Posted by: GW7AAV | October 7, 2009

National Hamfest – Success or failure?

From what I gather plans are under way for the 2010 National Hamfest. If you have been reading CQHQ for a while you will realise I was somewhat cynical about it, but then I am somewhat cynical about most of what I discuss here. Most of all I was critical of the venue being difficult to get to from anywhere other than Lincoln and the surrounding area. I believe somewhere such as Birmingham NEC with motorway, rail and international airport links would have been a better bet for a national event but all credit to Lincoln Short Wave Club for snaring such a prestigious title for their rally and getting RSGB on board. The question I have been trying to answer is how it all went.

I personally (as in face to face) know about thirty local amateurs that went to Friedrichshafen for Ham Radio 2009 and many more who I know only on the air. Possibly it was the £10 flights being offered by Ryanair that persuaded them and the airwaves buzzed for weeks after with tales of the experience and the purchases. The three-day event at the Friedrichshafen convention centre attracted 17,400 amateur radio enthusiasts from around the world. In comparison I have so far only heard three people talking about the National Hamfest one said “A bit of a waste really, all I bought was some PL-239’s” and when asked by his mate what he thought of the rally he said “It’s a big venue!” and then changed the subject. The second said that he had been going to go but decided it was too far from Warington in Cheshire and the third said he had been in Lincoln over the weekend but forgot it was on. For those of us on this side of the UK it was certainly cheaper to go to Friedrichshafen than to Lincoln.

I decided to have a look for comments on the net as to how it all went or how many people attended but all I found were a few photographs showing what seemed to be almost empty halls. I hope it was not as bad as the impression the photos gave. I did find a site dedicated to suggestions for improvements of next years event and I urge anyone who went to leave some comments at http://hamfest.wordpress.com/ as well as on this site.

The next National Hamfest is planned to be held on October 1st & 2nd 2010 at Newark Showground.

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