From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Fri May 26 14:50:06 2023
ARRL greeted attendees in its large exhibit area in the "Tesla" building. Traffic to the exhibit was brisk. Members and prospective members enjoyed meeting with dozens of ARRL program representatives and volunteers. The event hosted the ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention.
While the final count is still a few days away from being completed, Hamvention spokesperson Michael Kalter, W8CI, said this was a great year, a great event, and it all started with a great team.
"[We] had great [weather, tremendous] efforts by the 700 plus volunteers, [and] outstanding community support, including [from] the Greene County Sheriff's Office, the Xenia Police Department, and Xenia officials," said Kalter. "A big thank you to everyone, especially ARRL, for its work co-developing the Event App, and, of course, all of the amateur radio operators and everyone who attended the event."
Kalter said ticket sales were up this year and he expects attendance to surpass last year's count of 31,367. The good weather helped draw crowds, and other than some rain in the early morning hours of Saturday, blue skies and fair temperatures prevailed.
ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, said the Education and Learning booth was packed with people for the duration of the event. "We shared information with attendees about the ARRL Learning Center, the Teachers Institute, and using ham radio for STEM education and youth outreach," said Goodgame.
"We also partnered with YouTube content creator Carlos Ortiz, KD9OLN, whose channel is LifeAtTerminalVelocity, and facilitated a youth-only parachute-mobile event. Carlos jumped from an airplane at 10,500 feet and made contacts with 13 youth, then their parents, for a total of roughly 25 contacts before landing. It was an amazing opportunity to engage youth in amateur radio with something that is different than the norm," Goodgame added.
ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, moderated a Saturday afternoon ARRL membership forum, which included short presentations from ARRL Treasurer John R. Sager, WJ7S; Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV; CEO David A. Minster, NA2AA, and President Rick Roderick, K5UR.
Sager highlighted the work of ARRL's Investment Management Committee (IMC) and CAPTRUST, an outside investment firm that was selected to actively manage ARRL's investment portfolio for the benefit of its members. Naumann provided an update on The ARRL Logbook of The World (LoTW) that included recent improvements that have significantly reduced, and sometimes nearly eliminated, log processing queues. Minster highlighted a handful of ARRL initiatives including the yearlong theme, Year of the Volunteers, and its complementary operating event, Volunteers On the Air (VOTA). He encouraged members to "reach one rung higher" in their contributions to ARRL volunteerism and support. He also introduced the new ARRL Estate Planning Workbook, which is intended to help members develop a plan for their equipment and amateur radio legacy, which will ultimately benefit spouses and other family members following an amateur's lifetime. Roderick charged members with concentrating on their efforts to make an impact on amateur radio, encouraging newcomers and youth, and ensuring their legacy for amateur radio.
The ARISS booth drew in attendees to learn more about Amateur Radio on the International Space Station and opportunities to participate and volunteer. Among the program representatives were ARISS Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, and ARISS USA Delegate Rosalie White, K1STO, representing ARRL. ARISS is celebrating 40 years of amateur radio on human spaceflight vehicles.
In the ARRL exhibit area, a banner emblazoned with "ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Program" hung above a booth adorned with university pennants that was swarmed with young adults. Student hams from colleges and universities around the country volunteered to help ARRL promote the collegiate program and the participation of their respective radio clubs and schools. These young hams greeted attendees with stories of how amateur radio is furthering their interest in wireless communications and other areas of STEM education. Their experiences are also leading to advanced careers in radio technology and related fields. The bright spotlight on young hams contributed a welcome message to all who passed by: "The next generation of radio amateurs is already here, and they're already active." ARRL's YouTube channel includes a short video with some of the student participants.
The Hamvention flea market was active again this year, and even picked up a nickname -- The Big Island -- a nod to its oval shape near the grandstand.
Kalter summed up the event as a great experience for everyone and noted that work has already started on the Hamvention, May 17 - 19, 2024. The event is planning to host the 2024 ARRL National Convention.
Read a complete recap of each day's events, written by ARRL Acquisitions Editor Mark H. Derks, KC1RVQ, using the links below.
Countdown to Dayton Hamvention
Day 1: Friday, May 19, 2023
Day 2: Saturday, May 20, 2023
Day 3: Sunday, May 21, 2023