Tristar considering cuts to 2007 show schedule

After producing 12 shows this year, officials at Tristar Productions say they are considering changes to the company’s lineup of shows next year, including the possibility of removing some events from their schedule.

Tristar’s 2007 show schedule kicks off in Houston Jan. 19-21, and a February event in San Francisco is also scheduled. Tristar VP Bobby Mintz said another show in San Francisco will take place over Labor Day weekend and another event will take place at some point during the year on the East Coast. Mintz said the full 2007 schedule will be announced early next month, but would not reveal if current markets would be dropped, new markets would be added or how many shows the company plans to produce.

“I thought we had some incredible shows in 2006, but also some dogs and also some average shows,” Mintz said. “But it’s like that most years. The marketing and distribution of memorabilia and collectibles has changed. And the Internet is now a mature distribution channel that has affected our shows. The bottom line is simple … people don’t have to come to shows anymore; we just have to give them every reason to come.”

What’s the key to maintaining the life of card shows? Keep looking for innovative ideas, Mintz said. “We have to continue to bring celebrity athletes who are affordable to the marketplace and are athletes who the public wants to see. We have to try new, different, exciting ways to help promote these shows. We have to create more attractions.”

Mintz said the top three Tristar guests in 2006 were Vince Young, Reggie Bush and Nolan Ryan. The company signed former Dallas QB Don Meredith to make his first card show signing at its Secaucus, N.J., event this past weekend, but as proof of how unpredictable the marketplace can be, Mintz said the demand for his signature was somewhat below what the company had expected.

“He didn’t sell as many as we expected, which was very surprising to me,” Mintz said.
– Ross Forman

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