Trading Card Shows and Sports Card Expos: A Collector's Guide to Networking and Trading

a group of people exploring a trading card show

Attending shows and expos is one of the best ways to get your hands on some of the most sought-after cards and hobby cases. These events offer a unique opportunity for collectors, enthusiasts, and traders to come together and share their love for the cards that drive them. With hundreds of vendors, thousands of rare cards on display, and the valuable chance to meet experts, this is the place to be. 

Use this Giant Sports Card guide to make the most of your next big event. 

The Do’s

A group of trading card show tables with signs

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead can be crucial in helping you make the most of your time at a trading card show. Before attending the event, research the vendors and exhibitors who will be there. Look at their inventory and note the items you want to purchase or check out. This will help you prioritize your time and ensure you don't miss out on any must-see booths.

Researching this ahead of time is usually pretty easy since the organizers will often upload floor plans and schedules months in advance. You can use a pre-sale calendar to plan ahead for new releases.

Think Outside The Box

It's important not to neglect lower-end card boxes at sports card expos because you never know what hidden gems you might find. While it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of high-end cards, some of the best deals and most interesting finds could be waiting for you in the lower-end boxes. Additionally, grabbing cheaper, higher-card-count hobby boxes can be a more affordable way to build your collection and still enjoy your time at the trading card show.

For example, the Panini Donruss hobby box lineup might not carry the same hype as a Prizm or Select case, but it still features some of the most valuable rookie cards on the market today. A single basketball card box from this lineup contains 300 cards, with at least one guaranteed auto card per box. If you can grab a collection of these at an expo, getting those parallel numbers up will be much easier. 


A group of people at a sports card expo table

Staying focused is easier said than done when you’re surrounded by a bunch of rare cards you’ve been pining for. Remember that a trading card show is so much more than a shopping trip. Don’t be afraid to converse with vendors and other attendees. If possible, bring your business cards to the sports card expo and exchange them with other participants and definitely share your social handles. 

Be Respectful

Everyone attends these events with some sort of goal in mind, but that doesn’t have to drive every interaction you have with other attendees. Be respectful when speaking to vendors and haggling. 

Bring Your Inventory

Remember to bring your own cards and memorabilia to the show! Certain collectors may only be willing to trade their cards for another card instead of cash. Trading card shows are also excellent opportunities to turn a quick profit on any valuable cards you might have. Store your cards in a toploader or card sleeve to ensure they stay in top condition throughout the event. 

Have a Great Time!

Expos are charged environments packed with ambition and excitement. Don’t forget to enjoy your time at the event and stay connected with anyone you might meet there. Whether it’s for friendship or business, card events are opportunities to form lasting connections. 

To learn more about collecting sports card boxes and trading card games online, or for the most exciting upcoming trading card shows, check out Giant Sports Cards! Our low prices and lightning-fast shipping make us the collector’s choice. Shop online or visit our local card shop in the Atlanta area today.