A few weeks ago when some of the first posts went out
about the vhf contest I mentioned that Eric NM5M had
built up activity in the ARRL UHF contest in the Dallas Texas
area. Eric wrote to me then and also sent me an email - he said
I could share some of that email with the list.
Maybe this will give ideas for people in other parts
of the country.
Here is what he did in the DFW area:
-------------- Eric NM5M ---------------------
.....getting VHF and above folks on the air is not
trivial. I worked on increasing VHF activity in the Dallas area for
about 5 years. Initially my goal was to increase activity in what was
my favorite annual VHF event, the ARRL UHF and Above contest.
This is what I did:
About a month before the contest I sent an email to both the NTMS and
RMG reflectors promoting the contest and asking who would be on. I
probably received two replies from that 1st mail.
I sent emails to all the North Texas hams that participated in any
ARRL or CQ magazine contests in the past two years. (I used replies
to build a mailing list)
I sent weekly emails to both the reflectors and the email lists
previously mentioned reminding them of the contest and soliciting a
response if they would be participating.
A list was created of all those who planned on participating and that
list was forwarded to the group. (This had a tremendous impact as
activity promotes activity)
I spoke to area clubs explaining the success I was having with indoor
antennas and how easy it was to get on VHF/UHF with a simple
setup. (This was not very successful.)
Participation increased significantly (my qso total went from 16 the
first year to over 100 in the second and third years).
VHF and above guys ARE NOT OPERATORS, they are not motivated by
contests. They have to be invited to operate and will only sit in
front of a radio for an hour or two if you are lucky.
While I did this in Dallas for several years, I got tired of begging
folks to get on the air and to be honest some folks got tired of being
asked to get on the air. In Dallas on 2 meters and above, you will
work the same stations over and over, rarely is there new blood.
Once I stopped the promotion folks stopped getting on the air.
.......What does work is for someone to take ownership of promoting
the event and to provide a compelling reason to a ham interested in
VHF+ why he needs to turn his old dust covered radio on...
It is a shame that the VHF community largely consists of guys that
would rather tinker on the work bench than communicate. That's how it
is though, like it or not.
--------------- end --------------------
George Fremin III - K5TR
VHFcontesting mailing list