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Ste Marie aux Mines 2012 ?

Posted by Roger Lang  
Roger Lang November 11, 2011 07:41PM
edited crosspost from facebook:

hmmm ... this is strange, just got a mail from a mineral friend who sent me the first circular for the next Ste Marie show IN Ste Marie, not Colmar. Does anybody know what is happening there? (the Colmar/Schwab announcement)

and (Ste Marie announcement)

.. see the latter ......
questions, questions....

Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 11, 2011 07:49PM
Two rival shows.

It will be interesting to see which gets the top dealers.

Roger Lang November 11, 2011 07:54PM
personally, i am not inclined to go to Colmar ;-) ... Ste Marie is unique
Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 11, 2011 07:57PM
I am rather pleased they've started their own show. A smaller, less intense, show in the same place will be a lot more interesting.
Roger Lang November 11, 2011 08:21PM
fullack Jolyon
Amir C. Akhavan November 11, 2011 09:30PM
I thought that there were rumours about moving the Sainte Marie show to Colmar due to space constraints etc. for some time.
The info page of Euromineral mentions 1000 dealers in 480 tents to be expected, that is about as much as Sainte Marie (old version):

Euro Mineral - Euro Gem,
in Colmar as of 2012…

a welcoming business center with a place for everyone.

480 Tents across 20,000m² in open air and 14,000m² indoors, spread among 5 halls
With 1,000 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors expected

So I guess the same show, a few kilometers to the south.
Peter Andresen November 11, 2011 09:33PM
Oooh, imagine a tailgater show here in Europa, for all the tailgaters! We got all our local shows, with cheap table fares, but they are all local. An international low budget, swap and deal show would be quite atractive - in my eyes (:P)
And what a party it would be too! :)-D
Steffen Michalski November 11, 2011 09:35PM
I will exhibit in Ste. Marie in 2012 again, because of the atmosphere and the chaos. Two different shows, same date, french Tuscon? I think this will never work!

Jean-Marie Claude November 12, 2011 06:00AM
My opinion: The exhibition of minerals and fossils must remain in the context of Ste Marie aux Mines :)(historical mining town) to Colmar => jewelry and pseudo-mineralogy ( lithotherapy and other !...)>:D<

Mon avis : L'exposition de minéraux et fossiles doit rester dans le contexte de Ste Marie aux Mines :)( cité minière historique ) Pour Colmar => bijouterie et pseudo minéralogie ( lithothérapie et autres !...)>:D<
Pierre Rondelez November 12, 2011 07:58AM
I noticed on the Ste Marie website (still under construction) there is no date for the Ste Marie Mineral Show yet........
So it's early to conclude: Two different shows, same date, French Tucson?
Let's wait a bit and see how things will work out.
I for one will always be a Ste Marie fan, I visited the show for the past 15 years and every time it was a unique happening!
I surely hope it will take place again ( and again, and again) in Ste Marie, smaller, yes, because it was becoming too big, too chaotic, too much jewellery and rubbish, but smaller could definitely be better.

Roger Lang November 12, 2011 09:05AM
i got the first circular mailing for exhibitors from Ste. Marie from a friend as a pdf, there the date is specified. The website is as you said still under construction.

>> I for one will always be a Ste Marie fan, I visited the show for the past 15 years and every time it was a unique happening!

Yes, that exactly hits the nail! And Jean-Marie: you couldn´t have it said better!

Chris Mavris November 12, 2011 10:27AM
As far as I know it is not the same people organizing both shows. The point is that corridor rumors refer that it was moved to Colmar because the show grew up too much and some safety issues came up. I hope that the ones who organize the next show in Ste Marie have taken this into account and solved it. However, I wouldn't ignore the Colmar show. After all, I guess that many dealers will have the dilemma on where to go, as well.
Perhaps the best thing for visitors would be to stay longer and to split the stay in two, visiting both shows. Or at least, that's what I have in mind :)
Peter Slootweg November 12, 2011 10:59AM
Well it seems that there is some serious rivallery between two show promotors. I have spoken to some very agitated dealers in Munich last time and from hearsay i can tell that mr. Schwab is making effords to take the show from st. Marie in order to facilitate some 350 or more dealers. As every st.Marie visitor knows this is a bit of af a problem in the small town. But it brings also the charm of the show wich many visitors, including me, like so much. So mr. Schwab ha decided that he will take all his dealers (as he sees it) to a place with room for more. Many dealers will follow silently but others have maked it clear that they will stay in st. marie as they feel it belongs there. The problem is that mr. Schwab will take those dealers from his list with the risk of not being invited for the next show. On the other hand, St. marie will proceed with the the mineral show with a new promotor to make sure that the show will go on as ususal. After all, the show means some logistic trouble but is is also al large income for the surrounding area. As Joylon says, it wil be intersting to see who will follow and who will stay in st. Marie. To me it seems that mr. Schwab is playing a risky game of all or nothing in order to make his show as big and as profitable as possible. That is the reason why there were no showposters of st. marie to be fond in Munich. Mr. Schwab has removed them personally in order to make everybody believe that there will be no more st. Marie show. I guess the future will tell, and as many people above has mentioned, I will be visiting St. marie again as i have for the last 10 years. And if all the beats, neacklaces, en fellgood stones move to Colmar. There wil be some more room for the real minerals everbody on mindat enjoys so much. We will see what happens.

