The place was PACKED early on. Early indications are that attendance was up over past years, but not only were there more people in attendance, they stayed longer as well.
The new seminars proved very popular. Attendance ranged from about 15 to nearly 50 people. Polling the crowd before the presentation by Dr. Sheila Sund, Disaster Doc, showed that at least a third of those in the audience were not hams, so it looks like our new format and focus appealed to other than just hams – those interested in disaster preparedness and emergency response.
Swap tables sold out by mid September, and we had requests for nearly half as many again as were available. The quality of the ham radio related items on the swap tables looked pretty good, although I did notice a waffle iron and a paper towel dispenser on one table, which made me scratch my head.
Our commercial vendors were VERY pleased, and are planning on telling others about this event, so we anticipate more in the way of vendors with items of interest to the ham radio and volunteer emergency responder audience. Next year, we’ll be featuring our commercial vendors on the website, so you’ll know who to expect.
The Communications Van display was small to start, but featured OEM, Mountain Wave Search and Rescue, and Marion County Search and Rescue. The OEM trailer was continually busy, as we shared the story of the OEM ARES mission with visitors. Mountain Wave folks said they were extremely happy with the number of visitors they had to their very impressive communications van, and Marion County SAR had a lot of visitors as well. Next year, we’ll be expanding the number of van displays to visit.
We received lots of positive feedback on the new website, with it’s focus beyond simple the annual event, and the new online registration system worked pretty well. Lots of people registered online this year. We’ll continue to add value to the website, hoping to make it a place you’ll visit throught the year for information of interest to those involved in emergency response.
Watch for more changes and additions next year as we make this the best event of it’s type in the northwest – especially for hams and others who have committed to helping their communities, their state and their nation in times of disaster.
Your feedback is ALWAYS welcomed. We love to hear constructive suggestions, ideas, things that could be done better – you name it. We sponsor this event for YOU, and we want to do everything we can to make it relevant and meaningful. If you have thoughts, please email them to email@example.com