I feel that it's time to offer a few suggestions for dealing with the new
location for the Contest Forum at Dayton.
Those of you who have weighed in with your negative comments, threats to
never attend Dayton again and calls for others to join you in your boycotts
are certainly welcome to express your views. You are also certainly
welcome to write nasty letters to the Hamvention Committee accusing them of
whatever it is that you think has motivated them to move us. Perhaps your
campaigns will result in the outcome you desire.
By the way, I am not trying to act as an apologist on behalf of the
Hamvention organizers. I am disappointed that the status quo has been
changed. I liked it the old way. It's kind of like certain contests where
the rules were changed...but let's not start that up again.
Maybe this will work out OK, maybe it will be a disaster. We'll see in a
However, a few incontrovertible and unchangeable facts remain.
1. There will be a 1998 Dayton Hamvention in about a month.
2. A lot of contesters from around the world will be there.
3. The program will include a Contest Forum.
4. The Contest Forum will be held Saturday afternoon at Meadowdale
High School, not in Room 1 in the Arena.
It is up to us to make the best of the circumstances. Remember, we are
the supposed elite of the hobby, with the best stations, and most able to
adapt to adverse propagation situations and still make QSOs. Think of
this as a low-sunspot year. We can try to make the best of it, or we can
choose to simply whine about it.
Here are some suggestions on how to optimize the contesters' participation
in the Hamvention. I will try to address the concerns I have seen raised.
Several people have commented that they like to drift in and out of the
Forums, meeting their fellow contesters in the hallway outside the meeting
room, and wander out to the flea market from time to time.
There is nothing to stop you from schmoozing in the hallway at the high
school. Since the Forum is in the afternoon this year, perhaps you can get
your flea-marketing and exhibit-hopping finished by 1 PM Saturday. In fact,
you will probably be out of money by then. And the Forum may be a good place
to rest your feet for a while before attacking the suites Saturday night.
Perhaps some of the vendors who serve the contesting community will see this
as a marketing opportunity. Think about it - an off-site gathering place
where everyone is in your target market segment. Think of it as the Contest
Suite at the Crowne Plaza without the beer. None of the Arena distractions
like having to explain advantages of Phillystran, logging programs, band
decoders, high-end radios and amplifiers, monobanders, etc. to no-code Techs
who probably will never buy anything. Same thing with private flea-market
vendors. Got some AB105 tower to sell? Prop-pitches? Hang out in the High
School lobby around noon Saturday. Very efficient selling time. Who needs
a flea-market space or booth? All your customers in one place.
I am here suggesting that some of the commercial vendors could help in
making this work out for us all. I don't think the Hamvention will allow
booth space in the High School, but I can spot a CT T-shirt across a lobby.
And I know what W0UN and K7JA look like. If they show up at the high school
and want to talk casually in the lobby about their products to interested
customers, I doubt there'd be anything wrong with that. I know of one vendor
who will have a representative at the High School. Perhaps his competitors
will want to follow his lead.
I'm not sure what the parking situation is at the High School, but it
might be a way to beat the traffic jam leaving the Hara Saturday afteroon
to try to get back downtown. It *is* a mile or so closer. Leave the arena at
noon and park near the High School. This might be the big advantage to the
new venue. We may actually thank the Hamvention folks for moving us!
That's it from me. As I mentioned earlier, I would have preferred that we
stay in Room 1 in the Arena. But it's not going to happen this year. So
let's do the best we can with the situation.
I am asking for some support here.
Several people have decided that this is all due to some nefarious plot
on the part of the "greedy bastards" that run the Hamvention to squeeze a
few more bucks out of the exhibit space at the expense of inconveniencing
the contesters and DXers. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Frankly, I don't
even care. A lot of my friends who I only see in person once a year are
going to be in Dayton in a month, and I think I'll go there to say hello
to them. Some of the equipment manufacturers will have some new products
there, and I think I'll go check them out (on Friday afternoon and Saturday
morning). I am not interested in personally organizing a replacement event
for this, because I have seen how much work it takes to put this kind of
event together. No thanks.
Don't bother flaming me, or telling me how naive I'm being. I am only trying
to be practical about dealing with a situation I do not like, but cannot
Skip Dayton if you like. We'll tell you all about it (and all the things
you missed) afterwards. But it won't be the same as being there.
Moderator, Dayton Hamvention Contest Forum
p.s. Those of you who are writing angry letters to the Hamvention committee
may want to re-consider the logic and effectiveness of an argument that
says: "You should consider my feelings as a contester and move the Contest
Forum where I want it because I am a Big Spender. I am especially angry
that you raised the ticket price $2."
CQ-Contest on WWW: http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests: cq-contest-REQUEST@contesting.com