related collectibles. His presentation Wednesday, July 13, encompasses all collecting categories from beer bottles to beer lithographs, and everything in between, and from all eras beginning in 1819.
“Our speaker lineup can’t be beat,” Lefkovitz said.
The lineup, as well as all that is going into the convention, is by design and hastened by a concern of the great unknown only a pandemic can offer.
“Being mindful we were absent the last few years, we were concerned about people not coming,” Lefkovitz said. “There was a possibility they would lose connection with the group.”
Out of necessity during the pandemic, Lefkovitz oversaw three highly successful virtual AAAA conventions – events that turned out to be godsends.
“If we hadn’t have had those it would have been challenging as an organization,” Lefkovitz said. “The virtual conventions kept things going.”
And now, on the threshold of the first in-person convention in three years, Lefkovitz shares a simple truth, one many in his organization share.
“There are a lot of people I’m looking forward to seeing.”
Convention registration deadline is June 20. For more information, or to join the group, go to www.pastimes.org or email Lefkovitz at email@example.com.