Author Topic: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please  (Read 17551 times)

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Offline W1RC

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NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« on: May 05, 2008, 11:06:47 AM »
Now that we're all back home, warm and dry, it's time for the traditional NEAR-Fest "post mortum".  This is the place we solicit your feedback, comments, etc, etc. What did you like?  What didn't you like?  Suggestions for future NEAR-Fests?  Tell us.

This is not a discussion group in which any of the joint chiefs will participate.  However we do read every post so feel free to post anything that you think would be of interest to us.

It will help make NEAR-Fest IV better.

73,

MisterMike and Friends

Offline ab1dd

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2008, 12:45:58 PM »
Hi Mike and Crew,

Not a lot not to like. I think most everything ran smooth. There were a few minor gotchas with traffic flow in the morning, but not unsurmountable. Kinda got overloaded about 0800 or so.
Weather: Although the weather wasn't perfect, our group had a good time. It is spring in New England. Come ready for a little rain and cool temps.
I didn't hear any complaints as I walked around (with the volunteer badge visible.

Carl
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Offline K1WIZ

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2008, 02:29:49 PM »
There are 2 things that come to mind for consideration:

1) Define and mark off a safe "no camping zone" around the entertainment building so the Jamz can go on as long as the band is willing to play without being silenced by nearby campers - who should have known better than to camp there in the first place.

2) Many suggested to us to have visible sign-age posted throughout the grounds that lists the frequencies of, and informs people of local broadcasts being carried at the fest.  Or at least the 2 or 3 major stations which carry programs of interest.  I would also recommend these signs also be placed outside the gates of the grounds so that those waiting in line can hear opening announcements which carry much of this information as well.  For some reason, many people who approached us at the stage did not even know we were even broadcasting on 95.1FM and therefore announcements broadcast over the radio went largely unheard.  Adding Tim's PA greatly helped to solve this problem.  I plan on bringing a dual output MIC preamp so that one MIC can rule them all and then 2 mics won't be needed get stuff on the air and on the radio. 

3) NearFest Mgt should provide a hard copy list of all commercial vendors who donate prizes so that they could have been announced much sooner.  Now that there is a network that is available to the Mgt team, these can be emailed instead as they will end up on the Broadcast computer screen once they are received and can be announced accordingly.  I think this alone can put to rest, a lot of the tail chasing that goes on, and get important up to the minute info to attendees sooner.

4) This is more of a suggestion to benefit attendees:  You might consider carrying a little transistor radio in your shirt pocket and tune to one of the 3 major broadcast stations as you roam about the grounds - even the PA is not heard easily by everyone in all areas, and this makes it possible for you to be kept informed and entertained no matter where on (or off) the grounds you may roam.  This would be the best solution to keeping in touch with what's going on with up to the minute coverage of events.

That's just my .02 worth, hope it helps.

Overall, great time, regardless of the weather and my family really enjoyed it.  Really enjoyed the Jam too, and would like to see more musicians get involved.

Offline Nat

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2008, 03:40:59 PM »
Hi Mr Mike,

We all had a great time in our little corner of the Deerfield universe. The weather was ahem, normal.

The security fellow initially had a huge fit over our small charcoal fire pit. "NO OPEN FIRES!!" was his answer to any attempts at reason. He never came back though to review what we had so all went well.

If there was ever a wish, I miss the nice bathrooms and water at Hopkinton!

Thanks for a great event and we'll see you in the fall! ;D

73

Nat
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Offline ceMental

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 04:34:06 PM »
As expected we had a great time.  Thank you for keeping this tradition of a New England radio festival alive.   ;D

Offline KB1PRV

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2008, 10:37:41 PM »
Mr Mike,

I hung out with an old friend, made some new friends, bought some gear, attended an R-390a workshop, passed the general exam, and had a great time; I couldn

Offline Bri

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2008, 12:34:40 AM »
Having been in direct contact with the campers who voiced their rights regarding the late jam hours...
I have to agree with them; To the point that there was no general notice or flyer handed out before hand.
I did put a notice up on the forum the night before. It wasn't enough notice. Sorry about that...my bad.

Even in this day and age not everyone has internet access (hmm, maybe that's where radio comes in) Not everyone reads the forum.
That said, I would love there to be some warning WAY before hand via internet/ham radio/flyers/smoke signal/sign language/etc stating "if you value sleep and your hearing do not camp within 40 feet of this building"

All in all, I had a great time, I bought a few trinkets, sold a few, met some great guys and played and sang.
It's what it's all about if you ask me.


Bri
The only thing to fear is fear itself.....and crazy bat-shit people. We should really fear crazy bat-shit people.

Offline N1ZZN

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2008, 02:13:53 AM »
I was actually quite surprised with how sound proof that building was, it seemed to block the sound quite well! There's definitely not a better place around to hold the jam session. Hopefully people will know next time not to sleep so close to it, if they did notice a problem.

Offline dmarkell

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NEAR-Fest III Feedback; Tom W1TP; Key collecting/history.
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2008, 02:24:07 AM »
Fascinating presentation by Tom Perera, w1tp, on Morse code history and key collecting.

Please invite him again, and try for similar presentations at future Near-Fests.

If you missed Tom this May, be sure to catch him sometime, somewhere !

Incredible!

