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PNNA Home / Conventions / ANA / 1998

ANA Convention - Portland, Oregon - August 5-9, 1998
PNNA Host Club Page

They Said It Couldn't Be Done by Larry Rowe (ANA convention general chairman)

The much awaited and much maligned 1998 ANA Convention (World's Fair of Money®) scheduled for Portland was a success! After many years of hearing that Portland is not a good venue for a national coin show, people are now asking when ANA is going to return to Portland! I have heard nothing but positive comments about the recent convention. PNNA should be proud of being the host association for two ANA conventions in the northwest this decade and having them both declared a success.

The 1998 ANA Convention was not a success just because it was held in Portland, it was a success because many people worked very hard to make it so. Knowing that this convention had to be just about perfect to overcome the negative attitude of many people, every effort was made to make it a pleasant experience for those who attended. Starting with ANA itself, the Convention Director put in a considerable amount of extra work. I have an idea what it takes to put on a national convention, but I have no idea how much detail there is required by the Convention Director. ANA also spent a considerable amount of money for promotion. The work of the Public Relations Officer working with a professional firm did an outstanding job of publicity for the convention. Everyone in the metropolitan area of Portland heard about the "Coin Show." Portland Oregon Visitors Association was a great help. A representative from POVA made the original pitch to the ANA board in 1990 in Seattle for the Portland show. They also went to Baltimore in 1993 to assist PNNA representatives to ask the ANA board to reinstate Portland after it was withdrawn. POVA assisted in many ways to make the convention what it was. Then there is the local committee. I can truthfully say that the local committee was made up of dedicated people who worked hard at their positions. The best single thing that I did for this show was to select excellent people. Many of the committee chairpersons came from the Wilamette Coin Club of the Portland area. The DoubleTree Hotel, the host hotel, and the Oregon Convention Center worked with the Convention Director and General Chairman to make this convention special. They fulfilled many requests to make the Portland experience special to everyone. Then, during the convention, local volunteers as well as ANA national volunteers did much of the mundane work that has to be done. These people get little recognition for their work except the knowledge that without them nothing would have happened. The lesson here is that success comes from hard work.

The convention bourse consisted of about 350 dealers from all around the world. All aspects of numismatics were represented. It was almost a sure thing you could find what you were seeking for your collection. Many mints from around the world were selling products from their respective countries. Specialty clubs and organizations had tables to promote their groups. Many of them hold annual meetings at the ANA convention. The Numismatic Theater had several excellent speakers on a variety of subjects. The exhibits were outstanding. A display of British copper tokens was a special treat as these tokens seldom are seen except by collectors. An exhibit entitled "Road Kill" won the People's Choice Award again. (Actually it was a tie.) This fascinating display is of coins found along the roadside for the period of one year.

Dealers were very pleased with the business that they conducted, and surprised with what the public brought in to sell. The official attendance for the convention is 11,100 people. This beats the official attendance of last year's convention in New York City by a slight margin! There were many social events in the evenings during the week, concluding with the ANA banquet on Saturday evening. The auction conducted by Heritage set an all-time ANA record with sales of $12,300,000.

One event that Portland had that no other ANA convention had or will ever have was the 100th birthday party of ANA member Robert Hendershott. Bob celebrated his birthday with many friends and family all week, with a special party on his actual birthday on August 7th.

If you attended the convention, I hope that you had a good time and enjoyed a true convention experience. If you didn't attend the convention, you missed a great event!

Special thanks to the local ANA convention committee chairpersons -- Larry Rowe (general chairman); Larry Gaye (assistant general chairman); Phillip Lockwood (pre-registration chairman); Sandra Lockwood (registration chairwoman); Paul Longcrier (YN/pages chairman); Joseph Boling (chief judge); Eric Holcomb (exhibit chairman); Rob Retz (education chairman); Kathy Rowe (special events chairwoman).

Special thanks also to all 1998 ANA Convention sponsors and patrons, including title sponsors, Krause Publications, and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.

Also see related editorial by Larry Gaye.