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Author Topic: So How Was Dayton This Year?  (Read 3360 times)

Posts: 787

« on: May 18, 2009, 06:59:28 AM »

Please post your observations if you were there.

Posts: 36

« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009, 09:35:27 AM »

WX was perfect Friday and Sunday, not as bad as predicted for Saturday.  Attendance seemed 'off' to me, but I can't seem to find where DARA posts attendance figures anymore.  HARA Arena continues to be 'maintenance intensive', but no worse than previous years.  Food to price ratio was good.  More empty indoor vendor spaces than in past years, and the flea market cleared out significantly after Saturday's rain.

Ten-Tec's "$795 surprise" turned out to be a refreshed Model 238C hf tuner.  Little else new among hf vendors.

Reports from major vendors would be interesting.  I didnt see as many folks sporting new radios out the door as one usually sees.  The economy, I guess.



Posts: 176

« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 03:52:24 PM »

I thought it was great on Friday. Saturday seemed a bit slower for the rain reason I guess but it was still good. Did not go back Sunday.
 I do not know how anyone can say "attendance seemed lower than normal" because the crowd seemed to be the same to me this year as it was the previous three years.
 Every bus ride to or from Salem Mall that I took was crowded, standing room only!
 The inside toilets were lined 7 deep most of the time!
 Inside the arena was packed and it could take you several minutes to get to speak with a vendor rep.A couple of times I just walked away and came back later!
 Flea market had more empty spaces than I remember!
 Did not eat any of the food or buy the $4 beer!!!

Posts: 1316

« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 09:38:45 PM »

The booths which impressed me most were Tokyo HyPower, Begali, and a new one, Hamgadgets.

I went to the Hamvention on Friday only, and was reminded why I quit going to rock concerts many years ago.

But I have to add rock concert goers were generally much more polite, and with fewer kinds of body odors, as I remember.

There is one embroiderer which I will never use again. I am still waiting for my hat--but they would not refund my money. Go fig. Maybe it will come in the mail. <not holding breath>

The afternoon buses to the Salem mall were few and far between. I had to wait about 45 minutes to get back to my free parking.

My Motel tried to gouge me by tripling my rate. I'd made the reservation in January with guaranteed rates and had to threaten some "paperwork." They complied.

BUT, I also went to Contest University on Thursday, which was well worth it. I would recommend it to anyone.

Contest University was Awesome. I will attend again.

Not planning on another Hamvention though. I get enough chaos already.

Posts: 60

« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2009, 03:46:31 AM »

I went Friday and left Saturday afternoon. The weather was great on Friday and rainy Saturday. The flea market was sparse. I think there were more cars parked there than vendors. hihi I was surprising to see so many areas of the flea market open. Inside exhibits were sparse also. Many open tables and spaces. It looked like some vendors reserved tables but didn't show up. Other than the big three of Icom, Kenwood, and Yaseu, not much was new. People were buying small items but not the big ticket radios as in years passed. Last year attendance was just above 17,000 I will be surprised if it reaches that numbers. At least you could walk around inside without getting crushed. I have been attending since 1983, and remember the 30,000 plus crowds. Now that was not fun. There was a shortage of everything--from restrooms to food. The hotel rate price gouging goes with the territory. I wish they wouldn't do it. May for 2010, I will try one of the reservation services--Orbitz, Priceline, etc. to get a lower rate. Finally, I will also have to think about NOT attending, if the turnout continues to drop. Would you believe, I walked and looked at the entire flea market and the inside exhibits in one day? I did that on Friday. Gone are the large clearance vendors; gone is the large Radio Shack clearance tent; gone is the large white tent in the flea market. 73.

Posts: 89


« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2009, 07:10:43 AM »

Well, having spent several years playing in a rock band for a living, I fully appreciate the comments made about the relative smell of concert goers vs. hamfest attendees.  Most truck stops smell better than the average hamfest.  I just wish folks could delay those spicy mega-meals until after the hamfest so the bowel-explosions wouldn't render the bathrooms unusable.