Dennis N1IMW

Offline Randy

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2008, 04:15:33 AM »
  As a Thursday night camper my only complaint was that there probably should have been a porta-potty in the camping area or at least a walk through gate left open to the fairgrounds to allow restroom access...
  Was also a little curious as to all the bikes and scooters running around. I thought they were outlawed this year? Will they be allowed next time?
  I was also impressed at the offer to allow anyone who passed their exams and upgrades free admission in the fall by Mr.Mike ....
 And again THANK YOU for all your efforts to continue to have a GREAT Hamfest !!!!

Offline w1sj

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2008, 06:38:56 AM »
Dryer, warmer wx would have been nice.  Please work on this for the fall.

There needs to be a better site directory. The web site is good, but many do not look at it.
I got inundated by E-mails asking about the VE session, which I had to pass on to Bruce.
Even during the fest, many stopped by the class to ask where the VE session was.

Suggestion: Big sign at Flagpole at entrance, spelling out where everything is (i.e. Exams to the right, Commercial Buildings straight ahead, Jam Session to the left.) The sign can include a list of all the local radio stations and repeates. A list of vendors might be nice, but that's starting to be a chore..

Otherwise, it was great!


Offline ab1dd

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2008, 09:23:17 AM »
RE the late night jam...
I was camped right across the road from the jam site. I could hear the music, but it wasn't a problem. If the music was real bad, I would have said something. But, it was good.
The jam needs to be made more aware to those who don't get the word. Signs around the building would be good. I knew the jam was going to take place, and chose to camp where I did. I will probably do the same in the fall.

Carl
AB1DD

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2008, 02:36:46 PM »
1) Define and mark off a safe "no camping zone" around the entertainment building so the Jamz can go on as long as the band is willing to play without being silenced by nearby campers - who should have known better than to camp there in the first place.

Actually, no. Many of the folks who park there did so in the 80s/90s as well. Keep in mind that this event is a hamfest, and the majority of the attendees aren't there for a jam session. Back in the days of the original Deerfield, someone may have dragged along an acoustic guitar, harmonica, etc and played in the AM Corral or such, but there was no real organized 'electric' jam until much later at Rochester. There we actually had a building to use, at least for a few events.

We discussed this at great length before the first NEAR-Fest event, because we wanted to incorporate what has become somewhat of a tradition to us in the last decade. In the process, we took into account all attendees and came up with a 'shut down' time for the jam session to provide quiet hours for everyone else to get some sleep. The last thing we want is to annoy the majority to please the few - in any situation. We need to remain considerate of all and keep in mind that this is a public event, not a personal party.

Also be aware that the primary use of the Entertainment Building is Workshops and Forums. So long as they can take place without issue (meaning, no mess or problems encountered Saturday morning), the two uses should be able to co-exist fine.

There needs to be a better site directory. The web site is good, but many do not look at it.
I got inundated by E-mails asking about the VE session, which I had to pass on to Bruce.
Even during the fest, many stopped by the class to ask where the VE session was.

Believe it or not, we discussed this after last October and thought it was taken care of. Obviously, it was not. Partly because it was spread over a couple different people. It impacted everything from the exams to forums/workshops to on site broadcasters.

We had a meeting Saturday afternoon to hash out some of these bugs, October should be much smoother. Rather than using the flagpole location (since it's located at one extreme of the grounds), we plan to use the Relaxation Grove as the main focal point, since it acts as an intersection of sorts as for the main paths through the fairground and is where the announcements and door prizes are handled. We'll also be using signs to indicate where the Forums/Workshops and Exam buildings are located, in conjunction with a map printed on the back of a program/sked handed out at the gate to all who enter. Hopefully this combined with our pre-fest publicity will solve the problems we encountered. And yes - we will have the site broadcasting info printed on these programs as well.


Fascinating presentation by Tom Perera, w1tp, on Morse code history and key collecting.

Please invite him again, and try for similar presentations at future Near-Fests.

If you missed Tom this May, be sure to catch him sometime, somewhere !

Incredible!

Thanks, Dennis - glad you enjoyed it. How about that $10K+ pre-Civil War key he found there on Friday?

Tom also puts on a great forum about the German Enigma machine and code breaking from WWII. He presented this forum last fall, and I was amazed at the information and knowledge Tom shared with us. He might want to take a 'fest off this October, but if he wants to provide a forum, we'll certainly accommodate him.

I hung out with an old friend, made some new friends, bought some gear, attended an R-390a workshop, passed the general exam, and had a great time; I couldn

Offline Randy

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Re: NEAR-Fest III - Feedback Please
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2008, 04:47:14 PM »
 I also noticed that there werent as many announcements being made. Either I just wasn't tuned in to hearing them or there was a lack of them to hear... The person who was doing the info on the radio was great as well as playing great music , but unless you are going to pipe the radio over the PA system there seemed to be a lack of information in general... Nothing like hearing that loud booming voice coming over the PA telling you where and when the exams might be held or where an ATM might be located or if you need help moving that boatanchor ECT... Might have helped for the lack of signage as well......   But again great job on the radio station 95.1  it certainly helped us get in the gate on time....

Offline Bri

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Near-Fest pictures
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2008, 11:35:28 PM »
I have a few pics of Fest III I'd like to upload.
s there a folder to do that?


Bri
The only thing to fear is fear itself.....and crazy bat-shit people. We should really fear crazy bat-shit people.