For being in the hobby as long as I have I'm a latecomer to the National. My first one I attended was the 2019 Chicago edition. Now for my self and my podcast it's a week I circle every year and plan on attending each hobby season.
What is the national to me? It's a hard question to answer and sum up tightly. It's an opportunity to meet Hobby friends for the first time or to reunite once again, walking the floor attending events / parties / get togethers, having dinner and drinks. I think for almost everyone there's definitely a social aspect with the National. I also go and support the shows and things I'm involved with, do interviews on the floor, network and usually I'm blessed to do a mainstage appearance or two. Hey let's not forget this is a card show the biggest one we have. I come in with my card game plan which is usually two pronged, One I try to acquire two significant additions to my graded card Hall of Fame PC and I also look for deals I can add to my show inventory as well. So far I've been efficient in both these efforts.
The strategy I use leading up to the National is that I stop buying cards of significance 90 days or 3 months before the show date, however I broke my own rule this year by purchasing a Hank Aaron rookie via auction. Now I'll have to tighten the wallet extra to maintain my consistent game plan of acquiring two significant Hall of Fame graded rookies at the show. I hope you like me are looking forward to this year's event. Remember your approach and your game plan is just that… yours, however I love to hear about it and I hope to meet you there!