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Old August 2nd 16, 03:28 PM posted to,
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Default [KE9V] Hamvention Finds a Home


Hamvention Finds a Home

Posted: 02 Aug 2016 02:16 AM PDT

XENIA, OHIO – The Greene County Agricultural Society Board of Directors in
partnership with the Greene County Board of Commissioners, the City of
Xenia and the Greene County Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to
announce the Greene County Fair & Exposition Center will be the new home of
the Dayton Hamvention®.

We knew that the DARA folks had contingency plans, but that announcement
came surprisingly fast. The really big show*moves to a county fairgrounds
and exposition center near Xenia, Ohio. It’s a move that keeps Hamvention
in the Miami Valley, no doubt a primary goal for the organization.

Scanning details of the fairground Web site, and doing a little back of the
napkin calculation, it appears there’s about 100,000 square feet of indoor
space spread over several buildings. A satellite view shows what appears to
be enough room for the flea market though it’s hard to say how much is
enough. The flea-market at Hara has been slowly shrinking for quite some
time. Blame it on eBay. Everyone else does.

The Greene County folks pointed out that there are on-site camping
facilities with camper hook-ups. That would be a first for Hamvention and
certainly a very welcomed feature.

The complex was designed for fairs, concerts, meetings, convention/trade
shows, sporting and livestock events”. Like a lot of early commenters, I
have concerns that the 38-acre spread might not be big enough. As noted,
the indoor space and flea-market areas look about right to me — but where
will we all park?

I plan to drive up there tomorrow evening and have a look around. Get a
feel for the place. Take a few photos.

Conventions vs Hamfests, Expectations

Your expectations for Hamvention will largely determine whether or not you
think this location is a wise selection or one made of desperation. A
certain segment of the fraternity wants to see Dayton be more like a
convention and less like a hamfest.

These want a ham radio show that compares with large conventions in Las
Vegas.*Ultra-modern indoor facilities with supernatural amounts of
air-conditioning and jumbo-trons hanging in every corner. Something akin to
the Consumer Electronics Show.

Others are looking for a hamfest, like the four-hour event on a Saturday
morning in a National Guard Armory with space for tail-gating outside in
the elements — like they are accustomed to attending. At about the same
price, only bigger. Much, much bigger.

Dayton Hamvention is an attempt to satisfy a little of both. A nearly
impossible task that’s been successful for many decades as it has grown to
become the largest such ham radio event in the world. It’s a tough act
though because, as noted, the space between hamfests and conventions grows
every year.

Visalia, W9DXCC, the AMSAT Space Symposium these type of ham radio related
but very focused events are growing in popularity and are poised to replace
conventional hamfests. These are conducted in hotel banquet and meeting
rooms where parking or complaints about the restroom facilities are
non-existent. This year the AMSAT Symposium will take place on a cruise
ship. How do you top that for amenities?

These are smaller events of course, but Hamvention can’t really compete
directly with groups who aren’t looking for a flea-market or to see the
latest gadgetry from hundreds of on-site vendors. Hamvention can only
succeed if enough radio amateurs continue to have an interest in more
traditional aspects of the hamfest.

That’s why I say your expectations for Hamvention will be the deciding
factor on what you think of this new venue. At least until after the first
show is conducted there and we get to see first hand if this is the
continuation of Hamvention with a fresh coat of paint, or if it’s the
beginning of something else something much less grandiose.

Look to the East

The new location is a little southeast of Dayton, Ohio and outside of the
675 loop. That side of Dayton has grown nicely over the years. It’s newer.
More modern. Visit The Greene sometime and see what I mean. There are nice
hotels out along the 675 loop and I wonder if downtown (Dayton) events like
those that regularly take place at the Crowne Plaza will shift to the East?

It wouldn’t be practical this year of course, since plans have already been
made, but I’m willing to guess that proximity to the event will change a
lot about our current approach to Hamvention. I’m also willing to bet that
once visitors take a look around the far east side of Dayton, they will
like the location a lot better.

The race is probably already on for hotel rooms in that area.

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