Author Topic: Suggestions for NEARFEST II  (Read 11278 times)

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Offline n1wbd

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Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« on: May 06, 2007, 03:47:45 PM »
1. Have more Bathrooms open!!!!

2. If possible it would be nice if electric chairs were available for rent (at a reasonable price) for those
with walking disabilities. So we can cruise the fest as well. Might be worth checking local medical equipment dealers for availability I sure they must have used ones laying around.

3. More Food vendors.

4. More commercial buildings open.


Offline W1AC

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2007, 05:10:18 PM »
It was a great event, and my compliments to Mr. Mike and K1TWF and Brent, W1IA and Tron and Ed and all the other grownups whose names I didn't catch for all their work and all their patience with a bunch of confused and tired volunteers like me.

Here are some ideas for the future:

  • Bathrooms. 'nuf said.
  • A source of drinkable water.
  • The Fest can offer a top-of-the-line rig as a raffle prize, but make attendees get their tickets stamped by at least three vendors to qualify. I hear the vendors were PO'd that the good weather kept traffic outside.
  • It would be nice to have a map of all the sites, including clubs, etc. I spent three hours looking for the PRA tent on Friday, and I swear I saw every inch of that fairground but never found the PRA.
  • Speaking of maps, I'd like to see more detail than the Google view can provide: one of those hand-drawn exploded views like you get at the chamber of commerce when visiting Hyannis, for example. Google is nice for what it does, but (even from the top) one tree looks just like another.
  • Electronic check-in. Airlines do it, why not NEAR-Fest? My tickets got lost in the mail and I had to get a special email from Mr. Mike to be sure I'd get in. It would pay for itself in postage.
  • Control center with a published phone number. Not everyone has a "two meter CB", so it would be nice to be able to use my cell phone to get info, directions, etc.
  • Some spare 2M HT's for the volunteers.
  • An "official" rig testing service, run by a local repair shop with liability insurance and a good reputation. This gives the fest three benefits:
    • The shop could offer repairs without the fest having to worry about conflict of interest
    • Buyers who are willing to take "tech special" rigs could get an estimate on repair costs and leave the equipment with the shop for shipment to their home after repair.
    • The guy who thought of it won't get lost trying to find the PRA tent. ;)
  • A public bulletin board with directions to local gas stations, restaurants, and off-site venues, written with a lot more detail than the ones on the website. I had to violate the "Guy Code", and ask directions to find the fire station where I was a VE at the exams.

Thanks to the powers-that-be for considering my ideas: I welcome comments and constructive criticism, but flames to /dev/null please.

73, Bill W1AC

Offline N1ZZN

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2007, 06:33:20 PM »
It was a great event, and my compliments to Mr. Mike and K1TWF and Tron and all the other grownups whose names I didn't catch for all their work and all their patience with a bunch of confused and tired volunteers like me.

Here are some ideas for the future:

  • Bathrooms. 'nuf said.
  • A source of drinkable water.
  • The Fest can offer a top-of-the-line rig as a raffle prize, but make attendees get their tickets stamped by at least three vendors to qualify. I hear the vendors were PO'd that the good weather kept traffic outside.
  • It would be nice to have a map of all the sites, including clubs, etc. I spent three hours looking for the PRA tent on Friday, and I swear I saw every inch of that fairground but never found the PRA.
  • Speaking of maps, I'd like to see more detail than the Google view can provide: one of those hand-drawn exploded views like you get at the chamber of commerce when visiting Hyannis, for example. Google is nice for what it does, but (even from the top) one tree looks just like another.
  • Electronic check-in. Airlines do it, why not NEAR-Fest? My tickets got lost in the mail and I had to get a special email from Mr. Mike to be sure I'd get in. It would pay for itself in postage.
  • Control center with a published phone number. Not everyone has a "two meter CB", so it would be nice to be able to use my cell phone to get info, directions, etc.
  • Some spare 2M HT's for the volunteers.
  • An "official" rig testing service, run by a local repair shop with liability insurance and a good reputation. This gives the fest three benefits:
    • The shop could offer repairs without the fest having to worry about conflict of interest
    • Buyers who are willing to take "tech special" rigs could get an estimate on repair costs and leave the equipment with the shop for shipment to their home after repair.
    • The guy who thought of it won't get lost trying to find the PRA tent. ;)
  • A public bulletin board with directions to local gas stations, restaurants, and off-site venues, written with a lot more detail than the ones on the website. I had to violate the "Guy Code", and ask directions to find the fire station where I was a VE at the exams.

Thanks to the powers-that-be for considering my ideas: I welcome comments and constructive criticism, but flames to /dev/null please.

