2019 Philadelphia Pen Show

As I sat down to write my post about the LA Pen Show, I realized I’d never written a post about the Philly show. Therefore, even though it’s over a month late, allow me to share with you my experiences at the Philly show.

We drove up from the DC area with a friend of ours, and, thankfully, there was no real traffic. Upon arriving, I realized how fortunate I am to have the DC and Baltimore shows.

My immediate thought was that the show is overpriced for its size. We paid $13 online (it’s $15 at the door), a single-day price higher than DC, Baltimore, and LA. It’s also smaller than those other three shows.

I will say that the aisles were roomy, on par with Baltimore and far surpassing DC and LA. The selection was fairly evenly dispersed between vintage, new, expensive, and affordable. There was a decent selection of inks. And, for the overall size of the show, a decent number of nibmeisters.

Parking near the show was under $15 so not too terrible. Parking at the hotel is more than a little ridiculous at $42, although it apparently includes in/out privileges.

If you do choose to attend the Philly show in future years, don’t eat at the hotel bar. The food is passable at best. Take the extra time to find something near the hotel instead.

If you live in the Philly area, I’d say it’s a show worth attending. But, it’s not one I’ll be making a “pilgrimage” to again.


Scoring

I’ve decided to start scoring each show based on the points I find most important. If I attend a show more than once, I’ll only include scoring if I think something has changed. Keep in mind that these are entirely subjective and based upon my individual experience.

Overall Score: 3.5 / 5

Organization: 4 / 5 – The show ran smoothly, and the location was decent. Would have been nice to be at a hotel with better food/cheaper parking.

Layout: 4 / 5 – The show was fabulously roomy on the main selling floor, but a bit tight by the nibmeisters.

Price: 3 / 5 – A bit pricey in comparison to other shows, especially for the size.

Selection: 3 / 5 – There was a good variety, but the show itself was on the small side.

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