Attendance was up slightly this year at Europe’s largest Amateur Radio gathering — the 41st annual international Ham Radio 2016 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Officials at the venue — Die Messe Friedrichshafen — say “everything went perfectly” as hams joined “makers” for the June 24-26 weekend. The “double feature” exposition attracted 17,230 visitors, up from 17,080 last year. Die Messe officials did not break out numbers for radio amateurs and those attending the Maker Faire Bodensee.
“The mood at Ham Radio 2016 was very good,” said Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) Chair Steffen Schöppe, DL7ATE. “We really brought the motto ‘Amateur radio — On land, on water, and in the air’ to life, the lecture program was booked solid and seems to have been very well received.
ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, who attended Ham Radio for the first time this year, said the gathering was a good opportunity to meet his counterparts in Europe. He pointed out the “nice location” and that there was a higher concentration of youngsters attending than typically seen at US events.
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, headed the League’s contingent to Friedrichshafen, which, in addition to Gallagher, included International Affairs Vice President Jay Bellows, K0QB; Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R; Assistant Field Services and Radiosport Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, and retired CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ.
Nearly 200 exhibitors and vendors from 3 dozen countries were on hand at Friedrichshafen. Like Hamvention, Ham Radio is better known by its location.
“Friedrichshafen is like Europe’s Dayton for us,” said Yaesu Technical Sales Manager Paul Bigwood, G3WYW. “The Ham Radio is extremely international. Everyone here comes from all over the world — we even had visitors from Australia at our stand. The show has an excellent reputation; it is very important for us to be here.”
IARU Region 1 Emergency Coordinator Greg Mossop, G0DUB, said two meetings at Friedrichshafen for radio amateurs involved in emergency communication were well received. On Friday, June 24, the first IARU Region 1 Emergency Communication meeting attracted some 20 attendees from 10 countries. Topics covered a wide range and included reports from other regions, proposals to change the IARU Emergency Message procedure, and information on emergency communication groups in Germany, Poland, and Slovenia. The presentations are available on the IARU Region 1 website (click on “Order by Submit Date” to see the 2016 documents).
On Saturday, June 25, the 4th Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) Notfunk Universität (Emergency Radio University) included several presentations on skills and techniques. The sessions were conducted in German. A report and some presentations are available on the DARC website.
The dual exhibitions will be back next year, but in mid-July instead of late June, owing to a scheduling difficulty. Ham Radio 2017 will take place July 14-16, and the Maker Faire Bodensee is set for July 15-16, 2017. — Thanks to Ham Radio, Southgate Amateur Radio News, and IARU Region 1