The Atlantique City antique show used to be a big deal. It started in the original Convention Hall on the boardwalk. Attendance was so heavy that people would form two lines, each a mile long, in opposite directions on the boardwalk. The huge show was always packed. It was a very diverse show, with a strong emphasis on antique toys, although I’m not sure how that happened.Upon completion of the new Convention Center, the show moved and continued to thrive for a few years. As time passed, the show started to flounder and began to shrink. A vicious cycle started as fewer dealers exhibited, followed by fewer attendees, round and round until the show failed.
Fast forward. In stepped Allison Kohler of JMK Shows to revive the show. I emailed Allison a couple of questions. Here are her answers.
Q. What’s NEW about The NEW Atlantic City Antiques & Collectors Show?
A. We changed the name of the show to let people know they were going to have a new experience — it was important. People were very discouraged and disappointed the last few years. We made a number of changes to make for a better experience for the customer and the exhibitor. We lowered the price of admission. We lowered booth rents and made the booths larger. We also created 2 separate contracts to structure the show by merchandise, an antiques contract and a collectibles contract. We changed the structure of the show so no more Barbies next to Tiffany lamps, although there are still Barbies and still Tiffany lamps. We created what I believe to be a better flow and energy and a much better look to the show. The front section when you walk in is now a hard-walled section, with a number of quality vendors who will be participating for the first time in AC. All tables will be covered to the floor, no more cardboard boxes on tables, nothing flea markety/garage sale. We added a number of special features that pertain to our industry, not the circus. Glass, porcelain restoration, the appraisal center, the Doulton convention. We have 2 personalities who are very well known within their respective fields, bringing their support to the show. Harry Rinker, host of “Whatcha Got” is doing his radio show from the building Sunday morning. Also, Louise Irvine, a leading expert in the Doulton Field, will be on hand all weekend.
Q. What advertising have you put in place?
A. We have 80 banners around town that had been discontinued a number of shows ago, as well as signs at all the toll booths. I was down there last week for a meeting and they were already up. We have radio. We are also sponsoring the traffic and weather on a major radio station the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before the show. We are in a number of major papers with very good size ads –the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, etc. We have dozens of smaller papers throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We have done a number of different dedicated email blasts from different databases. Four from the Antique Trader, one each week leading up to the show; Morphy’s Auction sent a dedicated email this past week and then the JMK Shows list. Those emails encompassed hundreds of thousands of names. We are in every trade paper that we are aware of in the United States and even the Antiques Trade Gazette in England. We have 100s of posters and over 100,000 distributed show cards. Many exhibitors helped participate in the distribution and hanging of the posters, for which we are very grateful. We have web advertising as well as social media sites. We have the Media Center of the Convention Center also working in conjunction with us to do even more PR. I believe they have channel 6 scheduled to come in on Friday and do a live segment and a number of other extra write ups, calendar listings, things to do this weekend, etc.
There will be extra services as follows:
– Expert Glass Repair Clinic by Paul Nulton – SATURDAY & SUNDAY.
– Expert Porcelain & Pottery Restoration Clinic – SATURDAY ONLY.
– Certified Appraisal Clinic – SATURDAY & SUNDAY, $5 per Item
I’ll be there with a great selection of the best quality Tiffany Studios items, including some new ones you haven’t seen. I’ll also have the best French cameo glass and Louis Icart etchings. Please come to the show and make this new edition a success.
I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. I’ve already listed new items under Gallé glass, Daum Nancy glass, Tiffany Studios glass and Marblehead pottery, to name a few. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.
Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog.