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Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?

Posted by Roger Lang  
Murphy Wang
Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 05, 2011 08:24PM

As a dealer, and many years in Tucson,
the fact I simply know is, that dealers do NOT alway go with the promoter, as you said, Tomek.

Dealers who are good at running business will alway do what they regarded as good and right for their business, cash AND feeling wise.
People remember very well, that the top dealers in Inn Suite In, left Martin's show and set up their own place as there were not happy with Martin as promoter.

So, why should the top as well other dealers, having good sales all the years in Sainte Marie, do it now differently or even relocate???

I agree with you that logistic in Marie has been a challenge for every one, but this is just a part of the show in Marie.

YES, soon we will see the dealers answers.
avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 !!!
December 06, 2011 12:11AM
David Von Bargen Wrote:
> All seems a bit strange. Show has to move because
> of unacceptable conditions, but new show pops up
> quickly at same time and place.

It sounds exactly the same to me, actually. I do not know Schwab in person, but the fact that a show pops up as a replacement of the previous one sounds more than weird (suspicious, if you want) to me...

Anyhow, if I'm free, I guess I'll join Alfredo's bus and travel between the two shows...I will see rocks in both locations. But it will be the indication of how the trend goes by the year after...or at least, where I will go by 2013 and on ;)

avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 !!!
December 06, 2011 12:52AM
At the moment only one of these shows is supporting!

I know which one I'll be going to first :)

Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 !!!
December 06, 2011 01:48PM
Marty moved out of the E.I because he could not arrange with the new owner, a Mr. Shah. Quite a few dealers followed his move and wound up at the Smugglers Inn (very far out) and the Clarion (far out of the beaten track). Some dealers stayed and there was no problem with Mr., Shah in the following year.
For the year after that even more dealers signed up but then in November a Mr. Yadaf took over the hotel.
This guy in my humble opinion was and is a complete jerk and con artist.
Somehow now he still claims to own the E.I. , but he did not own it during Tucson 2011 as the bank took it, and I would not wonder if the E.I. would not exist anymore in January 2012 (may be converted to a parking lot).
E.I. Tucson is an endless story I might go into more details if somebody would like to hear this crap.

SMAM is a different issue. For a long time there have been rumours that the show would probably move to Colmar but it seemed to be more a bogey man to put pressure on the city of Sainte-Marie.
Then rumors came up the people and the city of SMAM would be tired of the show growing and growing and putting their
sleepy little town under siege for at least a week.
Now it seems that the city and the majority of the people want the show to stay. (No mayor would be in favour of the show knowing that the majority of his voters are against it.)
So the only real reason to move the show is money.
In Colmar Michel can sell more booths and he has all the infra structure he needs already provided by the Colmar Expo.
He only needs to deal with the Colmar Expo not with a lot of city officials or private parties using public or private ground for the show.
So for him its a logical decission to get the city of SMAM of his back.
As I stated and others before there are a lot of good reasons to have the show moved to Colmar.
However if you plan such a move its paramount that you have a smooth transition and not a break up of a long lasting relation in bad faith where each party condems the other one for lying, stealing and what else is on the agenda now.

A lot of show promoters think they "own" their show. What they realy own is a name and a reputation and may be some long time binding contracts with a space provider like a hotel or a fair ground.
What they do not own and which is the most important part of any show is the dealers.
Many good and big shows in Germany who have been run by promoters who also have been in the mineral business are now running down the tubes like Stuttgart, Berlin, Dortmund, Hamburg because they are lacking a good variety of dealers and are converting to flea markets with a few mineral booths lost inbetween. What you get is flea market audience who wants half off everything.
(At Hamburg show we asked a customer what she thinks what we would pay for a meter of table and she answered "EURO 10.00" - what is about the tariff on the flea market. When she was told its about EURO 200.00 a meter she was quite shocked. That stopped her from haggling down prices by 50% !)
Most of this shows are now run by the fair ground company itself. What happens if Colmar Expo thinks they can get rid of Michel sooner or later and have the whole cake ?

