Today, the American Philatelic Society, American Topical Association, and American First Day Cover Society announced the cancellation of the Great American Stamp Show. The show scheduled for August 20-23 in Hartford, Connecticut, is the largest annual stamp show in the United States.
Based on current information from the State of Connecticut, the show would either be canceled due to its size or require aggressive mitigation as an indoor activity.
Recognizing the health and safety of members, dealers, and guests as the highest priority, the APS Board of Directors approved cancellation and designated Hartford, CT as the host city for the 2024 Great American Stamp Show.
“Thank you to the dealers and members committed to supporting our show. The strength of our hobby is the people in it and that’s not worth risking," said APS Executive Director Scott English. "Though the pandemic is changing our community, it will never weaken it."
Since 1886, the American Philatelic Society's annual convention has only been canceled once, in 1943 at the height of World War II.
“Some things are more important than philately, such as our community’s health and safety,” said AFDCS president Lloyd A. de Vries.
The APS, ATA, and AFDCS recognizes that dealers, societies and clubs, and many individuals have already made plans and reservations in Hartford for August. Guests who have made hotel room reservations within the reserved block in the Marriott and Hilton hotels will receive automatic cancellation notifications by email or may reach out to the hotels personally. Dealer and society booth deposits and exhibitor entry fees may be applied to the Chicago 2021 show or will be refunded on request. We also encourage members to make donations to the APS, ATA, or AFDCS in lieu of refunds. Any questions may be directed to Ken Martin or Morgan Stinson.
“Although we will miss seeing our stamp collecting friends, we know this is the best thing to do. There will be shows again in the future,” said ATA president Dawn Hamman.
The APS staff is exploring a virtual show alternative for the planned show dates in August 2020, including a possible virtual dealer bourse. The ATA and AFDCS support this plan and will work closely with the APS on planning and execution.
English added, "I am proud of the APS team for how we've responded to this crisis. We will rise to this challenge and be stronger for it.”
The APS will provide updates on the progress of the virtual Great American Stamp Show as the planning continues.