Tomasz Praszkier November 12, 2011 11:00AM
For me Sainte Marie is world best show, no doubts. I have also very big respect for Michel Schwab who has organized that for many, many years and made it so good. Michel was forced to move the show (the plan was to move it in 2 years), and now he will make it in Colmar. Show in Sainte Marie will be organized by people who have no idea about minerals, shows etc. Just the local politicians.
In my opinion Colmar is much more beautiful town than Sainte Marie. Only shame is that show can not be organized in the old part of Colmar...
Concluding, we trust Michel and try to be loyal for so many years of great cooperation, kindness etc we will exhibit in Colmar. What more we will put a lot of effort to promote that show in our "media". I am also sure that all good minerals will go there, all more important dealers. This will effect that visitors will spend time there and maybe go to Sainte Marie for short trip to see second show as a "curiosity". So, for commercial point of view I am sure that Colmar will be much better.
Of course we feel nostalgia to SMAM but we also organize big shows (not as big of course) in Poland and we know that some things are impossible. For me this is the end of "old show" and beginning of new one. We should give to this new one chance trusting Michel who made old SMAM so well for so many years.
BTW a lot of hotels in Colmar are already fully booked what means that most of people will go there.
So, see you in Colmar!

Tomek and Spirifer Team

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Tomasz Praszkier November 12, 2011 11:21AM
I do not think that Michel is so greedy that he is playing "to be or not to be" of the show.... I'll give you an example - this year he invited on his cost 10 kids from Poland from our Spirifer group! This is first show promotor who proposed us something like that. This is one of many reasons why I respect Michel and do not trust people who say that this is just another greedy show promotor...

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Valere Berlage November 12, 2011 01:54PM
Hi to all

For peoples with a lot of time, a splitted show is no problem, especially if SMM lacks space. SMM show is an important show that is always fixed in my agenda well in advance, a show with a lot of charm for the visitors, at a short driving time for many. However, the end of june is often a very buzzy time for me, and I always combine SMM with other activities, using one full day there. Probably many visitors share my situation. Trying to enjoy charm and being efficient

Diluting the event on several places is the worst case scenario, especially if mineral dealers are splited on several places. Waiting a long time before making the situation clear is also very bad. The separation between top dealers and unknown dealers should not be made, since there are exellent minerals to be found from both kind of dealers. But, like in Munchen, a separation between minerals and esoteric stuff/jewelry can be done since the public is not the same, that would not hurt the show at all.

Trying to imitate Munich will not work (huge show, big town, the state of the art communication and accomodation system of Munich does not exist in Alsace)
Trying to imitate Tucson will not work either (only retired or full time collectors/curators, and full time mineral dealers will be able to attend on a regularly basis because it will become too time consuming)

I am sure both organisators have good reasons to justify both choices! The essential is to make things clear, and quickly!

Peter Slootweg November 12, 2011 04:52PM
It is, and was, not my intention to blame anyone of anything. It was just what i received and thought it might be interesting to this story. I too have much respect for mr. Schwab trough the fact that he has for many years organised the st. Marie show that i enjoyed so much. And as you put it, he seems to be a very nice person. Sorry if anyone feels upset by my post. I just feel that there are many people around who fear that the St. Marie atmosphere will be lost. That includes me.

Roger Lang November 12, 2011 09:13PM
yes, that is what i think too. I in no way ever want to "blame" anybody for the upcoming situation, i heard some stuff from behind the scenes and there have been quite some problems of course.. This was related to the steadily growing number of dealers etc at Ste marie. IMO the capacity for Ste Marie was off limits and overstuffed at last. But my POV is that the "flair" of Ste Marie is unique. I do not need another big show like Munich and that is what Colmar seems to evolve to. I spent my yearly mineral "holiday" in Ste Marie and for the other things, i have Munich as an international show. It is about the special atmosphere there - nothing else. For the "big" dealers Colmar may be better as Michel Schwab is very experienced and knows how to set up a show like that but i see this from the a buyer/collector view. And for me there is no room for a Ste Marie surrogate. Maybe i will have a look at both, but i will definitely be visiting the "new" Ste marie attempt.

Tomasz Praszkier November 13, 2011 09:36AM
I am now in Barcelona show now, and it seems that majority of dealers (like Luis Burillo, Pyritas Navajun, Jose Ramon Garcia etc) they will be in Colmar. I also talked with several other dealers and they all go to Colmar.

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Stefan Koch November 13, 2011 05:31PM
Sitting on the stairs in front of the theatre and watching the mineral-"hustle and bustle" - priceless!
jasper November 14, 2011 11:29AM
The whole story here :
Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 14, 2011 11:35AM
Not the whole story, there are always two sides to these things!
Rick Turner November 14, 2011 01:02PM

What I was told in Munich a couple of weeks ago by a French contact was that the show was moving to Colmar as of 2013.

Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 14, 2011 01:06PM
Euromineral are moving their show from St Marie to Colmar in 2012

St Marie-aux-mines are launching their own show at the same time.

So, the St marie-aux-mines show will be the 49th show in that town,

Euromineral are also claiming their show will be the 49th show, but will be in Colmar.

We will wait and see who does the best show.

Pierre Rondelez November 14, 2011 03:31PM
"Sitting on the stairs in front of the theatre and watching the mineral-"hustle and bustle" - priceless! ": you are soooo right.
Also priceless: sitting in the sun on the café terrace opposite the main entrance, having a coffee + croissants and watching the crowds......
Guess I will have to visit both shows next year and make my mind up afterwards...or visit them both every year, who knows?

Roger Lang November 14, 2011 10:00PM
Stefan & Pierre,
that is the feeling you remember of all Ste Marie shows. I spoke to several ppl now and (they are more from the medium and low end sellers mainly) they would favour Ste Marie. For the top dealers Colmar is the choice of course as they will have the reliable organization of Michel Schwab. But i am inclined for the first time since 20 years to maybe apply for a seller booth at Ste Marie .. i would like to support the show there as there is a lot of nostalgy involved (and also i see it from the POV of the benefit for the town). As i said before .. i do not need Munich II

I´d like to have a familiar atmosphere open air show as we had the last decades. And the party ;-)

This year in Ste marie we discussed the issue and most of the people had very bad feelings about moving the show .. now there is a competition and maybe all can win, but it also could be the nail in the coffin ... for the collectors it could work out to be a good restart after all .. but that is speculation..
Stefan Koch November 18, 2011 06:40PM

But i am inclined for the first time since 20 years to maybe apply for a seller booth at Ste Marie ..

if you like some company you know which guys to ask...: >:D<, (:D and of course :)o

Udo Behner November 21, 2011 08:15PM
Colmar or Sainte-Marie that is the question....

and nobody asked the dealers about it.

I remember that when the Munich Show moved to the new fairground, the year before that happened, they organized a bus tour to the new place and explained everything.
I had to find out via Google maps where the fairground in Colmars is and how it looks like.
(Its very close to the little airport and to the freeway)

Rumours about moving to Colmar have been going on since the last few years.
But by the end of this years Sainte-Marie Show it was made clear that the show will stay in the town at least for the next two years.
Now there are two shows to choose from.
Should one be loyal to the show promoter or to the place ?
As a visitor you can probably do both shows as they are not far away from each other.
As a dealer splitting up doubles the costs and eats up your profit as you do not double your customer base.
I do not see any good reason why the show in Sainte-Marie should now be suddenly impossible as Michel Schwab states.
That the city of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines wants a the show to be held there and would not give the show promoter any unsolveable problems regarding security, traffic regulation etc, is obvious as the city itself now wants to hold a show by itself.
Yes the space in Sainte-Marie came to a limit, but do you need unlimited growth as a gem show ?
Having more and more dealers is just enhancing quantity not quality.
Moving to Colmar to a fairground lacking any soul or spirit will destroy the flair of the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Show, where you at least had the feeling that money and commerce is not the only reason to be there.
Yes the traffic in Sainte-Marie is horrible.
Yes setting up and tearing down is a nightmare.
(As I got used to it I parked my truck on Monday afternoon at a strategic location and pulled in my merchandise with a palet jack on Tuesday morning. Same thing in reverse on Sunday night and voila´ everything loaded by 10 p.m.)
You are either getting grilled or drawned.
The parking situation seems hopeless.
(But somehow or sometimes or somewhere there will always be a space)
But all the dealers and visitors came back every year.
It was chaos but it worked out at the end.
I still remember the real good old times when you could sleep in your tents, grabbed more and more blankets during the night as it gets cold in the mountains and then got up at 5 or 6 a.m. freezing or in order too rush to the few showers to get some hot water still as that was used up at least by 7 a.m.
Nights in Sainte-Marie where you could sit til midnight or when ever they called it an end with your old and new friends eat and drink not beeing forced to drive almost an hour to get an affordable room and decent food.
Well now I do not know what to do. Its a worst case scenario.
I will see what the options are but it seems the good old times are gone forever.
Tomasz Praszkier November 21, 2011 11:16PM
In my knowledge there was a problem with SMAM each year to receive all permissions - and every year it got bigger. It was sure that it would move to Colmar, the plan was to do it in 2013 or 2014. When the town heard about that they tried to forced Michel to stay and finally a big conflict appeared.
I have to say that I do not agree with many of your opinions. Especially about meeting with friends etc. It was always a big problem that everyone stayed in different town around and organizing an evening meeting, especially with wine, was very difficult. This is a great advantage of Colmar - majority of people will stay in the same town and imagine each evening in restaurants in the beautiful old town (much, much more beautiful than SMAM) hundreds of people! That was impossible in the old location. Meeting a lot of friends we were mooving each evening to some other town where we coudn't stay too long because it was far etc.
I do not agree either that show's growth is something bad. Because when it is growing (doesn't meter if stands with wholesale, top, middle or low quality) number of visitors is growing which brings more friends, more clients etc. Show which is not growing or at least evolving will be a dying show. Look at Munich, Tucson - how much they changed, how fast they develop - new location, new space, exhibitions etc. In SMAM that was the end of the way.
I am a dealer too and I was talking with many friends - it seems that all high end will move to Colmar, also vast majority of middle quality minerals dealers will go there. I know only some Moroccans which will split to 2 shows (the most insane version for me), and one who will stay in SMAM. Beside of that a few people declared from this forum to stay in SMAM. I am sure that SMAM will die, even if there will be as much as 10-20% of dealers which used to stay there. Visitors will only make short trips there and stay majority of the time in Colmar. All parties and social live will move to Colmar for sure.
Concluding: I am happy that shows move to Colmar - this is a new life for this old body.

