As I write, we’re only a few weeks away from another massive COVID-19-inspired online collecting event. The Stampex International Virtual Exhibition 2020, presented by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, runs 24/7 on October 1-3 (UK time), and promises to be something special.
For one thing, it’s being promoted as the first-ever virtual stamp exhibition. There seems to be a lot of first-ever virtual stamp events around lately, but Stampex International 2020 takes ‘virtual’ to a whole new level. Check out the lobby that you virtually enter upon virtual arrival!
To the right is the Museum of Philately, where you can browse through some sweet collections. In the centre, the Spink Auditorium will host a program of presentations. In the centre, there’s an info desk, while at Stamps in the Attic, you can have your own material appraised by experts.
And to the left, you’ll find the Booth Hall, where dealers, auction houses, collecting societies and other specialists await you at their own virtual booths. You can check out what each booth holder has to offer and chat with actual humans in real time. I’ll be there! Look! I’m waiting for you!
(Don’t get confused if you see this guy hanging out at other booths. I think he’s multitasking.)
Just about the only thing missing from this layout is virtual restrooms. Probably just as well too. Toilet cleaners speak with a shiver about wading knee-deep through discarded drug paraphernalia the day after any stamp event. Virtual toilet cisterns would have been no impediment. Octogenarian philatelists sure know how to exhibit!
I’m pretty stoked to be part of this event, because one of the biggest personal disappointments of the Year of COVID was that I had to cancel a holiday to the UK, where I planned to attend the real-life Stampex exhibition. That Stampex itself was cancelled, and this online equivalent is an inventive way to plug the gap.
Stampex 2020 is run out of the UK, but it’s operating round-the-clock, so wherever you are in the world, something will be going on. I’ll try to pop in at odd hours throughout the Exhibition so I can catch a bit of everyone. My timezone here in Australia means that in broad strokes, when I log on, it’ll be about midnight UK time and early evening US time. Don’t worry, Europe, I’ll still be around when you wake up! Not sure why you’d want to talk to me, but hey, come and throw virtual tomatoes at me while you’re on your way to see someone else.
For a fantastic preview of the Virtual Exhibition, watch the latest instalment of #Philately, the new series from Graham Beck of YouTube channel Exploring Stamps. His new series covers the developing world of online philately as it unfolds, which makes him the perfect guy to give us a sneak peek at the virtual exhibition (and some of the booth holders). Highly recommended. He’ll be there too!
You need to register to attend the exhibition, and once the presentation schedule is released, places are limited. So register now at https://stampex.vfairs.com/ and be ready to pounce!
See you there…