March 26, 2015

March, April, Saugerties, Kiwanis Ice Arena, Membership

Members and Exhibitors,

Look at the calendar and we are in the first week of spring, look out the window and we can all wonder where? I can’t remember a winter as cold and with so much snow as this one that doesn’t want to end. But, in another week or two I’ll bet we will be basking in April sunlight, warm temperatures and forgetting winter ever happened. And yes, my glass is always half full! Those April showers will bring May’s flowers.

April also brings us back to the Kiwanis Ice Arena where we developed a new show in Saugerties, NY last year. That show was fine so we are back this year on the weekends of April 11 & 12 and June 13 & 14 with room for 200 tables of fine guns and related goodies. At this point we have sold nearly as many tables, with three weeks to go, as we had on the floor last June; our flier is enclosed.

Cathy has added a lot more local advertising to the weekly papers, two to three weeks in advance and we are in process of installing our large “Gun Show” banner at the facility. Saugerties is a fine gun oriented area as well as the Catskill Mountain antique Mecca. The Ice Arena is easy to find off Exit 20 of the NYS Thruway then heading east through the village on Route 32, follow our signs. Ask for “NEACA Gun Show” rates of $90 at the Howard Johnson, (845-246-9511) off Exit 20, or $80 at Super 8 in Kingston (845-338-3078) or north in Catskill at Red Ranch Motel on Route 32, they open April 1st (518-678-3380). And also give us a call to reserve your tables or simply send in the application. This is a very easy show with drive-up loading, great lighting, free Wi-Fi, great food and loads of parking, hope to see you there!

Another new venue, which we have procured and had a nice full show with fine attendance, is at the Polish Community Center in Albany, NY, just off Exit 24 of the Thruway. We promoted the first-ever gun show at this fine facility on February 21 & 22 and it went so well the exhibitors and public want another show. We have just made the commitment to do just that on April *24, 25 & 26 and have it half sold out of our 100 table capacity even before the fliers are out. Your personal one is included and, again, we will sell out so don’t wait if you want to be a part of this great new venue. Please read the flier for particulars then come and enjoy the great Polish food on Friday eve. We are considering four shows a year there and these will grow! Also next to the largest mall in the Capital District, Cross Gates Mall; we have plenty of free parking, free Wi-Fi, ATM and 50,000 cars a day pass our “Gun Show” sign. We always try harder to make our NEACA shows better, come join us.

The month of May not only bring those blooming flowers but also two venues that are blossoming into two very nice Gun Show locations – and both are completely different from each other. We have already had two great shows at the Newburgh, Ice Time Sports Arena, which is right off Route 84 at Exit 6, and we have scheduled two more on the same weekend time slots as last year. May 16 & 17 and August 29 & 30 will be our 2015 weekend dates but the latter will not include the Labor Day weekend as 2014 – so, a better weekend!

The Ice Time Complex is great – easy loading, great lighting, ATM, free Wi-Fi, air conditioned if needed, loads of free parking, good food and very easy to get to; 2 miles from Exit 17 of the Thruway and one hour north of 10,000,000 people. Room for 225 tables in a comfortable setting with eager buyers of your products – we are again, half sold out with two months to go. Send in your applications ASAP and ask us to reserve both dates, May and August, with a one table deposit for each show.

Our other month of May show is a little more rustic but pleasantly profitable being nestled in Norwich, NY at the Exhibition Hall in Chenango County Fairgrounds. Park your RV or camp out in your van next to the show, there’s lots and lots of parking; the annual fair brings 50,000 visitors to the City of Norwich so folks do know where the place is.

Last year we had our first Fairgrounds event and it was fine, and we now know what to expect, where to go and how to advertise with our signs and banners; the folks want us back and we will be there on May *29, 30 & 31, our flier is enclosed. Cathy will make a few motel deals for members and vendors, same as last year. We also have a few local dealers who will be placing signs and handing out fliers, making sure the local businesses and folks know we have our gun show coming again this May. Send in your application ASAP so I can arrange for enough tables to be available.

I would be remiss not to mention how our March Saratoga Springs Arms Fair was – it was great! I don’t know of one dealer who did not have a great show, and we were against Springfield, Mass. and the Sunday preview of Julia’s Auction in Maine. Our next show there will be August *21, 22 & 23, during the racing season but one week earlier than usual so as not to be on the same weekend as the Traverse Race, the big Saratoga event. Motels will be easier to get and more race fans are likely to attend our Gun Show. Make your motel reservation now!

August will be busy for NEACA. Not only do we have our Newburgh show on the last weekend (there are 5 weekends this August) which is the 5th but we have Saratoga the 4th weekend and we have our usual first weekend event of August, 1 & 2 at the Hiltebrant Recreation Center in Old Forge, NY. This Adirondack Mountain event is a show and vacation combined – spend an extra day to enjoy the area, we will try to get a good motel rate. Our show is already advertised in “I Love NY” booklets promoting the North Country and we get calls asking when our Old Forge Show will be so folks can plan their own vacation and also see our show. We get these calls about Saratoga in August – from far away places so vacationers can come to our NEACA Arms Fair and plan their dates.

These inquiries are what NEACA strives for; getting serious folks to our shows and these people know we have good vendors, gun show vendors! However, it is always hard to get and keep good gun dealers – they have to make money. That is why we try to provide a nice venue, good food, amenities, help, hotel deals, and most importantly, buyers. Our website does a lot; our direct mailings bring in repeat buyers, our cash door prizes even puts money in their pockets to spend at our shows.

But, advertising that actually reaches people is getting more difficult – who reads, today? And what? So we also put up signs about town, fliers in stores and gas stations, fliers at shows, etc., etc. Word of mouth is great or putting out post cards at other shows or in your shops is also good; advertising one of our events should to be a community effort – a NEACA Member effort – copy our flier for your gun club, put in an announcement in your news letter, tell your Face Book friends to pass along our dates, include our show in web forums, actually send a note to the local paper to include our show in the local calendar. There are many weeklies that we don’t know about, tell us if we should be in them. Our last week’s show in Massena, NY was a perfect example of putting our advertising money in the wrong places. We missed the local weeklies and poor attendance was the outcome, it won’t happen again.

We advertise on WGY radio, the strongest talk station in the Northeast, on Rush and Hannity plus others. That is a staple. In the Southern tier we use others. But all radio is hit and miss; the internet, Face Book and “Tweets” are taking over. Help us help you, tell your friends about our shows. And send me those applications, please.

Cathy & Dave.