Unique event committed to elite members of the serious collectibles industry proves a resounding success! The collectibles industry is a billion dollar market. As collecting has become big business, there has been a void between the hobby of old and the rapidly evolving, high stakes industry that exists today. The successful completion of the first Premier Collectible Conference & Exhibition (PCCE) that was held in Rosemont, IL this past April has gone a long way to begin to close that gap. The brainchild of collectibles industry leaders, Ryan Friedman of Auction Report, and Doug Allen of Mastro Auctions,Â the PCCE was enthusiastically applauded by other industry-related leaders and top tier collectors. `We are already in the planning process for next year`s PCCE,` said Friedman. `We intend to build on the foundation we established and make this event more beneficial for participants and attendees in 2009.`
The goal of the PCCE is to bring serious collectors and the industry`s most respected sources together in a professional environment that reflects the current state of the collectible industry. Created to address topics, challenges, provide education and discuss trends in the collectible arena, the PCCE is designed to mutually benefit to all participants.Â
`It is simply an event unlike any other in the collectibles industry, especially in the sports memorabilia and sports card business,` said Friedman.
JP Cohen of Memory Lane, Inc agrees that the PCCE is a new, different and most welcome addition to the line-up of other collectibles venues. `From a pure aesthetics standpoint, you knew you were experiencing the collectibles industry on a whole new level,` says Mr. Cohen.Â `It had the look and feel of a first-class event not just for me as an exhibitor but also for the collectors who attended.`
But the PCCE wasn`t just about `style`; it was also and perhaps more importantly about substance. According to Friedman, more than 50 of the industry`s top companies exhibited at the event. In addition, the event showcased some of the more spectacular high-end memorabilia known to exist and attracted collectibles that were exemplary.
`The PCCE provided a relaxed, professional atmosphere that encouraged true collectors to come out and meet with the industry`s most respected exhibitors,` said Bill McAvoy of McAvoy Sportscards. `The result was amazing. We conducted more business at this show than at any other I can ever remember.`
Friedman said that sentiment was one that was echoed from one exhibitor to the next as he questioned participants about the business generating power of the event. `It was one of those situations where one might have been easily fooled if attendance numbers alone were used gauge PCCE`s success,` said Friedman. He explained that compared to the attendance numbers of other industry shows, the PCCE`sÂ were decidedly lower. But Friedman said high attendance was never a driving force behind the convention. `Instead, we wanted to attract the kind of collector that meant business, literally,` said Friedman. `Clearly, based on the comments we received from every exhibitor, we accomplished that goal.`
In the future, Friedman says the emphasis will continue to be on quality rather quantity in terms of attracting increased attendees. He does expect the attendance numbers to rise steadily as the industry becomes more familiar with the PCCE concept and more advanced and investment collectors learn of its many multi-faceted benefits.
In addition to the quantity of high end business that was conducted at the PCCE, the conference earned top marks for the informative and educational aspects it delivered to both exhibitors and attendees. `The panel discussions were excellent,` said Brian Drent of Mile High Card Company. `It was one of the first opportunities I had ever seen where the participants and attendees of a collectibles conference were given the opportunity to actually sit down and learn something from each other. I know I am certainly not alone when I say the exchange was fresh, interactive, exciting and completely innovative in terms of what the industry had ever experienced in the past.`
Already busy working on the details of next year`s PCCE, Friedman explained that just because the event was over its organizers weren`t` done promoting the event or the companies that were involved. `We expect that for those that participated in the PCCE, the benefits of doing so and being involved in it from its inception will continue to pay off throughout the year and into the next as the excitement builds for the 2009 conference.`
As for what to expect in 2009, Friedman enthusiastically replied that several new additions to the PCCE will be implemented. He said the first announcements regarding PCCE 2009 will be made in early August 2008. `We now know we have started something very special,` said Friedman. `It will be exciting to watch it develop, grow and ultimately serve the collectibles industry as it settles in and matures into its respectable place in the realm of big business.`
For more information or to attend the Premier Collectibles Conference & Exhibition, go to www.pcce2008.com.