Updated: Nov 19, 2019
That's a wrap! The 2019 edition of the Albuquerque Duke City Hamfest and Convention is in the books, and from those of us at Duke City Hamfest Central, our deep thanks to all of those who made it happen.
Who are they? We highlighted many of them during the convention: our featured and keynote speakers, as well as our roster of forum and all-day-class speakers -- all of whom voluntarily spent untold hours preparing their presentations; our corps of "game day" volunteers, whose helpfulness and cheerfulness was noted by many attendees; our vendors, many of whom drove hundreds of miles to ply their wares (one drove roughly 2,800 miles roundtrip to attend and was pleased enough with the results to say: "We'll be back next year!"); and finally the volunteers who make up the New Mexico Hamvention, Inc., Board of Directors, a group that spends the better part of the year laying the foundation for each convention.
But there is one important group we don't want to leave out: those of you who attended. Without your participation, we would not be able to build the type of program that virtually all of you enjoyed, based on an initial scan of attendee survey results in hand. Even the craft classes for spouses was a hit. You brought your curiosity about amateur radio and your willingness to continue to learn new aspects of it; these are attitudes off of which the speakers feed. You brought a sense of energy, joy and camaraderie that permeated the event -- an atmosphere that attendees noted in written and verbal comments to convention board members and to volunteers. And based on the comments from many of this year's vendors, you amply supported their presence via your purchases.
Which brings up another reason why joining us for our (all of the above are included in "our") convention is so important. One subtheme among some of our survey responses was a disappointment that the big vendors didn't come. You know the usual suspects: Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, and the HROs of this world. If you are one of the individuals who noted the absence of the heavy hitters, we hear you. One example illustrates why your continued support for the Albuquerque Duke City Hamfest and Convention is critical to attracting them. Icom wanted to raise its visibility at more hamfests and conventions, so it set up something akin to a raffle. Clubs, hamfests, and conventions can enter a monthly drawing as many times as they like. Icom draws a monthly winner, and the prizes are awarded by average crowd size: a forum presentation for crowds of 500 or fewer; a small display with representative for crowds between 500 and 2,000; a large display with Icom reps present for crowds above 2,000. We fall into category two. But by definition, it's a roll of the dice.
Interestingly, based on our initial, cursory reading of this year's surveys, many of our attendees indicated that the presence of these folks would be nice, but it's not the driving factor behind their decision to attend. Instead, their decision is based on the totality of the program and the fellowship that meeting or reuniting with other ham-radio operators nurtures.
So, if attracting the Big Kahunas is important to you, your attendance and feedback to the big manufacturers and dealers can only raise the likelihood that it will happen. Getting there will take some time; we only meet once a year. But it can happen, especially as word continues to spread that our event is one of constantly improving quality in an enviable venue.
We appreciate the survey responses we've received so far. We take them seriously. If you didn't fill out and return a survey form as you left the convention, you can still submit it via snail mail. Send the form to:
New Mexico Hamvention, Inc.
PO Box 30394
The tentative convention dates for next year are Sept. 18-20 at Isleta. We hope to have a finalized contract by the end of 2019. Stay tuned!
We invite all of those who attended this year to return next year and invite those who didn't attend to c'mon down and check us out. We'd also like to enlist you as eyes and ears for next year's program. If you attend a hamfest or convention forum and the topic and speaker are particularly engaging, or read an article in QST or CQ that grabs you by the collar, let us know at email@example.com. We're always on the lookout for engaging speakers who can share their expertise with long-time and new hams alike.
With best wishes for your continued success and growth as an operator and representative of the Amateur Radio Service,
The Board of Directors
New Mexico Hamvention, Inc.
P.S. We anticipate posting most or all of the speakers' presentation material to our website by Sunday, Oct. 6. We'll be adding PDFs of the slide sets as we receive them from the speakers. Visit www.dukecityhamfest.org/2019-slides.