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  • Writer's pictureDan Keane

CARDIFF CARD SHOW SEPTEMBER 2022 REVIEW

A complete review of Wales' first-ever sports cards show!


Wales hosted its first card show on September 17th 2022. Before this year's show, I had very good contact with Gavin, the card show organiser. This was Gavin's first time organising a card show, which is common with card shows being new to the UK. According to my understanding, Gavin was familiar with the venue, Fuel Rock Club in Cardiff, having been there several times as well as knowing the staff and security.


Running a card show smoothly is made easier by knowing the venue and staff.


Gavin greeted me at the door and showed me to my table as soon as I arrived at the venue. My position at the back of the long, narrow room suited me well and stationed me near the Voggt stand where I had planned to stream early in the day. With my table being close to the Voggt stand, I could keep an eye on it while box-breaking the new Topps Merlin Chrome set.



The venue was split into two sections, the inside and outside, which most likely served as a smoking area during a normal opening.



The show was well attended throughout. It is no secret that Gavin favours collecting Pokemon over any other type of trading card. Because of this, there seemed to be more Pokemon stands and more Pokemon attendees at the show. My sports cards on my stand drew no interest from those attendees interested in Pokemon. As a result, those interested in sports were able to skip the Pokemon stalls and go straight to mine and other sports vendors' stands.


Despite the number of people attending the show,

I felt the venue wasn't ideal for traffic flow. Imagine a long corridor with vendors' tables on either side, that's exactly how it was set up. The result was that when it got busy, people had to squeeze through, and those standing around were in their way.



Gigs are held at the venue, so there is no lighting like you would find in a school hall or other common venues. This ultimately meant the room was very dark and dimly light. Attendees commented that they had a hard time viewing my cards and one used the torch on his phone to view one.



There was some dissatisfaction from vendors regarding being stationed outside of the venue. I believe vendors were not informed they would be set up outside. Some vendors complained that it was freezing cold, which caused some distaste. While the gazebos provided to the vendors were weatherproof, they blocked the sun, making it difficult for them to stay warm without warm clothing. Additionally, attendees queued up for entry to the venue but were not ushered outside to see the outside. While most of those I spoke with did check out vendors outside, they felt signposts or floor plans would make their presence easier to notice.


In spite of these factors, the Cardiff Card Show was the most successful card show for me personally. Due to the fact that I would not consider myself to be a high-end trader, some of my more expensive cards max out around £300 with some of my cheapest at £20. The day ended with a taking of approximately £700, which covered all expenses. This vastly exceeds the number of sales I've ever achieved at any card show to date!


As a host, Gavin was faultless. Over the course of the show, he made a habit of going to every booth to ask if anything was needed and how things were going.


Since the indoor stands experienced heavy foot traffic and little airflow, a bar was provided at the show, which alleviated dehydration risks. The bar prices were reasonable and the staff were friendly. At the beginning of the day, I requested a coffee, which one staff member kindly made for me from the staff room tea and coffee, since coffee wasn't something that was usually offered to customers.


I attended the Cardiff Card Show Trade night, but there were no sports card vendors there. Despite going back to my apartment to fetch my case, I was somewhat concerned about walking through Cardiff city centre with it. While I was able to make 2 sales at the trade night, I think vendors should be offered free tickets for future shows in an effort to encourage more variety of cards to be displayed.

As a whole, I would recommend the Cardiff Card Show to both vendors and attendees. With the upcoming December show, I am sure vendors' concerns will be addressed.


The outside vendors assured me that constructive feedback will be given to Gavin to improve the next show.




In terms of sales, the Cardiff Card Show was the most successful for me, and Gavin plans to have more Sports vendors and attendees at the follow-up show in December.



Pros:

  • The best show I've ever done for card sales

  • Affordable tables and ticket prices

  • A great number of attendees

  • The host was attentive and helpful throughout

  • The venue is in a capital city that attracted new attendees previously never spoken with before / never made the trip to England for card shows there

  • Security made the venue feel safe and relaxed

  • A trade night was available


Cons:

  • No food at the venue

  • Too narrow of a space

  • Outside was cold for vendors

  • No on-site parking

  • Dimly lit

  • No sports at trade night


Written By:


Dan Keane



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