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 21, 2011 11:22PM
Things do have to change, and St marie was a very difficult show to get to (which is why I don't go every year).

If they can keep the atmosphere the same in Colmar then it will be a huge success - that's something we will wait and see.
Ian Jones November 22, 2011 11:27AM
I have been going to Ste Marie for many years, either driving, fly-driving or train-driving. Ste Marie was no more difficult to get to than Colmar will be. Sure parking was a hassle, but less so if you got there early. And once there, then it was unlikely you needed to move again. it was just something that you put up with

If the organiser wants to move to Colmar to grow the show further, then OK. But let's not pretend that Ste Marie had become impossible.

I'm sure that most dealers will move to Colmar as the logistics of the show will become much simpler for them. Ste marie is likely to wither away over time.

Unfortunately a unique show is going to disappear.
Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 22, 2011 12:31PM
Is there a direct train to Colmar from the airport(s)?
Udo Behner November 22, 2011 12:57PM

thanks for your thoughts and your interest in this matter.
Yes there a some good points in favour for Colmar.
Only a few people would have opposed a smooth transition.
What I oppose is the way and style they suddenly want to move the whole thing.
Using some marginal issues (so far as I know) to create a break up and move out of SMAM with furor.
That to me seems not very professional and not in the interest of us dealers.
During this years show it was said that the move would take place in 2015.
So far as I know the final decision to move in 2012 instead was made in October just before the Munich Show.

Getting the permits to do a show in SMAM can not be such a big problem as the city now promises to do a show.
I know the little bean counters sitting in the offices trying all to prevent people from doing anything which could be fun or create some profit.
Well we are in France, a call to a good friend in the higher political level suddenly solves all problems.
Probably a little bit naive point of view, but I know for myself it works in Germany, too.
(When a city clerk gave us problems with the permits for our little club show, someone just called the mayor and in 5 minutes we got the permits and never have had a problem since).

What I do not like if someone puts pressure on me and says now jump or die.
Without dealers there is no show and no visitors especialy if you have no dealers with a variety of merchandise.
The growth of mineral shows has come to a limit. In Munich they had the problem that the 3 halls have been to small but 4 halls are hard to fill if you want to keep some quality level.
There would be probably enough dealers with beads and esoteric artsy craftsy stuff up to the gazoo to fill a fifth hall in Munich but do we realy want that ?
In Munich in A5 people have been waiting up to an hour just to see the dinosaur exhibits while in B5 or B6 you could greet any visitor individualy.
(It will take some time that all Munich visitors well realize that there are 4 halls in a square arrangement and not 3 halls lined up one after the other).
The problems in SMAM came from the steady growth which seems at the old place has now reached its limit.
New people which are not used to the SMAM chaos mean new problems and it would take some time to adress this issues and find solutions but I think there are no unsolveable problems having a show in SMAM.

Well if you want to grow further in Colmar where do you want to go ?
According to the plan the whole outdoor space of the Colmar Expo is already filled with tents.
Will they take over the parking lot in 2015 or 2020 to put on more tents ?

Many shows in Germany do not have the problem that they can not grow any further but that they do not get enough dealers. Getting more or less desperate calls trying to sell you a space is the rule. Shows which used to be good and having had an attitude of not wanting you to sell this and not to sell that, now would take almost anybody just to avoid empty spaces. But for many dealers the relation between booth fee and the numbers of buying visitors does not match anymore. So they pass.

More dealers do not mean by itself and automatic more visitors. More dealers or larger spaces for some of the big shots
means at first more money in the pockets of the promoter.

Its not more money in the pockets of the dealers because we have a limited customer base.
And just growing Munich, SMAM (or Colmar) or Tucson bigger and bigger does not magicly create a bigger demand or more potential customers.
Everybody in the business knows the three big shows in the world and visits at least one of them on a regular base to fill his wholesale needs. So having 50 or 100 more Moroccans or 50 or a 100 more dealers with beads would not make any show more attractive.
Its not just size what matters.

There is nothing wrong with making profit, everybody has to pay his bills, but pure greed is wrong - Michel is not yet the blueprint of a greedy and pushy promoter there are some out there who are realy bad - I do not need to place names.
Michel did a lot for the show and he made it one of the 3 events in the world which are a must for any serious mineral dealer and collector.
I know him only as a fair and friendly person however he needs to be tough too, running a business of this size.

