World, international, general, specialized—what’s the difference in exhibitions?

David McLaughlin, a national-level judge who chairs the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada’s international liaison committee, explains the difference between various exhibitions.

To outsiders and newcomers, the world of international exhibiting can at first glance appear complicated. Exhibitions are generally held locally, regionally, nationally or internationally, the latter of which is overseen by the Swiss-based Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP). Also known as world shows, these international exhibitions focus on either general or specialized collecting interests. But what exactly is the difference between world, international, general and specialized exhibitions? “Exhibitions classified as world exhibitions are those which have obtained FIP patronage,” said David McLaughlin, chair of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) international liaison committee. Continue reading →

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