It was unprecedented that EVERY MAJOR buyer I know of did NOT attend the Baltimore show. Also, there seems to be a new thing, East Coast dealers do not attend Long Beach anymore and the West Coast guys don't hit Baltimore. I have suggested forever these two shows cut down to 2 a year.
I think security and costs are the main reasons these shows will fade into oblivion. Also, I never liked the fact the auctions moved to a week after (although there is something to be said for that). Add in a lack of interesting coins to display, these seem to be fewer dealers attending and even fewer collectors.
Will the public fadeaway too? Buying online is just too easy right?
I am only discussing the MAJOR shows.
If buyers and sellers can save time and money, as well as the hassle of travel and still conduct mutually satisfactory transactions, shows will continue to decline.
I think the mindset is changed to buying on line. I do to sell to a ton of collectors any more at LB or Baltimore. Only FUN and ANA are profitable (and PCGS Invites)
I do know several collectors who quit going to shows because there was no auction. I dunno....
Buying only through photographs is no substitute for buying in person although getting CAC approved coins does help narrow the difference.