Exhibitors focused on importance must ask, ‘Is it worth the effort?’

This is the final story in a two-part series exploring the measure of ‘importance’ in a philatelic exhibit.

When it comes to the sometimes muddy waters of judging, there is perhaps no criteria more perplexing than philatelic and subject importance.

It’s true for both exhibitors and judges: the former frets over how to justify their exhibit’s importance while the latter is burdened with determining “the challenge in creating the exhibit,” as it’s explained in the Manual of Philatelic Judging and Exhibiting.

“Importance, in the arena of exhibiting in the points system, is one of the most challenging and confusing, conflicting areas for the exhibitors and the judges as well,” said Bill Schultz, of West Chester, Pa., who co-wrote the seventh edition of the venerable manual, which was published by the American Philatelic Society in 2016.

While exhibitors sometimes complain the 65-page manual is “full of rules” – a common misconception about exhibiting in general – it’s really more of an inspirational outline than a list of hard and fast regulations, Schultz added.

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