Now I should decide if I am loyal to the show promoter or loyal to the city and the people of SMAM.
Somehow I feel like a kid who´s parents have a divorce and now should decide to stay with the mother or the father and regardless what you decide you will be loosing.

And as in any divorce there comes up a lot of dirty laundry, unfair accusations the whole spiel.

Do we as adults need that kindergarden ?

Shouldn´t it be possible to force the two oponents to come to a fair solution ?
Remember, no dealers - no show !
We are not just a herd of sheep following blindly the master.

There is quite a number of dealers who I know who are in favour of staying in SMAM for 2012 and also a number who have good reasons to favour Colmar.
So from my point of view its more 50:50 and not the vast majority favouring Colmar.

Do not get me wrong I do not oppose a may be necessary move to Colmar in the future just because I am stubborn or have a romantic crush on SMAM, dreaming of the good old times.
What me realy ticks off is the way its done, like a coup d'etat.
Nobody asked the dealers. Even for the planned move in 2014 I would have expected a statement and some information ahead of time and not just endless rumours.

For heavens sake, make peace ! Lets have the show in SMAM for another year or two and lets prepare the move to Colmar carefully and smooth so that almost every dealer can live with it (and the city of SMAM) if that option should be realy necessary. Or let Michel have his will and may the city of SMAM step back from the plans of having a show on their own in 2012 without loosing the option that the show comes back in 2013 in the case that Colmar does not work out
to good. (One could always find an excuse that unfortunately some greater road construction takes place in SMAM during summertime which forces the show into exile for 2012).
Having to decide between two shows is a nightmare for the dealers and the visitors who have to visit two different places to see all their favourite dealers.

I do not like getting blackmailed or pressured to make a decision quickly because I might not get a "good" space or any space at all.
I do not want to be on a "black list" of renegades who dared to stay in SMAM instead of moving blindly to Colmar.
No one should be treated like that and I hope that is not happening and it did not happen to me so far.

Tomasz, I agree with you regarding that meeting friends and having a good time after show hours changed dramaticly since the good old times when you still could sleep in your tent on a bunk bed. (saved a lot of money !).
SMAM with arround 6000 people is just to small to host all the dealers but I doubt that even Colmar with more then 60,000 inhabitants can accomadate so many people. And you know its not just the dealers but also the buyers who prefer to stay for several days.
I always wondered why not more people in SMAM got the idea to move away to relatives during the show and rent out there apartments or rent out there garages with bunk beds or have makeshift restaurants, bars, cafe´s in their gardens, cellars etc. to make some money on the side and to keep more people staying in SMAM instead of letting them drive far away to sleep, eat and drink.
From my point of view a lot of the people of SMAM could need some money on the side.
I for myself stay just across the border in Germany because its quiet cheap and the food does not suck even if you are eating on a budget.
I guess not everybody is so trustfull as the nice French people which gave their whole appartment in the old town of Selestat to some crazy German mineral addicts (Yes the evil boch !) they had never met before for absolutely no charge.
People who they just knew from an obscure internet platform and who had seen us first time just after we had moved out.
And as we have been good Germans we did not take the stereo and the TV and even left more in the freezer then there had been in there when we came. This is French hospitality ! They even took us out to a restaurant and I do not remember who picked the bill - I will hope it had been our side.

Excuse my comment beeing almost a short story. There are to many good memorys to the show in SMAM and to many doubts about the move to Colmar in 2012.
Tomasz Praszkier November 22, 2011 01:49PM
respond your long text is quite a challenge :-)
I agree with many things, but I do not understand why you are sad on Michel because of moving show so fast and without asking dealers.
I organize the biggest show in Poland and I know that you do not move show if you really do not have to. Whats more you do not do that suddenly or in hurry unless you do not have a choice. I am sue that Michel just have to do it, it wasn't is decision only because of "bad day mood".
And why they do not ask dealers? I never herd that someone really asked dealers. We moved our shows in Warsaw several times and never ask dealers before. This is senseless. Everyone will say "we do not want to move" or "I want better space".
I am not afraid that Colmar will do not have dealers, see rooms availability in Hotels at that time...

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Udo Behner November 22, 2011 02:19PM
Sorry to bother you again.
Regarding the problems and the possibility that a huge event can be hosted in a small village there are some good examples like Sturgis in South Dakota which is huge biker meeting and Wacken in northern Germany which is one of the biggest Heavy Metal Open Airs in Europe.
I think bikers and heavy metal fans are considered a little bit more problematic from the the point of view of main stream citizens then mineral dealers and rock hounds.
And still it works !
Nobody considers to move these events into bigger cities just because there are more hotels or the logistics would be easier.
However like in Wacken everybody there tries to make some money out of the event and can do so.
Farmers are renting out their meadows for tents, the local supermarkets sell more beer then in an entire year,
people sell hot sausage across the garden fence and so on.
They make money and they cope with the peaceful invasion knowing it will go away after a week and leave them with some extra money a lot of good memories maybe some problematic encounters and the little village falling back into a rural and calm lifestyle until the next invasion the following year.
If they would see only a few people skimming the cream and all the others just have to put up with the problems they would get jeleaous and opose the whole thing wanting their peaceful life not interupted by such jerks coming from somewhere.
Udo Behner November 22, 2011 03:10PM

