[CQ-Contest] 2005 Dayton Forum Wrap Up

Joe Subich, K4IK k4ik at subich.com
Fri Jun 10 10:14:34 EDT 2005

N5NJ writes: 

> I think those other, smaller groups don't have the issue that 
> the contest or DX groups had with the rooms at Hara being too 
> small.  Having the contesters and DXers leave opens up those 
> small rooms for their use, and for other smaller groups.  

Those "other, smaller groups" have not always been so small and 
may not be so small in the future.  I know there have been issues 
between each of them and the Hamvention Committee over the years. 
Just as with the Antenna and Contest forums, the issues have been 
room space, date/time, length of the forum, the ability to do 
multiple "sub interest" sessions, etc.  

Just as interest in DX or contesting will wane and fall over time, 
these interests will come and go.  Digital will grow with the advent 
of new modes, rule changes allowing additional flexibility and 
(hopefully) new blood who are digital/data oriented.  Interest in 
AMSAT will increase based on the launch/availability of satellite
opportunities.  Weak signal VHF/VHF interest will increase with 
the adoption of digital techniques and equipment that bring 
new capabilities within the reach of more modestly equipped 
home stations.     

> I don't see this as the beginning of the end for Hamvention.  
> After all, 500 to 600 people out of 24,000 don't really matter
> - do they?  Also, every one of those groups you mention, 
> already has their own activities.  Granted, many of them are 
> at night but the segmentation is already in place.

To paraphrase the late Senator Everett Dirksen, "500 here, 200 
there, pretty soon that adds up to real loss of attendance!"   

> I think you're painting a much bleaker picture than what we 
> really have.  As I said previously, the way I would expect it 
> to go, is that the DX Forum would be at the Crowne plaza Friday 
> afternoon to precede their DX Dinner.

I think you're ignoring the evidence from folks like K7JA and 
N1IK.  I've been around long enough remember the $100's of 
thousands of dollars of volume done by many vendors in years 
past ... of vendors (not manufacturers) with huge booths not 
one or two tables.  I know several who no longer attend or tell 
me their sales no longer cover the cost ...   

> So, instead of going to sit in one of the tiny, smelly rooms, 
> the DXers will go to the hotel 4 or 5 hours sooner.  

And if that DX also attends the antenna/contest forums on Saturday 
or some other forum (weak signal UHF/VHF?) of interest moves off 
site on another day, that Dxer may not make it to the arena for 
the entire weekend.  

> From what I have heard, the ideas floating about the contest 
> university would have that run on Thursday at the hotel.
> No conflict there.

That may be the talk now.  However, when the calls come to move 
it to Friday so guys don't have to take another day off work 
and pay for another night in the hotel, how long do you think 
it will take to make the move? 

> I do not think this is going to be the beginning of the end for 
> the Hamvention.  

No, this is an acceleration of the decline of Hamvention that 
has been going on for the past 10 years or so.   

> For myself, I plan on going to Hara other than Saturday
> afternoon.  I actually like doing that too.  I don't think 
> there's anything that makes this a mutually exclusive situation.  

If everybody were off site for only one half-day that might 
work.  However, many amateurs have multiple interests and 
soon a half-day here, half-day there makes a serious dent 
in the traffic for the exhibitors.  Without the exhibitor 
support Hamvention will quickly go the way of SAROC or the 
Miami Hamboree.  

Without the rest of Hamvention, the contest activities in 
Dayton will become just another W9DXCC or Visalia. 

> After all, we're only 4 or 5% of the total Hamvention 
> population, so what's the problem?

Read K7JA and N1IK's postings and try to understand. 


   ... Joe, K4IK 

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