The landscape of coin shows has changed do to the influence of the internet. Major and even local coin shows have been retrenching in recent years. Some are shorter or not as frequent. The future of many are in question which is why adjustments and new ideas are being considered daily. As you are aware buying coins in the convenience of your home on the internet did not exist a generation ago. Many have adjusted to this change which does have its advantage along with its disadvantage.
Pictures of coins are great, but many numismatists believe holding a coin in your hand is the best way to truly know and understand what it is you are buying. It is the only way you can get questions answered in real time about the specific numismatic item you are looking at in that moment. It is also the only way you are likely to find answers to questions you would not have asked otherwise. I remember many times I would go to a major convention like ANA or FUN only to be educated at a seminar, looking at an exhibit or talking to a dealer and coming home with something much better than my original plans.
I believe I now see the trend that relative newcomers who currently are taking advantage of the Internet to dabble in coin collecting are discovering the other avenues like local coin clubs and shows that are available to them. It might be because of negative reasons, like finding out that the great silver dollar or gold deals that you are getting on the internet are because the coins are cleaned or are counterfeits from China or other countries.
This does not mean a knowledgeable collector cannot buy intelligently online. However, one of the best means of becoming a knowledgeable collector is to buy the book before you buy the coin and the face-to-face interaction one experience at coin shows, club meetings and brick and mortar stores. All these are necessary in a well-rounded numismatic education.
What the new balance will be between shows, club meetings, internet and coin publications I do not know. What I do know is that coin collecting is a great hobby enjoyed by all ages.