HAMCOM 2015 - No Tailgating!

Discussion in 'Hamfest Reports' started by N5SKE, Dec 7, 2014.

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  1. N5SKE

    N5SKE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well HAMCOM 2015 is moving from Plano TX to the Irving Convention Center June 12 & 13th. There will only be indoor swapfest tables, no tailgating! Does it still qualify as a Hanfest if there is no tailgating? This stinks, so where does all the big stuff go to sell, guess its only a plug and play fit in you pocket kind of event now. How sad we've come to this.
  2. N5MIJ

    N5MIJ Database Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ham-Com 2015 Changes

    Greg is correct - with the change in location, the Flea Market has moved completely indoors.

    Just a couple of thoughts on the subject:
    • Yep, it'll probably prevent some large items from being sold. I bought the largest item sold last year: a Steppir MonstIR antenna. The vendor had the controller sitting on a card table with an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper describing the antenna. No aluminum or fiberglass present. But they happily made it work for them. There are ways to sell ANYTHING at a hamfest - indoor or outdoor.
    • This is an event in Texas in June. For the last several years, the outside tailgating area has been almost vacant by 10:00 AM (justifiably - it's HOT). That's not a big draw for an event that opens at 8:00 AM.
    • The indoor Flea Market area has grown from 60 tables last year to 156 this year. There will be a LOT more to look at, and it will be in air-conditioned comfort.

    There is no way to please 100% of the people 100% of the time. The move (which was forced) will cause a lot of changes. Some of those changes will disappoint some folks. We really believe, though, that the event will be more enjoyable for the majority of attendees.

    We're going to lose some folks because of the move - we know that. Some won't like the indoor-only format. Some won't like the parking arrangements. Some will think it's too far. On the other hand, we'll pick up some new attendees for whom the event is more convenient, more comfortable, or more rewarding. We hope and believe that this will be the best Ham-Com in a long time.

    And just to be clear, Greg (original poster) and I are friends - even when we disagree.

    Jim McClellan
    Ham-Com Director
    K4AGO likes this.
  3. KQ0J

    KQ0J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    IMO a lot of hams want the tailgating because they are too cheap to buy a table and too lazy to move their equipment inside.
    K4AGO likes this.
  4. N9LCD

    N9LCD Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, they're not necessarily cheap. Who wants to blow some dough when they can't make the fest.

    I was going to go to the WCRA Fest in St. Charles on January 18th with my XYL to watch the table when I'm off exploring.

    That's $41 for the two of us - $25 for a table and two early admissions at $8 each. Requests for tables were due in by January 7.

    Who could forecast weather two weeks in advance?

    I may be crazy but I'm not stupid. Neither of us were willing to drive 50+ miles in possibly adverse weather conditions to avoid wasting $41.00

    So, I'll wait for a Fest in Summer with tailgating!

    TO THE WCRA: I'm not bashing you or the Mid-Winter Fest. I've attended the Fest for years when it was at Arlington Park, DuPage County Fairgrounds the Odium and Kane County. I'm at the point in life where I won't risk OUR NECKS over $41.


  5. K4ISR

    K4ISR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tailgating = outside sales where the people running this show do not get a cut of the proceeds, which also means some people who never actually make it inside paying the gate fee, and this shows that the powers that be can't have that! If they can't get a cut of the proceeds and those people in the gates, security will help you out of the parking lot. In my opinion, it sounds anti-capitalist, counter-productive to the very open base of ham radio.

    The promoters need to understand that not everyone has enough items to sell to warrant paying $325 for a booth. Some may only have $500 worth of small parts and pieces or a few radios, so essentially you're preventing them from selling items outdoors at a public event simply because you are not getting a cut of the proceeds, either through the booth cost, or the people paying that $13 each ($5 for parking at $8 to get in the gate)? One of the major reasons these kinds of events started 50+ years ago freely by the hams was because of the commercialization and powers that be turned it into just another commercialized event controlled by egos and money, instead of the individual licensee. This is why there are quite a few that have started to arrange their own open air flea markets with no admission within close proximity to events like this as a form of protest. Believe me, these protests are growing each and every year, so your choice is either work with them, or risk losing the entire event in a few years once people are tired of this big commercialized event that essentially has nothing to do with ham radio anymore.

    If they really wanted to keep both sides happy, designate a section of the parking lot for the tailgate sellers to peddle their wares. If they (buyers or sellers) want to sit outside in the 90-100 degree heat, let them, but to completely shun an entire segment that is tired of overbearing regulations and big brother types, this can only hurt your group, not help it.
  6. N9LCD

    N9LCD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mike, very well said!
  7. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I remember when the Charlotte Hamfest first started, what 30-40 years ago? It was all indoors at the old Merchandise Mart downtown. People managed to bring in plenty of their junque. And Charlotte has since moved around a few times and has grown to be quite large.
    There are other fests in the area where you can tailgate to your hearts desire and take your chances with the wx. Best of both worlds.
  8. WB9UDA

    WB9UDA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I remember one year, some time ago, when I went to a Hamfest in Northern Ill. in mid-winter, with at least a foot of snow on the ground.
    Tailgating was discouraged at that Hamfest too. No big deal, we used sleds to tote our stuff to the one large building, which, Thank God, was heated!
    In those days, I was selling Transformers and Coaxial Cable, both pretty heavy stuff.
    I've also been to Hamfests in the summer, that practically got rained out, had it not been for a nice big building, with plenty of room for the junk sellers.

    Tailgating can be fun in nice weather, but can also be a real bummer when the weather turns sour.

    It's just all a part of the Ham Radio experience. I still go, regardless of the weather.

    I hope to see many of you at the Orlando Hamcation in February.

    If the weather is nice, I'll be tailgating, and if not I'll be wandering around inside the buildings.

    Cheers Mates and 73's all around

    WB9UDA :cool:
  9. KG5VK

    KG5VK Ham Member QRZ Page

    KM4FMK how do you come to $325 for a swap meet (tail gate) table ????

    it is inside but it is not $325 it is

    They are keeping the price for this year the same as the past - $30/table. yes plus entry fee
    Are you using "new math" ???

  10. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    the INDOOR Huntsville Hamfest is always nice

    W4NNF likes this.
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