My name is Ed Waters and I am one of the newest members of the Sequoia Stamp Club. I joined after reading of our upcoming PENPEX Show in December 2012. I have been collecting stamps and covers for over 60 years but have only recently discovered the joy of exhibiting. Many find it daunting to begin after seeing what others may have spent years collecting, researching, designing their exhibit and writing it up. I was lucky to have our state fair to begin with. Most of the exhibitors were not of the expertise that one finds in stamp shows and therefore I decided to participate even with what I felt was limited knowledge. Having won several awards at the fair I now hunt for places to exhibit.
You might find the joy also if there was a less intimidating place to exhibit without being identified. Our club has a special one page category to encourage us by not having to prepare 16 or more pages to exhibit.
Another avenue is to prepare an exhibit and upload it to a site online. I cannot think of a better place to begin as you can remain anonymous and yet tens, hundreds, or even thousands of people may see your stamps. I have entered an exhibit on a site called Stamporama.com and am looking at entering another on an international site call Exponet. A quick search of the net will provide other places to exhibit.
Exhibiting online has both benefits and faults. You need not wait months for a show after creating your exhibit, merely scan the pages and upload them to the site selected. Most sites will have criteria to follow and suggestions or instructions as to the method of uploading. Not having to send your stamps in the mail to a show is another benefit. The downside is that I have not yet found a site that presents awards as shows do. Probably this is because they cannot determine whether the collection is actually owned by the exhibitor or is just pictures downloaded from the net or elsewhere.
I expect this method will provide me with countless hours writing up my various interests and submitting them for exhibiting online. The minimal cost for these countless hours of activity should sustain my interest in stamps without it being prohibitively expensive as I approach retirement and the probability of needing to curtail my stamp purchases.
My exhibit, “Andreas Saxlehner’s Hunyadi Janos Bitterquelle – A Prequel to the Coca-Cola Advertising Campaign?” is on Stamporama for your enjoyment. A sample page of my exhibit is illustrated here. I hope this article has sparked your interest and that online exhibiting adds another dimension to your enjoyment of our hobby.