Recapping Dayton Hamvention® 2016, Jim Tiderman, N8IDS, who has served as general chairman of the event for the past 2 years, said attendance this year may have been up slightly from 2015. Tiderman, who now passes the baton to a new general chairman — Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ — said he feels the 2016 show, overall, went well.
“In my humble opinion, it went smoother than we had a right to think it could,” Tiderman told ARRL. “The credit for that happening — this year and last — goes to our volunteer base and returning committee chairs, who get their talents in gear and go for it.” He said each year’s innovations feed into the vision that guides the next Hamvention administration, which Cramer will head after serving with Tiderman as assistant general chairman for the past 2 years.
Tiderman said that while it’s still too soon to get an accurate attendance count for Hamvention 2016, “indicators we use as a matter of course are showing us the slightest increase.” He said that while it may not have seemed that way to some visitors, he prefers to keep a positive mind. Official attendance at the 2015 show was 25,621, up by about 750 from the previous year.
The weather did provide some momentary excitement, Tiderman said, when a microburst occurred in the flea market just north of the Mendelson’s tent. The strong gust of wind took out two or three vendor tents, winding a pop-up tent leg around the fiber cable handling Internet service for the flea market office. “This caused stress and strain on the cable, and down it came,” Tiderman recounted. “It did not break, but it did stop activity around the area of the downed cable until the Hara crew got it back into the air.”
“So, where in other years there have been instances of things erupting ‘from below,’ this year it came from above,” Tiderman quipped.
Vendor spaces were nearly full, both inside and outside Hara Arena. Tiderman said the 525 to 530 booth spaces inside were nearly filled to capacity, while first-day occupancy of the 2500 Flea Market spaces was at 96 percent.
Tiderman said he observed an “overall good mood” and “a positive attitude,” and the Hamvention staff received many upbeat comments. “Along with our valued visitors, our volunteer staff had a very good attitude and an air of cooperation and willingness to help any and all,” he said.
The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) sponsors Hamvention.