The Cutting-Edge Card Show Returns
If you’ve never been to a card show, they can be pretty standard affairs. You’ve got vendors and booths galore. You make a couple of deals and maybe see a few friends. You’re there to buy, sell, or trade, and that’s just about it.
MINT Collective Presented by eBay is reimagining the card show experience with a jam-packed slate of events, and its founders hope to help shape the big ideas that will move the hobby forward.
Returning for its second year after an impressive 2022 debut, MINT Collective Presented by eBay will once again gather collectors, investors, shop owners, and more for a weekend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The event, which takes place from March 30 to April 2, is a collaborative effort between sports and entertainment giant IMG, fractional investment platform Collectable, and Peyton Manning’s media company Omaha Productions. They teamed up to bring this event to life because they saw an opportunity to gather the growing community IRL.
“We very much believe that the live experience is critically important for the consumer, especially now, in this digital age,” said Blake Ulrich, vice president of business operations for events at IMG. “Nothing can replace a live experience, that human-to-human interaction.”
Photos from MINT Collective 2022
But again, card shows aren’t a new concept. There’ll be a time and place for collectors to hunt whatever card they’ve been chasing, but that’s only a small part of the weekend. To deliver something new and exciting for attendees, Ulrich promises a unique event with a high production value: part card show, part industry conference, and part carnival — one that impresses hardcore hobbyists but remains accessible enough for someone just getting into collecting.
The MINT Collective has three “values”, as Ulrich refers to them: learn, connect, and transact. Transacting is the easy one: that’s the trading marketplace, which has a larger footprint this year. Over 135 vendors ranging from international companies like Topps to local card shops like New York City’s Bleecker Trading will be spread across the floor.
The learning comes from a full slate of workshops and panels spanning various topics aimed at rookies and veterans alike. Those panels will include David Leiner, the president of trading cards for Fanatics Collectibles, and Jeremy Fullerton, a Topps Brand Manager who oversees Series 1.
In 2022, Ulrich heard from some attendees that they wished they could’ve attended more learning sessions but couldn’t because they overlapped with the trading marketplace. Based on that feedback, the founders decided to expand this year’s schedule and give learning its own uninterrupted day. Those panels and workshops will occur on Friday before the marketplace officially opens on Saturday.
MINT’s founders wanted collectors and shop owners to have the opportunity to come together to share new ideas and form new relationships.
One of those opportunities is the opening night kickoff party, which recreates a speakeasy environment. It’ll include a “MINT Cast,” featuring Manning and Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, who will open packs and shoot the breeze about the hobby.
Photos from MINT Collective 2022
Another opportunity for connecting will come at an interactive workshop curated by a group led by Bullpen LA, which is recreating a local hobby shop on-site.
“We want people to see the hobby shop as a community-based environment, not just a transactional store,” Ulrich said.
Now, it wouldn’t be a real event without a few splashes, and it doesn’t stop at Manning’s involvement. WNBA All-Star Sabrina Ionescu will also participate in a panel and share her experiences as a pro athlete and a collector in the hobby.
Additionally, Ulrich was pleasantly surprised by the number of big announcements companies unveiled at MINT 2022. For example, zerocool announced a new product line, and Beckett debuted a new logo. These announcements weren’t planned, but they gave the first-year event a little extra credibility, and Ulrich is looking forward to seeing what news will come out of this year’s event.
Still not convinced about attending? Ulrich made one final pitch for anyone on the fence: “If you want a place where you can engage with the hobby in person — with the people you might see on social media, with the companies you read about — hands down, MINT is the place to do that,” he said.
For more information on The MINT Collective or to purchase tickets, visit the event website here.