Other scenario.
What would happen if Michel would move the Colmar show to lets say September for this year (where the weather is still fine) and give a specia discountedl trial offer so that everybody can test for himself if he would like the new show in Colmar so much better then the old one in SMAM ?
Given the case that the show in SMAM would convert into chaos under the new management you would still have a chance in Colmar and if I would see and feel what I get better in Colmar then in SMAM it would make a future decision for Colmar as then only show more easy.
Given the case that the "old" SMAM show keeps being a success you would at least not loose to much going to Colmar in September, too. With probably much less sales may be as SMAM skimmed the cream a few months earlier.

Hard to tell what the future will bring. I only see very slim chances that Michel and the city of SMAM will settle there problems and refrain from having a split show in 2012.
avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 !!!
December 06, 2011 02:56PM
I am really tired by this topic, but as I written already...
I am show promoter of all the biggest shows in Poland. I know that for every show promoter, especially for shows in small towns, THE LAST think which you want is to change location. You prefer earn less, work much more, deal with hundreds of problems etc. You move only if you have no other option. If you work for 30 years to promote show (like SMAM) you know that moving you loose 30 years of work. So do not tell me about idea of earning more etc.
I am sure that town didn't wanted Michel to run the show, probably mayor just wanted to "jump on his business". I do not know exactly, but this is only logical explanation.
I prefer someone who work 30 years to build show than someone who want to "take over" someones work.

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 06, 2011 03:54PM
Thanks Udo, for shedding some light in the cloudy moment.....

It’s definitely the trend, that middle sized or big mineral shows are now ran more and more by organizations or fairground owning the show LOCATION, and less and less ran by single promoters.

Further, we all have seen that fair fees are increasing fast everywhere. With the city like Sainte Marie running the show, different mind-set and priorities dominating, the city perhaps will try to keep the cost as stable as possible for the dealers to attract them to join year over year. One statement the major of Sainte Marie given to the regional France news paper recently during his interview is, that they will also try to keep the size of the show in a good shape and not overgrowing.

Well, thinking about Udo's alternative - having possibly a Colmar show in September – that’s not a bad idea at all....
Considering the historic of Sainte-Marie-show and experienced logistic team, it may be rather unlikely that 2012 and as well years down the road could end in a disaster at all…. it could well be a success... the "more than likely" test

Again, thanks Udo, your comments are always appreciated
avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 09:51AM
A few photos of Colmar twon for those of you who never were there. Colmar is probably the most beautiful town of Alsace, and center of wine-making smiling smiley

Colmar Town - new location of former Sainte-Marie show

Town Colmar - new location of former Sainte-Marie show

Town Colmar - new location of former Sainte-Marie show

Town Colmar - new location of former Sainte-Marie show


"Spirifer" Geological Society
avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 10:42AM
What's the venue though? Is it like Saint-Marie-aux-Mines spread around the town, or is it in a munich-style expo center?
avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 11:03AM
show will be 2 km from center in the halls (same like in Sainte Marie Val Expo) and outside tants (same lik Sainte Marie). You will have beautiful view on mountains and vineyards.

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 02:01PM
The old city center of Colmar is truly beautiful. Much better than St, Marie. If the show would be held in the center it would be a worthy succesor. But the fact is that the expo is at the edge of al large industrial area. In between big buildings and surrounded by the Colmar airport runway and a gypsy camp. So you may want to know where to park your car or not. See for yourself on google maps and enter, Expo Colmar, and make up your own mind. You may see some wine vines and the mountains are 8 km away so they may be seen as well when the weather is right.
Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 03:45PM
Jolyon and others,

The Colmar show will definitely be more "Munich" style with huge halls and admittedly tents outside also, it will be nothing like the old Ste. Marie show, where you could simply cross the street and have a drink on a French terrace.
Yes, Colmar is a beautiful town, I visited it many times but the Colmar Expo location got nothing in common with those pittoresque Colmar streets and canals.
And as for the view of the vineyards and mountains: the Ste Marie Show was in the heart of the valley, not on an industrial area.
However much they will try: they willl never be able to recreate the unique Ste Marie "magic" that I looked forward to every year for the past 15 years.
Mind you I think I will go and have a look at the Colmar Show as well but with a very heavy heart..........

avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 03:52PM
you are right in many things but... In SMAM you meet friends only during show when everyone is busy. At the evening people leave even 100 km one from another (50km around town). In Colmar just right after the show if you walk 2 km to beautiful town center you will meet thousands of friend there! I think that every evening there will be number of huge parties and people will flow from one to another! I can't wait!