73, Bill W1AC

Is that what it will take for you to have fun at the hamfest? I hate to say it, but maybe you're in the wrong place? Even the biggest hamfests like Dayton don't even offer all of that. I think the crew did a great job, and I'm sure they have some improvments in the works, but within reason I'd imagine. Maybe you never attended the "other" hamfest in the past?

Offline W4KSR

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2007, 07:26:47 PM »
Jeff,
I second that. Mr Mike & Company did an EXCELLENT job on the first hamfest. For suggestions for the future:

Bathrooms: It would be nice to have the bathrooms on the entrance gate side open. It can be a LONG walk if you REALLY gotta go!

Prize Drawings: how about start at 11:00 AM Saturday with a few small prizes, then do a few more at 12:00 PM, then the big one at 1:00 PM. It can get hard to stand around in one spot for a whole hour.

Food Vendors: Like the bathrooms, some down on the other end. Not everyone wants apple crisp.

Announcements: Let's get Timtron on the mike more!!! A few more general announcements about where things are, like where to drop the prize tickets, commercial vendors, events, and where people need to go to have announcements (true, EVERYONE knows Timtron!), but that it's in the Relaxation Area (we all know where that is).

To W1AC: Drinkable water: Bring you own! I've done that for a long time. Also, there is a good map you can download on this site. Print it out, and bring a pen to mark where things are, like good deals, and vendor locations.
Google search out local eateries, gas stations, places to stay.

Again, it's nice to be back in Deerfield, and a big thanks to the powers that pulled off this event in only 6 weeks!

Offline Scan Cape Cod

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2007, 07:42:54 PM »
For the first time around, this was an outstanding effort. I expect it will get better with age.

I really enjoyed the simulcast on 650 KHz and the FM stations when the prizes were being drawn. Neat idea. What I didn't like was the fact that it took over an hour to conduct the drawing. I trust that will be streamlined with time. I was not at the drum for the drawing, but I do have one question. After the original grand prize winner was drawn, and before it was determined she was a no-show, there were a few drawings for Near-Fest T-shirts. Were the winners of those shirts still afforded the opportunity to win the grand prize in the event of a no-show, which it was...IOW, did their tickets get thrown back in the drum?

It was very kind of you to arrange the hotel discounts. I know one person that took advantage of it. I would expect that this will not be possible in the fall, especially during peak foliage season. Anyone interested in accomodations in the area probably wants to make them...yesterday!

Simply put, nicely done for a "rush job", and I'll look forward to attending again.
Scott/KC1UA
Webmaster - Scan Cape Cod/Scan Massachusetts
http://www.scancapecod.us

Offline w1ia

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2007, 04:53:36 AM »
1. Have more Bathrooms open!!!!

2. If possible it would be nice if electric chairs were available for rent (at a reasonable price) for those
with walking disabilities. So we can cruise the fest as well. Might be worth checking local medical equipment dealers for availability I sure they must have used ones laying around.

3. More Food vendors.

4. More commercial buildings open.



The attendies also deserve a thanks for helping abide by the rules of the road and not jeopardizing our invite back. We only had a few minor problems dealing with "FREE STUFF" This is a quick excuse for leaving heavy items behind. 

We have allready thought of the possibilty of a shuttle for the handicapped from the parking lot. I was able to transport a few attendies with the green machine, but perhaps a shuttle van can be arranged for people that need assistance; tickets purchased at the gate might be a time to request assistance. I like the idea of electric chair rentals. At least worth an inquiry.

A special thanks to Tod KA1KAQ, Jim W1QK, Larry NE1S, (Dale and the A.M. gang) and many others part of the clean-up crew.  Forgive me for leaving anyone out as I am pretty tired as I formulate these thoughts.

As far as the PA system, it was the most peacefull hamfest we had in many years! Tiffany did an excellent job in the past Hosstraders event, but overuse of the PA causes people to ignore and tune out important messages and becomes a nuisance  to people trying sleep. I was approached by many that were amazed at the peaceful atmosphere of the weekend.

Stay Tuned and please remember, we are all volunteers and do this for the love of the hobby.

Brent W1IA





Offline N1IQG

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2007, 01:21:30 PM »
FOR THE @2 MONTH PREP TIME GIVEN MR MIKE AND THE CREW I THINK THEY DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB TO MAKE DEERFIELD AND NEAR-FEST WORK !! GREAT JOB TO ALL !!!
SUGGESTIONS
YES MORE OPEN BATHROOMS ( THE REAL ONES)( MANY HERE AND AT THE SHOW EXPRESSED CONCERN FOR SUCH ) ..

