Event organizer Kevin Isaacson should be very pleased with the success of the 2012 Industry Summit. The number of returning and first-time attendees set new records and the degree of corporate involvement provided the foundation for a very successful event. The retailers we spoke with were very pleased with the structure, topics, content, speakers, surprise guests and premiums available to them during the course of the event.
Here are some of the highlights from the 2012 Industry Summit:
- Provided further details on 2012 Topps Archives Baseball, which is set for release later this spring. Content will be heavily focused on players from the late 70s and early 80s, many of whom just missed the memorabilia and autographed card window before retiring from the game. Collectors should look for names like Oscar Gamble, Dale Murphy, Tommy Herr, and other fan favorites.
- Is working diligently to make high-end products free of sticker autographs.
- Hosted a bowling night that was attended by hundreds of people. Lasting a couple of hours, it included food, prizes and more.
- Announced a licensing agreement with USA Baseball.
- They made it well-known that the old method of card design that they have relied on for years is being overhauled.
- Confirmed will be no rookies in 2011-12 basketball products. Because of the lockout, the annual Rookie Photo Shoot had to be canceled.
- Panini's HRX video cards will be seen in 2011 Totally Certified Football. Featured players include Andy Dalton, Cam Newton and Mark Ingram.
- Has manufactured the world's longest trading card. Measuring 126 inches, the card has 36 jersey swatches from NFL draftees that attended the 2011 NFL Rookie Premiere. The cards will be autographed, on card, and only five will be produced. Redemptions will be found in 2011 National Treasures Football.
- Is revamping their customer service department from the ground up by moving those operations directly under the responsibility of Marketing VP Jason Howarth. Plans are to eventually secure a customer service line exclusively for hobby shop owners.
- The Black Friday promotion will return in 2012 and expand into Canada.
- Their Black Box promotion was available to all attendees at the 2012 Industry Summit, not just retailers. The cards were extremely popular.
- Over 100 retailers participated in the Ultimate Case Break, which was hosted by distributor GTS and Panini. All money raised during the event will go to scholarships for first-time attendees at the 2012 Industry Summit.
- Leaf's Brian Gray openly challenged the status quo with regards to the legality of licensing agreements as they exist today.
- He also said he is committed to help fight patch counterfeits and has developed a photographic online database of all Leaf cards.
- Brought in Carmen Electra as a surprise guest. This was the first time she had appeared at a public signing such as this.
- The memorabilia company debuted a test issue of minor league baseball cards that were met with a resounding thumbs up.
- Company President Lance Fischer said that based on the feedback received during the Summit, that they will be entering the unlicensed Minor League Baseball card market.
- Production cycles for most trading card products issued by the major manufacturers are 30-34 weeks.
- Upper Deck has secured several Civil War era war relics for inclusion in 2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions.
- Gary Payton's appearance, courtesy of TriStar, was a major hit. He interacted with attendees, laughing and joking. He seemed genuinely disappointed he didn't get to spend more time with each person.
- Press Pass will be releasing a Dancing With the Stars trading card product this year
- Brian Wallos of Benchwarmer Trading Cards signed a considerable number of new accounts following a fact-filled presentation that showed retailers recent sales figures, secondary market value, margins and more. The constant presence of Benchwarmer girls Mary Riley, Shay Lyn, Veasy, Lisa Gleave, and Candace Kitna didn't hurt either.
- Benchwarmer issued their own White Box to attendees that had a 1/1 Quad Memorabilia card exclusive to the Industry Summit and four autographs. Their models were also on hand to sign exclusive cards.
- The Product Development panel, which was hosted by Cardboard Connection Radio's Doug Cataldo, received great praise. Manufacturers were forthright in their answers despite many of the responses not being widely liked by the audience.
- The Legal Issues panel co-hosted by Cardboard Connection writer and attorney, Paul Lesko, was very popular and triggered several questions including the issue of copyright.
Many other announcements, news, and happenings emerged from the 2012 Industry Summit, so stayed tuned to Cardboard Connection for more information.