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Timonium Maryland Hamfest April 5 2014

Discussion in 'Hamfest Reports' started by KD3NE, Apr 6, 2014.

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  1. KD3NE

    KD3NE Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Baltimore Amateur Radio ( BARC ) club hosts this event and I have to say they did a fantastic job of setting it up and organizing it and what follows is not a reflection on their organization nor their efforts.

    This Hamfest used to be a 2 day event, Saturday and Sunday however due to dwindling attendance they have had to reduce the number of days to two.

    My son and I have attended this Hamfest as 'vendors' every year for as far back as I can remember. We would rent two tables and throw up some stuff acquired or used over the last year or so.

    Sometimes it was our desire to sell and sometimes just to show off some things, but always our intent was to support BARC and this event.

    When it was a two day event it was predictable that Saturdays would be very good, and Sundays would be so-so and that is how it has been.

    This year felt 'different' from years past. Getting the truck into the building to unload was much much easier this year than in years past but I really paid no attention to that.

    Well at the end of the day I realized why the beginning was so smooth and painless ..... attendance by hams and vendors was way down than last year.

    It was as is this was a two day even and we got there on Sunday and missed saturday.

    Even some of the staff I spoke with agreed with my observations.

    But I digress this seems to be how Hamfests are going ....... down down down.

    Two day events are now one day ........ events once held in County/State Fair arenas are shrinking to the point where they are now held on Fire House parking lots. ( York Hamfest )


    We as hams have only one person to blame, just one person and we look at him in the mirror everyday.


    For many clubs hosting a Hamfest is their annual fundraiser from which they acquire operating funds for their activities during the next year.

    If attendance keeps shrinking to the point where hosting a Hamfest is a losing proposition they will be unable to host a Hamfest.

    No Hamfest = No Budget = NO CLUBS


    Is that really what we want for our hobby ?????


    I may be wrong, but I am not the only one thinking along these lines.



    All that aside I did have an good day and would like to thank BARC for hosting this event ...... I only hope things turn around so that they can continue to do so !!!!!!!
     
  2. N1GMV

    N1GMV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was talking to a few hams about this.

    Much of the migration into ham radio came from CB radio. Now that that completely dried up there has been little to no influx of new hams. No new hams means low sales.

    HOWEVER, I am one of the hams that left and came back and I spoke with a few others in the same boat but we still need new blood into the hobby. Simply dropping the code requirement did not bring as many had hoped.

    Perhaps we could do more more publicly placed special events stations, flea markets, harvest festivals, shopping centers, (in front of Best Buy?), parks and other places where several people are walking by.
     
  3. KB3WBB

    KB3WBB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been attending the Timonium show for almost 30 years but I think this was the last one. In my opinion where it really started to nosedive was when the outdoor flea market was discontinued. No outdoor flea, confined to one building and indoor flea with about 1/3 of those areas empty, nonsense vendors selling socks, jewelry, laser lights etc, $9 per head admission, and a 6 hour round trip drive are all factors I'm taking into consideration. I know the story of why no OD flea and just one building and I know it's not easy but I think they really need to find another venue and reinstate the tailgate flea. Just my $.02.
     
  4. K3OCW

    K3OCW Ham Member QRZ Page

    My 2 cents on Timonium : I was told the reason behind no out door tail gating was the $$ involved in renting the parking lot. That makes sense. I thought it was a large crowd of visitors Sat morning. But by 10 AM it started to thin out. To me the vendors were way off this year. I agree it's time look for another venue. Maybe condense the fest to 1 of the smaller buildings if the cost is right. The current location is very accessable for drivers, thou.
     
  5. KB1NXE

    KB1NXE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Everytime I hear the name Timonium, I look at the periodic table of the elements to see what number it is...:p
     
  6. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    and the half-life?
     
  7. K3HVG

    K3HVG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Like others, I firmly believe that the root cause of this particular fest was precipitated by the loss of the outdoor tail-gating. Arguably 50% of the selling attendees, and in fact the buyers, used this outdoor venue. The first year implosion appears to validate this. I, too, have attended and sold at Timonium for over 30 years. I did not attend this year and, after hearing the details, probably won't in the future. Those who knew the old Gaithersburg fest know well what happened there. Greed by the owners of the venue and unwillingness of the Foundation to try and work things out. Now... in MD, the only sizable fest left is Howard Co., and its in peril.
    de K3HVG
     
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