APS unveils plans for Virtual Stamp Show

The American Philatelic Society (APS), American Topical Association (ATA) and American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS) will host an online event – dubbed the Virtual Stamp Show – over six days this August.

The announcement comes almost two months after officials with the three convening societies decided to cancel the first Great American Stamp Show due to COVID-19.

The virtual show, which will run from Aug. 17-22, is free for anyone to attend. Registration is now open via the APS website.

“We’re excited to continue working with our great partners to bring you the first-in-the-nation virtual stamp show experience,” said APS Executive Director Scott English. “This is another example of how the global pandemic cannot stop philately, only change how we do it.”


Similar to a real bourse, the virtual show will connect show-goers directly with APS dealer members, the largest stamp dealer community in the world, to conduct virtual transactions.

Two first-day-of-issue celebrations will also be held in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service. On Aug. 20, the “Innovation” pane of 20 Forever stamps featuring five designs will be unveiled in a ceremony hosted by the AFDCS. The following day, the “Thank You” booklet of 20 Forever stamps, with four designs, will be unveiled in a ceremony hosted by the ATA.

“Topical collectors throughout the world will enjoy participating in this virtual gathering,” said ATA President Dawn Hamman. “We eagerly anticipate meeting fellow topicalists who normally could not travel to our shows.”

Other show highlights include:

  • interactive panels, with topics delving into “The Future of Philately” and “Navigating Collecting during COVID-19″;
  • a “stamp expert house call,” which allows show-goers to send images of items they need help to identify or value;
  • several “Ask Me Anything” – or AMA – sessions, including an “Ask the Editor” with The American Philatelist Editor-in-Chief Gary Loew; “Ask the Librarian” with American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) Head Librarian Scott Tiffney; and an “All About Social Media” chat with APS Social Media Manager Heidi Lauckhardt-Rhodes;
  • virtual exhibits displayed by show-goers; and
  • the annual awards handed out by the APS, ATA and AFDCS plus an evening session for the APS and APRL honours for winners of the Luff, Peterson, Mueller, and Allen awards, among others.

“We are excited at the prospect of reaching even more collectors than an in-person show,” said AFDCS President Lloyd A. de Vries. “This is further evidence that stamp collecting can and does adjust to the times and turns adversity into opportunity.”

More details about the upcoming virtual show will be announced soon, according to a July 9 statement issued by the APS.

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