Last week was one for the hobby record books. After watching the 2020 National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC) get cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, PSA assembled a small but stellar team of graders, operations personnel, and customer service reps to tend to the pent-up demand of tens of thousands of collectors who converged on the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago. Outward enthusiasm, optimism and excitement defined the mood throughout the 41st National, which was held from July 28 through August 1.
Over the course of the five-day show, which included Wednesday’s Sneak Peek Preview, PSA authenticators and graders examined no less than 10,000 collectibles including trading cards and autographs. Best of all, the card backlog at company headquarters in southern California was smaller upon return from the show than it was the day before The National began. What was graded in Chicago, was returned to customers in Chicago. No additional orders from the show were piggybacked onto the backlog.
The energy at the show was electric. The attendees came from far and wide, young and old. There was a lot of activity around Pokemon and other TCGs. And there was a lot of unopened product. An interesting statistic shared by NSCC officials was that 46% of the general admission tickets to the show were purchase by first-time attendees. The hobby is growing and thriving.
PSA Gives Away $50,000 in Free Grading
In an effort to give something back to the hobby during the industry’s biggest show, PSA hosted a daily card grading giveaway contest. Collectors could scan a QR code each day of the show for entry into a contest for a chance to win two free on-site super express submissions, a $500 value. Ten drawings were held throughout the event, each time drawing 10 winners for a total of 100 winners. In the end, PSA gave away a total of $50,000 in free grading. Many winners were first-time submitters to PSA. We also had a Set Registry Hall of Famer, a father and son double winner, and a husband and wife double winner. Four days, 10 drawings and 100 happy, excited – and lucky – prizewinners.
PSA Interviews Job Seekers in Chicago
About three weeks prior to the start of The National, through an online campaign targeting potential showgoers, PSA started engaging candidates for a host of job openings at our Santa Ana, CA headquarters. The goal was to orchestrate as many interviews as possible with job-seeking collectors who would be attending this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention. That effort led to a series of in-person interviews in Chicago at the PSA booth (#1531). PSA would like to extend a big shout-out to say “thanks” to all applicants who made the effort to connect with us at the venue. Our recruitment team is currently vetting many of those candidates right now, so best of luck to everyone who applied.
All in all, it was a phenomenal week and a bustling show to remember. Now, only 51 more weeks to go until the 42nd National in Atlantic City!