Maybe your show has all the visitors you can
handle. Maybe you’re running out of parking, the popcorn machine is
about to short out and there are permanent lines at the
port-a-pots. If so, pass go. Collect $200 if you can. Take a stroll
on the Boardwalk.
But if your greeters could shoehorn in a couple more at the
gate, consider this tale. Recently, a friend needed a brochure to
promote a special event involving antique tractors. The graphic
artist who designed the piece took one look at the photos of old
tractors and stopped dead in her tracks. “Those old machines are so
cool,” she said. “Tell me about them.”
Then there was the guy at the print shop. “Wow!” he said.
“Where’d you take those pictures? I’ve never seen anything like
those tractors!” He fired off about 15 minutes of non-stop
questions. Where? How? When? How long? Do they still run? Shows? No
Who’d have thought? We’re all crazy for old iron, sure. But we
may have underestimated the potential interest in it among the
general public. Maybe your neighbors know of your passion for
antique farm equipment, but do they know why? Have you taken them
to a show? Shown them around? Have you introduced them to your
buddies? Well, okay, maybe that’s not such a good idea!
But seriously: Think about this approach to expanding the
Just as most collectors never intend to end up with 300 rusty
tractors, not everyone who slips in to the old iron hobby does so
as an old hand. You may have to bring along some of these folks.
They may take some educating, some coaching. No, there are no
guarantees. They may not join the club … or they might. They may
not buy a steamer and display it at your show … but they might
become active volunteers. They may never do anything more than drop
in on your show as a visitor, year after year after year. And
there’s nothing wrong with that!
Leslie McManus, Editor