How to Prepare for a Visit to a Stamp Show

Assuming you are a collector, review and copy your want list into a simple easy-to-carry and easy-to-read format, and BRING it with you. There’s nothing worse than being at show surrounded by millions of stamps and not knowing what you would like to buy. Be sure to bring any other collecting tools you’ll need, and a couple of pens (they get lost) to scratch off your purchases.

Check to see what exhibits will capture your interest. You might be able to do this ahead of time if exhibit titles and descriptions are available through the show’s website or exhibit committee. Or, check the program as soon as you arrive.

For a very large show, such as StampShow sponsored by the American Philatelic Society, check the official website ahead of time to learn of special events, workshops, or meetings you might be interested in.

If you specialize in specific areas, you might be able to obtain a dealer’s list ahead of time to see if dealers specializing in those areas will be on hand. If that is not possible, ask at the registration desk or speak to the bourse chair, who might be able to guide you.

If you are new to collecting and attending a big show, like an international or national show, take a deep breath and don’t get overwhelmed. There should be a show program. Look it over carefully to match your interests with workshops, exhibits, meetings, dealers, and special events.

For a schedule of stamp shows taking place in your area you can visit the APS’s calendar of events online and search by date or location.