thanks for reading my long text and sorry to bother you again.
I think its a difference to move a show within a city like Warsaw.
You may have had good reasons like the size, quality or rental price of the exhibition hall.
Of course you can not ask everybody if he is please with that and if he probably likes his space at the new location.
(Always all the other guys get the better space and more traffic)
The Munich show moved from civic center to the new fairgrounds on the former airport at the city limits.
It was a good move at the end, to larger and much better halls with light and air and good parking (but expensive) and easy logistics.
However we lost quite a lot of inner city customers at first as there was no subway line ready and we stood in the middle of the green meadow with no shops restaurants or hotels.
Now it changed to Munich fairground city with plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops nearby.
I wonder if your people would have liked you to move the Warsaw show to Gdansk, Wroclaw or to some place near the Belorussian border. Or if the Munich Show would have been moved to Nuremberg just because the exhibition halls there might have been cheaper to rent and there would have been more parking.
I do not want to make any of the opposing parties in the battle for the SMAM show the culprit.
I just can not imagine that suddenly so many absolutely unsolveable problems showed up that it was necessary to move the show in such a hurry.
A smooth transition with the dealers beeing kept informed in time, YES.
Of course there would have been many dealers saying no at first but during two years preparation time they would have gone for it as the unavoidable at last. As there should have been no possibility for an alternative show staying in SMAM if everything would have gone peacefully and there would have been binding contracts made.
Now of course you will have a lot of opposition, traditionalists, renegades, loyalists a lot of bad blood.

BTW I have never been to a show in Poland but would like to. I am not a whim and would just do it for the heck of it as I went to a show in Romania a few years ago and even made money and kept my car (an old one).
So I guess Poland can not be worse then Romania ;).

CU either in Hamburg or in Tucson :)-D

PS: Colmar is booked anyway due to the SMAM show as many people like to stay either in Selestat or Colmar. So getting no hotel space there is a regular thing and not a sign that everybody moves to Colmar now.
SMAM sounds like SPAM but so what...(:P)
Eddy Vervloet November 22, 2011 06:54PM
I go where Michalski goes! :)-D
Personally I do not care for the socalled high end specimens, which I see
end up in Colmar. As Peter said, it would be great to turn ste marie into
a 'real collectors' show!

See you there!

Greetings from France,

Alfredo Petrov November 22, 2011 07:03PM
Perhaps I should buy a bus and make hourly runs between Ste Marie and Colmar. Probably make more money than selling rocks. >:D<
Erik Vercammen November 22, 2011 07:52PM
For Jolyon: there is a train from Brussel/Bruxelles/Brussels to Luxemburg/Luxembourg to Strasbourg/Straatsburg to Colmar to Basel.
Basel/St Louis is the nearest airport, maybe half an hour from Colmar.
Udo Behner November 22, 2011 09:00PM

think one more step ahead and sell your specimen in the bus, too !
So you can be on both shows, make sales, cash in the bus fare and have the whole
day a dry place and a fresh breeze.(:P)

CU in Tucson:)-D
Alfredo Petrov November 22, 2011 09:13PM
Udo, you are a genius!
Mark Hammond November 23, 2011 10:46AM
Well, that's just bloody typical, after 48 years of St Marie, the first year I am committed to going, it all falls apart!

Would you like to tell me the St Marie dates Roger?

Are you definitely going to be there?

And any accommodation recommendations?

And will you buy me a beer? ;))

Tomasz Praszkier November 23, 2011 10:57AM
St Marie dates are the same like Colmar.
Great that you are comming, hope to see you in Mindat Party in Colmar!
Sainte Marie for hotels in nightmare, I always slept 1 hour drive from there....

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Mark Hammond November 23, 2011 11:21AM
Hi Tomek

Hmmm, Mindat Party eh? Sounds good to me!

I just bought a Sperrylite specimen from you, so I reckon you owe me a beer as well! :)-D

Tomasz Praszkier November 23, 2011 11:52AM
we give beer to all friends and mindaters - even if they didn't bought a speryllite :-)
We also serve vodka and other delicious drinks :-)
In fact according to Alfredo we should call beer and vodka a variety of water... Why? According to IMA if element have less then 50% than you can not talk about other mineral. So according to this idea only drin with alcohol content over 50% is an alcohol (or variety of alcohol), everything below is just variety of water.
Concluding we serve all kinds of varieties of water (beside of pure water) and some alcohol too :-)


"Spirifer" Geological Society
Mark Hammond November 23, 2011 01:57PM

That is a genius piece of thinking by Alfredo. But if everyone gets free drinks, I reckon my Sperrylite purchase must entitle me to a whole bottle of Polish 'water' (:P)

Tomasz Praszkier November 23, 2011 02:31PM
Maybe even two?

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Michel SCHWAB November 24, 2011 09:18AM
Hello everybody,

I saw all your post and I want to give you more details about the situation.