"Spirifer" Geological Society
Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 04:06PM
Tomek, since you comment to me personally, here's my reply:

I am a mineral collector not a dealer and as I have stated before: I visited SMAM for the past 15 years.
When strolling in the streets, from tent to tent I encountered many friends and as I also stated before, we just crossed the street to have a talk and a drink.
And this for 2 days....minerals / friends / drinks / talks....really fantastic.
As for walking 2 Km. to Colmar centre after the show (leaving my car on the parking lot) to have a few drinks and then walking back 2 Km to my car to drive to the hotel, no thank you.
At the end of the show I am really tired and drive to my hotel for a meal + a few drinks and then an early night because the day after I have to be fit to stroll again through the immense show.
As I said: I will try the Colmar Show but am afraid I will miss the "SMAM atmosphere"

Friendly regards,
avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 04:32PM
Maybe I was not clear - from and to the show and from and to the town center you can easily walk! All people can stay in Colmar or very close! This is huge advantage.

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 04:47PM
Pierre, and everyone thinks in the same way like Pierre,
So please join me and others (dealers and visitors) to come to the Saint Marie show !!!
avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 04:52PM
This is very strange that in this topic, saying good words about SMAM and bad about Colmar, there is so many people who never before posted on Mindat... Very strange for me...

"Spirifer" Geological Society
avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 07, 2011 06:30PM
Right now it's just speculation and guesswork as to what either show will be like.

Certainly both shows have challenges to overcome in order to become/remain the dominant show in the region.

We will not know which will be the better show until we actually go there. Certainly, as Tomek says, the majority of the major dealers I have spoken to are going to Colmar. St Marie was always very difficult for me to visit (which is why I only went once), and although I enjoyed it there, it was frustrating having to drive so far out of town to find somewhere to stay.

So... Colmar will be more convenient that SMAM was - but at what cost? Will it be a lesser show? will the atmosphere be ruined? Honestly, none of us can know until we go and see. The organizers have a hard job to build this right, but from what I have seen they are certainly trying.

and as for the SMAM show, it will certainly be smaller than before. Perhaps that will be a good thing.

Like most visitors, I'll probably have to visit both.

If I was a dealer, I'd probably only take space at one however - and for me based on what I've heard so far, that'd have to be Colmar.

Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 08, 2011 09:37AM
Hello everybody,

Just a small precision concerning the Colmar Parc Expo.

As Tomasz said, exhibition grounds is really near the city center. You can can walk over there (about 15 min. walking) but if you want and if you are tired after a long working and visiting day, you can also drive to the center (about 2 minutes driving). Infact, there are a lot of free parking in the center.

The Colmar Parc Expo is located just close to the vineyards and the mountains. I attache photos from it, than you can see the location better than of google map.
These photos were taken during the Colmar "Foire aux Vins". One of the greatest event in Alsace. You can also see some villages of tents outdoor.
About the parking and as you can see on the photos, their are closed and safe.

You can find a video about Colmar here : Video COLMAR
And you can also find more photos on our facebook page here : EUROMINERAL & EUROGEM 2012

If you have some questions, don't hesitate to send me a mail to :


Michel Schwab

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2011 01:42PM by EUROMINERAL & EUROGEM COLMAR 2012.
Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 15, 2011 08:41PM
I agree with Tomek and I plan to move to Colmar; I think we can build a good atmosphere there as well, there will be dozens of tents outside and it looks like parking and accommodations will be much easier at Colmar than at Sainte Marie (where we could not even find a cyber-cafe to access the internet!).

I had a tent at an excellent location at Sainte Marie and I always prayed that the show would never move to Colmar, to preserve the tradition and the nice atmosphere; but there was a conflict between Euromineral team and the municipality of Sainte Marie aux Mines and the rupture has happened; on this situation, my commercial experience pointed out to me to follow the show promoter; at Munich my brother Carlos talked to many of the SMAM dealers and all expressed their intention to move to Colmar.

