The S uper O utstanding 2020
S how o f S hows
concluded this past weekend. It was held at the Kentucky Expo Center South Wing Hall C in Louisville, KY. It was a record setting event in many ways!

The location stayed the same from previous years and that is a good thing. Once again, it took place in one very big hall. When we walked in on Wednesday evening to set up, I was amazed by the enormity of this massive hall. It looked weird to see 2,000 tables set up with nothing on them. Within three hours, the hall had been transformed into a bevy of dealers scurrying to get their booths set up in anticipation of the following three days of member and public activity. We had our usual select location on the left wall and had brought out our best inventory items to put together a very professional display. Many who attend do acknowledge and appreciate our efforts. 
Business is good, Bill is a happy camper!
Josh Richardson (in background) was very helpful with our customers!
In addition to the militaria show, there was a massive gun show, and a children’s carnival going on this weekend at the Expo Center. There is definitely some cross-pollinating including some people in costumes that were not militaria. I believe we are at a distinct advantage because our show is open on Friday and Saturday to the public. The gun show is Saturday and Sunday. Many people who plan to go to the gun show come to the SOS on Friday, so the crowds tend to be huge.
An amazing shot from behind our tables!
Once again, I was amazed by the number of new customers we met at this show who said it was their first SOS and they came because they saw what I had written about the show. It goes to show that it pays to advertise the show beforehand on my website and elsewhere. 
This year the weather was very cooperative throughout the week. Patrick and my team made the 17 ½ hour trek with truck and trailer both ways with fair weather and no issues. Each of the show days was clear and seasonably mild. That is always a plus and increases attendance.
Once again, like last year, I had an excellent feeling about this show because a number of people had asked me to bring items to the show to look at. This did, in fact, happen and resulted in many sales so I am a happy camper. Buying was, as always, very good, considering I never left my tables at all during show hours.
Headgear and Helmets for Everyone!
Sales were extremely good and I’m pleased to report it was the best show we’ve had in more than 50 years of doing shows. We sold items to people from Australia, Japan, Taiwan, South Africa, and several other European countries in addition to many from the good old USA. 
Patrick always giving the best customer service!
Virtually everybody I spoke with said they had a great show whether they were just attending or selling. I talked to a number of collectors who said they were able to find items from their most wanted list because the selection at the show is so varied. The buzz on internet sites like the WAF was very positive.
My team this year consisted of my son and partner Patrick, my photographer Jeff Demers, our good friends Josh Richardson and Don Codling and two fine young men Shae Henn and Peter Sundborg who represent the future of the hobby. Missing from the usual line up was Dave Mackinnon who stayed home to take care of his 99-year-old Mom. He will be back with us next year.
(l to r) Jeff Demers, Josh Richardson, Shae Henn, Peter Sundborg, Bill Shea, Don Codling, Patrick Shea
One of the highlights for me was the opportunity to meet and interact with so many people who had previously purchased my book THE STORIES BEHIND THE TREASURES OF WORLD WAR II The Making of a Collectorholic” and the feedback is a tremendous motivation for me to continue to work hard on Volume IV.
I sold more books at this show than any previous show and still had time to chat with collectors from around the world.
Our good friend Otani, stocking up on books to bring back to Japan!
Once again, the icing on the cake for us was the privilege to sponsor a veteran at the show. There were more than a dozen veterans in attendance ranging from WWII to “Desert Storm”. Each of the past six years we have sponsored a veteran. This year we decided to make a donation to help cover the expenses of all of these brave men. Our hats are off to them all!
Looking ahead, 2020 brings with it a new location for the MAX show. It will be held in York, PA at the York Expo Center Arena. Personally. I believe this is a great move for many reasons.
·          All the dealers will be in one large hall.
·          There is plenty of parking and there will also be a large gun show going on at the same time.
·          The dates are September 18 th and 19 th for the public but if you are an OVMS member, you can get in at 12 noon on Thursday the 17 th .
York Expo Center Arena
So now there are even more advantages to becoming a member of this vibrant club.
Membership gets you into both shows free and also earlier than the general public. Please consider joining up by going to their website. Tell them I sent you.

Feature Heading
The 2021 SOS will be held from Feb 18 th to Feb 20 th in the South Wing Hall C at the Kentucky Expo Center.