In order to verify the viability of EURO MINERAL & EURO GEM, we undertook two studies in 2010: the first regarding regulatory and administrative aspects and the second regarding safety and security. The verdict is clear; with 25 critical or outright insurmountable obstacles
I would like to ask you : If an event of this scale took place in your country would it be authorized in condtions like in SMAM?

Following our announcement, during the 48th edition in June 2011, of our planned move to Colmar in 2014, the Municipality of Sainte-Marie aux Mines requested major changes to our partnership agreement, most notably with respect to the use of public spaces.
We took into consideration the requests made by the Municipality and analyzed their impact, which called into question the very foundation of the long-running agreement, making it impossible to move forward.
After more than two months of negotiations in these conditions, it became clear that we could not be certain of a successful 2012 season at Sainte-Marie aux Mines. So we decided to move to Colmar in 2012.
It was with heavy hearts that we were compelled to make this decision. We understand your tearing and yours regrets to leave SMAM but we don’t have another choice.

The context made that we had to decide us quickly in order to insure the good progress of the 2012 show.

Today we are completely working for the success of Colmar 2012. We sent the registration forms two days ago and we worked a lot on the plans and on all the communication supports.
Keeping the same atmosphere as in SMAM is one of our priority. Villages of tents will be implanted on 20 000m ² and we will find the right balance between inside and outside spaces.

Moreover, we don’t go to Colmar in order to have more exhibitors but there, we will be able to satisfy the numerous requests of enlargement of stand. So, the exhibition grounds of Colmar allows us to put ourselves in agreement with the law but it also offer more facilities to our exhibitors, customers and visitors (access, logistic zones…)

Let us build the mineral show of a stable future in COLMAR.
Since many years, our company is in the same sector as yours. Between fascinated professionals, our interests can only be common.

We thank you for your continued loyalty, and we invite you to join us in with complete confidence at COLMAR… en route to a new success!

If you would more information about the reason for our move in 2012, please visit our website: euromineral websiteor contact us directly under


Michel Schwab
Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 24, 2011 10:09AM
Thank you for explaning this Michel.

Matteo Chinellato November 27, 2011 06:22AM
St Marie or Colmar for me are the same: I not come in either :D

Mindat Page

Attrezzatura e tecnica sono solo l'inizio. È il fotografo che conta più di tutto. (John Hedgecoe)
Jean-Marie Claude November 27, 2011 11:15AM
I am a former Ste Marie aux Mines (1976) and I will remain faithful to this great show of respect for Mr François Lehmann I liked a lot. The weather changes things but I also unforgettable memories of these 35 years to attend the scholarship I've seen evolve over time. I can with the back of his hand wipe out a past rich in images, related friendships, memories. Maybe I would go to Colmar on Sunday? , But Ste Marie "historic mining town" Iron my thoughts and all my joy to find this cozy little valley like every year.
cordially to all.
Enclosed Poster exhibition of Ste Marie aux Mines (organized by the municipality)

Je suis un ancien de Ste marie aux mines (1976) et je resterai fidèle à cette grande exposition par respect pour Mr François Lehmann que j’appréciais beaucoup. Les temps changes les choses aussi mais j’ai d inoubliables souvenirs de ces 35 années à fréquenter cette bourse que j’ai vu évoluer au fil du temps. Je ne peux d’un revers de main passer l’éponge sur un passé aussi riche en images , en amitiés liées , en souvenirs. Peut être irais je à Colmar le dimanche ? , mais c’est à Ste Marie « cité minière historique » qu’irons mes toutes mes pensées et la joie de retrouver cette petite vallée accueillante comme chaque année.
Ci joint l'affiche de l'exposition de Ste Marie aux Mines (organisée par la municipalité)
Cordialement à tous.
open | download - affiche bourse Ste Marie 2012.jpg (170.8 KB)
Uns Uwe December 01, 2011 08:08PM
Our faforit is SMAM,alll my friends goes to SMAM and not to Colmar. Collmar is a 2.Munich. We don´t need a second lokation. We stand in SMAM- without Schwab!!!
Murphy Wang December 04, 2011 11:36AM
DEARST Friends,

Info to shre:
I have been to Hamburg Show this weekend. The major of Sainte Marie and his team was there too. They visit received a big welcome from the dealers!!! A big number of dealers immidiately registerd their old places or tents with the major!!! They did want to wait till Feb, which is usually the registration dealline, in oder to demonstrate their support to the city of Sainte Marie!!!

Me, Iove Sainte Marie, a place of tradition and culture for mining and heart for the dealers and visitors.
A commercial hall somewhere else is just another faceless commercial only show.

The city of Sainte Marie will give its very best to keep the show in a good size and not over growing, they will provide services to the dealers and visitors that they always love to come back.

I have very good information source and will share it with every one soon!!!

Murphy - heart beading for a town which is called Sainte Marie !!!
Robert Simonoff December 04, 2011 02:43PM
We will be at the shows and are looking very forward to it! I guess I have a different outsider's viewpoint. Two shows same weekend - sounds like heaven!!! Ste Marie is a bit of a pain to get to - you have a 40 minute ride up a mountain on a beautiful road. But the parking was a nightmare. The atmosphere was unlike any other show I had been to and quite fun. What will Colmar be like? I don't know. But unless some kind of split occurs (litho-pharmocology at one and specimen minerals at the other for example) I hope to fully enjoy BOTH!