PERHAPS MORE THEN 1 CHECKIN LINE FOR THE SHOW

WIND THE INCOMING TRAFFIC AROUND THE FAIRGOUNDS PARKING LOT ( PLENTY OF ROOM HERE ).. THIS WILL KEEP A TRAFFIC JAM FROM HAPPENING ON THE MAIN TOWN RD (LETS HELP KEEP THE TOWN AND IT'S RESIDENTS HAPPY) ALSO POST A VOLUNTEER AT THE ROAD TO DIRECT TRAFFIC INTO THE FAIRGORUNDS . LEFT TURNING TRAFFIC WAS A PROBLEM .

MORE INSIDE SPACE FOR REGULAR VENDORS 


Offline NE1S

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2007, 04:27:23 PM »
"2. If possible it would be nice if electric chairs were available for rent (at a reasonable price) for those with walking disabilities."

We should have turned that portable suana into an "electric chair" and made the person who left it behind sit in it  ;)

Seriously, I had an awesome time - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven - it was so great to be back at Deerfield. I know this too is somewhat subjective, but the stuff I saw offered for sale was much more interesting than I've seen lately at the fests for quite some time. Even the WX was HI HI FB.

Speaking only for myself, I did not find the single restroom to be an incovenience.

Only one suggestion: it would be really nice to have more volunteers for gate duty so that no one person would need to tear themselves away from the fest for more than 2 hours total. Many hands make for light work and all that. If you enjoy this fest, volunteer, so that the effort involved doesn't burn out those who do.

Many, many thanks to Mr. Mike, K1TWF, and all the others that contributed to pulling this off, including all those who supported it by only attending.

-Larry/NE1S

Offline N1PKJ Brad

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2007, 04:45:40 PM »
I just want to say thankyou to MR Mike and the crew for the most enjoyable ham fest iv'e had.
I sold every thing that I wanted to sell and bought a ICOM 706 MK-2G  the spot was good, the fellow hams were well behaved and had fun! and good deals!
thanks to all

N1PKJ
Brad

Offline AB2IX

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2007, 05:36:05 PM »
Firstly a monster Thanks to Mr Mike and the crew. The arrangements were splendid, and the cooperation from most visitors was exemplory. With some adjustments the NEAR-Fest should go on for ever.

Good Things!!

The 650 Khz PA system, brilliant!
Keeping the announcing down to a dull roar, Excellent!
Allowing the 3 FM Stations to operate, Excellent!
Using the Relaxation area as a control center and prize drawing center, Excellent!
Prepaid Ticketing, Brilliant!
The prepaid early entrance arrangements, Super (hope they work a little quicker in October)
Just being back at Deerfield, Super Duper!!
The 9:00AM entry time for all, a good idea!



Things that need improvement!!

For any new event there are teething troubles, most have been mentioned by others, but, I would like add my $0.02 worth.

1. More bathrooms open 100% of the time
2. Better quality, more selection, lower cost food (Angelino's was too expensive)
3. Larger selling area (I think the Fairgrounds shorted NEAR-Fest with taped off areas)
4. Fairgrounds should have gone around with a Pelican road sweeper to clean up the pine needles
5. Handicap shuttles/transport/assists/Golf Carts
6. We Love Tim but keep him off the MIC for the Prize Drawings
7. Fairgrounds should put all of the tables and benches out in the Relaxation area
8. Not enough garbage barrels
9. Better clarification of the $30 RV rip-off, what water? what special RV electric?
10. Move commercial vendors to more central location. Vendors complained that there was no traffic. It was not the weather, as someone described, it was the fact that there were no signs and they were off the beaten track. Vendors employ people and expend hefty sums of money to get more business, if they do not make back their investment they stop coming.
11. Better signage to Commercial vendors, AM Corral, Military, Relax area, and other areas of interest (yes, I know some places were only invented last Friday, but now they have a face!)

Thanks, and 73 de AB2IX

Adrian Zeffert
 



Offline w4yfj

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2007, 08:39:56 PM »
Wonderful Fest. Really enjoyed it. Source of water would be nice. I had plenty of water for myself, however, if you did not plan on it, you would be out of luck.

I think that people should be let in when they get there, would avoid mad rush for spots.

I think organizations like MARS or ARES should not be charged for table space in the vendor buildings as they are non-profit public service organizations

Todd, KA1KAQ

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2007, 08:42:37 PM »
From my perspective, I have to agree with what others have said and say again that, considering the amount of time available to get this all together and make it fly, MrMike did extremely well to get the folks he got into the slots needed. It went remarkably well.