I've been a ham since 1974 at the age of 13.  I started attending the Dayton Hamvention then (attending the majority of the past 35 of them).  We always complain about the conditions (food, bathrooms, body odor... price of beer) and so on.  In the end, it's probably good that the show didn't get moved to a bigger venue - because it's shrinking.  Both the flea market and the exibitor areas are smaller and I don't blame it on the economy.

It's shrinking at a time when we're still gaining numbers (in operators).

As I wrote almost 10 years ago, "eBay will kill the hamfest flea market".  And on that note, the flea market at Dayton - once the premier hamfest flea market - is probably 50% of what it was 10 years ago.  What's left in the flea market is either over-priced (vs. what you can buy it on eBay for) or just plain junk (now being sold by-the-pound).

On the bright side, there were a significant number of new technologies featured this year.  I found the discussion about things like D-Star and SDR to be fantastic new adds to the show.  And the DREAM theme was very much on-target.  My son (Chris, KB9ZIG, 18 yrs old) has been attending with me for about the past 10 years.  He attended the Youth Forum and - as always - Carole Perry did a fantastic job with that again this year (kudos to Icom and MFJ for the donations to these kids).  And we need more kids in ham radio - which (IMHO) won't happen until someone makes an HT that's as cool to carry as the average cell phone with similar cool applications that kids will use besides voice (they don't talk to each other anymore).

I'll continue to attend because it's a good way to network and learn about new technologies.  But it's dwindling.

Posts: 439

« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2009, 11:06:18 PM »

I really enjoyed Dayton this year.  My twin brother and I have been attending every year since 2005, and I can honestly say this was probably the best one I have been to.  The weather Friday was warm and sunny most all day, I got a great tan just walking around the flea market area.  Saturday was a little cloudy and cool, but atr least we missed the rain that hit Daytn earlier that morning.  It was neat to get to see Owen and Richard Garriott there as well.  Richard put on an excellent forum presentation about his experience on the ISS on Saturday.  Dr. Owen Garriott actually sat three seats down from my brother and I, but I didn't get a chance to talk with him, didn't want to bother him. I didn't buy a whole lot this year, mostly just a Field day shirt.  I plan on being back again in 2010, Lord willing and the creek don't rise.  

Mike KU4UV
Lexington, KY.

Posts: 234

« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2009, 10:35:44 AM »

Completed both the outdoor flea market and indoor areas at around 3 PM. I remember from past years just finishing the flea market by 6 PM was a challenge. The empty spaces and cars parked who were not selling were quite prevalent.  I still enjoyed the hamfest, but at $25 for admission (for one day) and the R/T from NY state, future attendance is questionable. The fact that the ticket was valid for "all three days" was irrelevant.
Got some goods buys on small items, but many of the prices for vintage gear were outrageous.
I did notice some "younger" people at Dayton, i.e., in their 20's or 30's. Sometimes seeing only old, very large , and frequently very weird guys at hamfests is depressing.

Posts: 1816

« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2009, 05:12:09 AM »

The flea market continues to deteriorate - too many empty spaces and too much distance between people actually selling.  If you plan on buying something large (boatanchors, etc.), your parking choices are: 1) Always muddy field across the street; 2) Take the bus to mall parking lot.  Neither of those is attractive, particularly if you plan to buy more than one item.  I've always judged attendance by the highest ticket numbers shown on the prize monitors.  Years back at the peak, numbers were in the 27,000 range.  This year the highest number on the board was around 13,600.  We went to the Orlando Hamfest this year and found it a much more pleasant experience.  We stayed at the convention hotel, and while quite a distance from the hamfest, it was a nice clean and new hotel priced less than the dumps in the Dayton area.

Posts: 118

« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2009, 05:25:31 PM »

Never been to DAYTON but Bob Heil told me himself that "HEIL SOUND" had a RECORD YEAR at Dayton in 2009.Somebody was spending some money it appears!

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