That said I will be watching carefully to see how dealers split up. Will it be high end/everyone else, lithopharmocology/specimens, facet rough & gem/specimen, or something completely random. A few strahlers I have spoken with have already signed up for Ste Marie.

So for me, the remaining question is how many days at each show.

Tomasz Praszkier December 04, 2011 03:29PM
Jessica and Rob,
I am pretty sure that majority of visitors will visit in 2012 both shows.
Problem is for sellers - people do not know where to go. Shows are too far to be Tucson-like. Also in fact if visitors will visit both shows - question is where they will spend money? many dealers probably will split on 2 shows what is insane for me, you just pay twice for booth for the same visitors!
Also real problem is that for sure both shows will be so-so for sellers because of chaos. Question is where people will go in 2013 and 2014... This is big unknown.
My point is that I trust show promoter who build world third show, the best for us. i do not trust people who has no idea about minerals and just want to make businesses - like 'new team'.
Other people like charm of SMAM so much that they do not acre about not-experienced promoters etc.
As I told the most scary for me is that I hard from several people that they want to go to both shows... people afraid to loose place etc.
We will see how it works.
As I told i trust Michel because of his involvement in many non-profit projects, supporting Trepca museum, Geopolis, Spirifer etc. Definitively this is the guy who is not just care about earning more money.


"Spirifer" Geological Society
Murphy Wang December 05, 2011 09:19AM
Bob, Jessica, Tomek, all

The team managing Sainte Marie Show is not a “new team”, rather an old and experienced team.
Over the last more than 10 years, THIS regional team has been working for the Marie show, including the Major of Ste. Marie. Of course, all people did not get to see this team, since the show-face was one single person only to the outside world.

My understanding is, the city of Ste. Marie is doing it now with strong support of the Region of Elsass, so non-commercial/or non-profit in front line. The focus is to maintain the regional mining culture and tradition by having a good international mineral show. While the other place is having private and commercial focused purposes in their mind.
So, as we all know, whenever a show is more commercial focused, the danger to the dealers and visitors will be rather, that costs will increase fast. This should be kept in our mind when we think about what we, as dealers and visitors, should or should not support.

By the way, to my knowledge the city is already now working on having good parking services/conditions in 2012, as well more services in various kind to the dealers and visitors, including stable and transparant prices, more important, the show shall be kept in a good size and not overgrowthing that dealer and visitors can really enjoy.

The website of the Marie show is under construction, people are working hard to get it done soonest, I'm looking forward to the new website…
Here is the link I received

I trust the city of Ste. Marie and its team as I have done it in the last more than 10 years by knowing who has done the real great job.

Looking forward to have good discussions and sharing thoughts with all of you too....

Tomasz Praszkier December 05, 2011 09:36AM
Me as a dealer going for many years and being in contact with many people from the team never saw this people...

BTW Colmar show prepare some superb-awesome attractions! Watch their info, you will understand soon that you HAVE TO BE in Colmar!


"Spirifer" Geological Society
Udo Behner December 05, 2011 07:18PM

I am just back from an exhausting and awful Hamburg show and can just confirm what others wrote already that the SMAM team signed up quite a lot of dealers for the old place.
One dealers argument to stay with the old place was that the customers would know the place where he stays (they do not remember names aor go after a confusing map or dealers register). At they new place he was afraid to dissapear in the chaos (well its not a maze like in the old place).
I think dealers who think they had a "good" space in SMAM will stay others wo think their space in SMAM was "bad" or to small are more likely to move.
Also another idea which came up was to move Colmar into September.
SMAM would then be more oriented to minerals, fossils, retail, collectors and Colmar to big wholesalers, jewelry, gemstones, healy-feely stuff. I would do both shows then.
David Von Bargen December 05, 2011 07:30PM
All seems a bit strange. Show has to move because of unacceptable conditions, but new show pops up quickly at same time and place. Sort of reminds me of Marty and the EI in Tucson.
Tomasz Praszkier December 05, 2011 07:38PM
David, I have the same feeling - and as always show will go with promoter.
Udo in my knowledge trend is opposite - all people with good minerals with who I talked go to Colmar. Wholesale people and low end go to both places - this is what I herd. Reality will show...

"Spirifer" Geological Society
Murphy Wang 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.
Chris Mavris 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 ;)

Jolyon & Katya Ralph 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 :)

Udo Behner 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.
Tomasz Praszkier 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
Murphy Wang 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
Tomasz Praszkier 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 :-)

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
Jolyon & Katya Ralph 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?
Tomasz Praszkier 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
Peter Slootweg 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.
Pierre Rondelez 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..........

Tomasz Praszkier 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
Pierre Rondelez 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,
Tomasz Praszkier 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
Yue Tutt 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 !!!
Tomasz Praszkier 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
Jolyon & Katya Ralph 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.

EUROMINERAL & EUROGEM COLMAR 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.
Luiz Alberto Dias Menezes, Fo. 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. .
David Von Bargen 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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