I disagree with Udo about what happened at Tucson when Martin Zinn was forced to move out of the Executive Inn; I tried to convince Martin not to move, but when the rupture between him and Mr. Shah was definitive I decided to follow him and move to the Clarion, but I kept my old room at the EI for 2 years, because I could use the extra space to make a sale of old merchandize (I brought my best and new items to the Clarion); even 4 miles away from the center of the action the traffic there was much better than what we had at the EI; and then Mr. Yadal, a crook, made it impossible to continue there and destroyed the show.

The same situation had happened in 1990 at the old Desert Inn; the atmosphere was perfect, the location perfect, we could come back from dinner and re-open the room and stay selling until mid-night, if we wanted; the gemstone dealers, that where mostly located at the old Holiday Inn Broadway, 300 meters away, closed their booths at 6 pm, used to go to dinner and, at 8 - 9 pm, could go to the Desert Inn to do some shopping; in front of the Desert Inn and the Days Inn there were dozens of tents on the street, where mostly hippies were selling jewelry made out of natural crystals, and they also enjoyed shopping there at night after having dinner; everything was perfect but the show was run by non-professional hotel owners, the hotel was deteriorating, parking was terrible, so Martin Zinn decided to organize the Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show in 1991 at the Executive Inn and almost all dealers followed him; Carlos Barbosa decided to stay at the Desert Inn and regretted very much his decision, he was lucky that on the year after Martin Zinn agreed to assign him a good room on the first floor at the EI (instead of putting him on the end of the aisle on the second floor). This is one of the duties of a professional show promoter, to recognize who are the renowned dealers and try to fix their needs and forgive a eventual bad decision from them (without dis-respecting the new or small dealers, that are also very important for the success of a big show).

So I had twice to take the decision, at Tucson, to stay at the traditional place, where everybody would expect to find me easily, or follow the show promoter to a new place, and I don't regret to have taken the second decision.

I disagree with Murphy when he says that "It's definitively the trend, that middle sized or big minerals shows are now ran more and more by organizations or fairground owning the show LOCATION, and less and less by single promoters"; the 4 bigger minerals shows in the world (Tucson, Munich, Sainte Marie aux Mines and Denver) are all run by professional show promoters; and I also totally disagree with him when he said that the top dealers at the Inn Suites decided to move to another place because they were unhappy with Martin Zinn as a show promoter; they decided, indeed, to join the new show at the Westward Look Hotel because that is a place with no more than 25 dealers of top-quality specimens, so the top collectors would not waste time walking by tens of rooms of dealers of regular material to find the top dealers; it is the same reason that guided the gathering of the top dealers at the International Mineral Pavillion at Munich and at the Theatre at Sainte Marie aux Mines; and many of them decided to keep their old rooms at the Inn Suites and do both shows (like Collector's Edge, Kristalle, Gobin, Mineralien Zentrum, Ausrox, Heliodor); and almost all of those who live on the USA keep attending to the other shows run by Martin Zinn (Denver, Springfield, etc), so as far as I know none are unhappy with Martin Zinn as a show promoter.

To finalize my argument, I think that to have a successful big show we need good dealers, good collectors and a professional show promoter; I respect the opinion of the several Mindaters (mostly collectors) that have expressed here their preference for the continuation of the show at Sainte Marie; I wish that Steffen Mikhalski, Roger Lang (on his planned first appearance as a dealer), Udo Behner and all other colleagues may change their minds and join he new Colmar show; lets try to re-build the old Sainte Marie atmosphere there.



P.S. - Udo's suggestion to run the Colmar show in September is on my opinion a bad idea, because the Denver show (the second biggest on the USA and one of the 4 biggest mineral shows in the world) is run in September, and for a wholesaler like me the logistics to attend to it make it a 2 1/2 weeks long trip, so it would be impossible for me to attend to Denver and Colmar on the same month. .
avatar Re: Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?
December 16, 2011 11:17AM
The Tucson and Denver shows are not run by professional show promoters (some satellite shows/venues are). Tucson is put on by a mineral club and Denver by a coalition of mineral clubs.

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