Given the level of enthusiasm at the 2016 running of Dayton Hamvention® in mid-May, attendance may have seemed up, but for all intents and purposes, it held steady at 25,364 visitors, event officials report. That figure was down only slightly from the 25,621 attendees reported for 2015, but above the 25,000 mark for the second year in a row. For those keeping track, in 2014 the official count was 24,873 visitors, and attendance in 2013 was 24,542.
Hamvention attendance peaked in 1993 at 33,669, before the 1996 change in date from April to May. While attendance has fluctuated over the years, Hamvention has grown to international proportions, attracting members of the worldwide Amateur Radio community each spring.
The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) has sponsored Hamvention since 1952. Originally called the Southwestern Ohio Ham-vention, the inaugural event, held in March in downtown Dayton, attracted 600 attendees — twice as many as had been predicted. Today it is the world’s largest Amateur Radio gathering.
DARA now is counting down the days to the next Hamvention on May 19-21, 2017. Hamvention’s new General Chairman is Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, who succeeded Jim Tiderman, N8IDS. Tiderman reported an “overall good mood” and “a positive attitude” at this year’s event and said the Hamvention staff received many upbeat comments.
Hamvention’s post-show “Satisfaction Survey” is soliciting comments and observations from those who attended this year’s big show. Three survey respondents will be selected to receive two tickets to the 2017 Hamvention. The ticket drawing will take place on August 22. — Thanks to Henry Ruminski, W8HJR