- I believe the issue of bathrooms will be addressed for the next NEAR-Fest. Keep in mind that this was the first run, and we weren't really sure how big the turn out would be. The Fair ground committee charges bucks for each bathroom facility opened, so that was also a consideration. Seeing the response and numbers there, opening more facilities does make sense.

- Same thing for space. The amount of the fairground available was arrived at by MrMike's best guess of space needed for numbers attending vs. cost. Having no idea how much more, or in what chunks the contract will allow, I'm sure Mike will address this as needed.

- Food vendors - same thing. NEAR-Fest has to pay a fee for each food vendor on site. Based on perceived need vs. cost. See above. I had the same thought  though, that a little more competition should help bring prices down. $4 for a simple burger does seem a bit high, considering the venue.  ;)

- PA System: it might need some further improvement for additional coverage (so that we can remind the less brilliant folks not to leave piles of garbage behind), but I'm definitely with Brent on this one. Previous hamfests/fleamarkets have suffered from PA overload. Too many 'cute' comments or other superfluous remarks. I'm sure many of us remember trying to talk to someone, only to be repeatedly interrupted by the PA announcer. Considering the lack of announcing, I think Tim did great. Not everyone is chomping at the bit to get to the drawings and go home, Tim's laid back approach is more reflective of that.

- More barrels - yes, good idea.

- Relaxation area was meant to serve mainly as the Command post and Class E set up, which is why it wasn't overly dressed for other use. Consider a relaxation area to be where ever you find one.

I didn't see a lot of gate issues beyond people in the back wishing they were in the front. The parking lot and gate crew did an excellent job early on to line vehicles up in the field so that one row could enter as soon as the previous line ended. Outside parking was very orderly too.

Some commercial vendors were grumbling a bit, mainly due to the fact that everyone was outside enjoying the good wx. I know this because I talked with several. One even stated that, given the good wx and first time for the event, he was doing quite well. Another said later that he had made over $3300, which surprised him in a pleasant way. That's not to say that more space isn't needed, but again - Mike worked with what he knew he'd have for vendors and spent accordingly.

Not sure if the pre-paid ticket thing will be around for the fall, it was mainly a way to get funds rolling for the first event and created a lot of work for MrMike. Many things can be considered, like a Friday fee if you enter then and a reduced Saturday fee, to make things simpler Friday. Not that it was a problem.

As far as the sign issues go, I'll take responsibility for that. I figured folks would find the military group by looking for their green trucks and jeeps, so I didn't make signs for that area. I also was looking at it somewhat through the eyes of a person who has attended a few of these and knows folks. Some of the A.M. Corral signs actually blew away in the strong wind gusts! I also figured that folks would settle in to their areas this time and not need a lot of help in October.

As far as electric chairs, phone numbers to call on site, and so on, I think those are more individual issues that should be dealt with by the person attending. It is a hamfest after all.

I'm sure Mike will comment on the $30 RV situation once he sorts things out. Suffice it to say, we were as blind-sided as everyone else, having thought it was sorted out ahead of time.


Offline n1wbd

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2007, 06:38:25 AM »

Todd,

I agree we have cash to spend and stuff to sell. I don't see a problem with having someone come in and rent out electric chairs/scooters. I am also a "physically-challenged ham" I spent  all weekend at my spot and not able to enjoy the rest of the fest due to my disabilities. I'd be one of the first in line to rent one.

Todd, KA1KAQ

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2007, 06:49:49 PM »
Hi Bob -

I can't really comment on your suggestion beyond the limited experience and knowledge I have. That being specific to anyone I know with any type of physical disability or impairment requiring such equipment has always taken care of their requirements ahead of time, through whatever channels. Otherwise they'd have trouble getting around day to day. I think the grocery store is the only place I've ever seen any type of 'community scooter' available for anyone's use. Mike did take care of the required accessible toilet facilities, since that is something folks could not be expected to bring along.

There seem to be a number of programs out there to help individuals with such needs, but that gets beyond my area of expertise. Perhaps you can make a deal with a company and start a side business for yourself renting these things out, securing your ride and making a little money in the process?

Offline AB2IX

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Re: Suggestions for NEARFEST II
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2007, 09:06:24 PM »
Todd:

Thanks for the additional clarifications. I am sure that everything will be worked out and come to a sense of balance over the coming months.

I was glad to be one of the 'prepaids'.

So, once again thanks to you, Mr Mike and the crew for all your efforts, I am looking forward to NEAR-fest II (or 2)

73 de AB2IX

Adrian