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My Take on the NSCC Show

Updated: Jul 17

We are just two weeks away from the biggest sports card show on the planet; the National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC). “The mecca of sports cards” as some have deemed it, is an experience like no other, and there’s truly no other way to describe it. This will be my fourth consecutive year attending this show, and it’s become a highlight of my year. This show brings together the community in a way that hasn’t been replicated anywhere else, and that’s what I personally enjoy the most about this show.

While this is my fourth consecutive year attending the NSCC show, this will be my first time attending at this venue; the IX Center, in Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve heard mixed reviews, so I’m definitely intrigued by what’s to come here in two weeks. The IX Center is known to be a big wide open space in terms of the show floor, as opposed to the separating flow of the Chicago venue. I’m excited to tackle this new show floor, with much in store for content.

Taking a different approach to a typical interview style; I’ll be interviewing myself. Now this sounds kind of silly, or maybe airheaded, but there is positive intention behind it. I’ve been fortunate enough to build a community (within the community) that values my input, perspective, opinion, etc. and have questions that I think would benefit others if I shared the answer with a wider audience. I am in no way the most knowledgeable in all things NSCC, but have learned some valuable tips and had memorable experiences during my previous three years attending. So without further ado, here is my interview with myself ;)

What is your biggest tip to a first time show attender?

A: My biggest tip would be first and foremost, make a plan. You will get overwhelmed. There is no way around that. I’ve spoken to collectors that have been attending for 10+ years and still describe that overwhelming feeling walking around the show floor. So with that in account, making a plan can look different for everyone. It really depends on your goal of the show.

If you have a goal to meet your favorite content creators; mark down where their booth number is on the show floor, and if they aren’t set up, reach out to them to see if they are involved in any events at/after the show that you may be able to interact with them. If you are going there to buy; mark down where dealers you know make good deals, or that have the inventory you are looking for. If your goal of the show is to pick up as many free goodies as possible (I’m not judging), each corporate company typically post their promotional schedule. If they haven’t yet, they likely will soon. It may also be helpful to walk the corporate area the first day of the show and see what they have going on, because believe me, there is always something going on, or something to do.

What are the show conditions like?

A: Again, while I personally haven’t attended at the Cleveland venue, there have been a couple non-ideal circumstances in the past. Last year in Chicago, the AC broke, and it became very hot in the building. In those conditions, people got hot and sweaty. I’d prepare in that situation to bring deodorant, snd possibly plan your attire accordingly; regardless if the AC works or not. The year previous to that in Atlantic City, the wifi did not work. This led to some tough situations across the showfloor. With how much the sports card market relies on comps, not having that readily available isn’t ideal. With that in mind, I’d say come with your cards priced, and come with cash. This will make for a better experience for you and the person you are working with.

What are you most excited for about this National?

A: This question may be the toughest. From year to year, my experience changes tremendously. My first year, I went purely as a collector. I wasn’t making content then, so I wanted to make as many deals as possible, and walk the show floor with a couple of my hobby friends. Now, the show experience looks different. I try to find unique angles that I can bring my voice to, to help capture the culture around the National. As a media ambassador of the show, I get some fun experiences that younger Kayla would be blown away by. 

If I had to commit to one thing being my answer this year, it’d have to be seeing the 99ers. Each member of that team has stood as role models to me my entire life. They’ve inspired me to dream big. They changed the game of soccer forever, and sparked so many careers in players we know today. Possibly getting the chance to meet them and talk to the individuals, just the thought of that, gives me indescribable gratitude. I never would have imagined how sports cards could create such a full circle moment for me. That team bonded my dad and I in a special way and helped to create the relationship we were able to build until this past November. 

Will there be a Woman in the Hobby booth?

A: Unfortunately this year, there will not be a “WITH” booth. It has been a blast and my favorite part of the National the past two years that it’s been done. It didn’t end up making sense for the contributors to the booth, as the price is quite a bit more than the Chicago version of the NSCC. I’m hopeful that it will make a return next year! On that note though, WITH is a partner of the Friday night, official tradenight of the National this year. There are more details on this on social media, with more announcements to come, but it is going to be a great time. I’ll certainly be there!

I’m coming to the show with not much money or flashy cards, should I still come?

A: Yes, absolutely! If it is feasible and makes sense for you to come, I’d 110% recommend it. The show has a way of reeling you in to where you’ll want to attend every year. With regards to the budget; there is something on the show floor for everyone. There are different price points, different sports, non-sports, memorabilia, etc. you’ll find something to enjoy. If not, there are always the freebies I mentioned, and I’ve personally always enjoyed looking at some of the auction houses, they bring some insane pieces of history, that you’ll probably never see again in your life.

I hope this little Q&A with myself helps you out! If there are any questions you have that I didn’t include that you need/want an answer to, feel free to reach out to me. If not, I’ll be bouncing around the show floor, creating content, and having a blast. Hope to see you there!


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