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ANA seeks members’ views on convention locations

The ANA’s flagship event, the World’s Fair of Money, was hosted in Rosemont, Illinois, this year. It has been held in that Chicago suburb five times since 2011.

Images courtesy of ANA and Wikimedia Commons.

“Should the World’s Fair of Money Stay in Rosemont?” asks an email sent to American Numismatic Association members. The survey, designed to determine whether a new location would increase attendance, was circulated in August, and when results are final they will be delivered to the ANA Board of Governors before being made public.

Distributed in an effort to determine whether the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois, is the optimal location for its flagship event, the World’s Fair of Money, the ANA sent the survey to all of its members. The brief survey identifies four major qualities that venues should have and presents members with a single question and three options for answering. 

The four qualities that the ANA requires for locations to be suitable for the World’s Fair of Money relate to sales tax, booking of space, proximity to airports, and local labor union policies. 

Sixteen states apply sales tax to numismatic items, making them unacceptable locations for the show, according to ANA preferences. 

Some cities would not allow the ANA to use their convention facilities for the duration of the show without purchasing a certain amount of food and beverages as well, and filling a certain number of hotel rooms for a certain number of nights. These restrictions force the ANA to book more hotel space than convention attendees will purchase, making cities with such rules unappealing for the convention. 

The ANA guidelines require locations that could be used for the World’s Fair of Money to be close to an airport, to make travel easier. Thus, major metropolitan centers with international airports are the only locations that are deemed suitable for the show. 

Finally, cities whose labor unions have “rigid” regulations are unattractive to the ANA. According to the ANA, union regulations added $209,000 in cost above the budget for the 2018 World’s Fair of Money, held in Philadelphia.

The survey asks ANA members to express a preference for one of three choices regarding scheduling the flagship convention’s location: have two consecutive shows in Rosemont, followed by a different city; have the show in a different city every year; or have it in Rosemont every year.

Since 2011, the annual World’s Fair of Money has been conducted in Rosemont five times, including three years running, from 2013 to 2015. The 2010 show was held in Boston; the 2012 and 2018 shows were held in Philadelphia; the 2016 show was in Anaheim, California; and the 2017 convention, in Denver. 

The 2020 convention is scheduled to be held in Pittsburgh, with the 2021 convention back in Rosemont. Whether the convention being in the same city year after year will be the best option to attract the most attendees is unclear; while having the show consistently in Rosemont would eliminate the need to find new locations and inform the numismatic industry each year, having shows in different regions might allow people who might not otherwise be able to make it to Rosemont to still attend the World’s Fair of Money from time to time.

Results of the survey are not yet available.

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