Changsha Mineral Show Report 5

23 May 2013


This is the day all rules and regulations and notices went out the door……

The message was:  no tickets sold after 3:30 pm, show closes at 5:00 pm and electric will be turned off; center will close at 7:00 pm – sounds simple enough right?  By 9:00 am I would guess a third of the dealers on the first floor were packing; by noon more dealers were packed; at 3:00 pm the electric was turned off – so.o.o we start packing.  We actually made some sales – all in the last 3 hours of the show!!  Go figure.  The Chinese love to ‘bargain’ – you have a specimen for 50,000 RMB – they will start their offer at 5,000 RMB – we did learn the word for NO early on. 

Shutting down
Shutting down the booth at 3pm

Our crate was packed to come back to Laguna Beach by 5:30 pm – when we returned in the morning it was gone and we are hopeful it is with the shipping company.  Let’s just say they are not big on communication but extremely quick on collecting money.

Lois Nelson crate diving
Lois 'crate diving'

The bottom line: 

Attendance: over 100,000

Cost of admission: approx. $6

Number of dealers (2 floors): 1,600

Cost to do this show (booth space, flights, hotel, ads, etc,): approx. $35,000

Should we return in 2014?  Debatable at the moment – BIG specimens are not our main focus and there does not seem to be collectors here who appreciate the smaller, more esoteric specimens.  The Chinese dealers have cornered the markets in Brazil for the most part and the quality of amethyst geodes, rutilated quartz, agate, and quartz is astonishing.  Of all the Chinese dealers here, only a few concentrated on what we would call collector specimens – the biggest market for really fine Chinese minerals seems to be in the U.S. and Europe only.  Wayne did find a few specimens of interest but the prices were so high it didn’t make sense to buy them.

The Edge making the move
The Collector's Edge packing up and making the move.

I can’t say enough good things about the PR campaign that was launched for this show – around the world advertising and a complete saturation on local advertising – it was amazing to see two dozen or more TV stations recording the opening ceremony, reporters everyday at the show and even a TV media room set up at the show for interviews, live broadcasts.

We are going to need another drink!

The show venue is huge but needs a lot more fine tuning regarding food service, cleanliness of public bathrooms, smoking regulations and ease of understanding exactly what is being offered in the way of programs, special replica handbags events, etc.

and on a clear day
And on a clear day....

Show organizers have been gracious about soliciting honest opinions about the pros and cons of their event.  They realize that this was perhaps too much, too soon and that it takes years for a show to become a well established event.  Changsha has a huge advantage if the organizers refine and define – it is near the source of a major amount of mining activity and if the mines continue to produce the quality specimens it can become the premier show in the Orient.  Tucson would not be had it not been near the source of the fine Mexican minerals coming over the border into town and from local mining – it was what brought all of us there some 40+ years ago.

I will be sending one more report from Changsha as we travel around the city and visit museums, historical sights, etc.  for the next few days before heading to Beijing and then on to Tokyo.   Bring on the sushi!!

Good night!
Good night!

Author: D
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