Post Dayton Hamvention 2009 Thoughts – Part 3

So what is the idea of “Keeping to Comparative Standards” that I have set to comment about?

“Keeping to Comparative Standards” is the idea that everyone has to weigh the opportunity costs whether they attend Dayton, or whether they do something else – and that in that calculation the Hamvention needs to equal certain standards to compete against those other opportunities.

This year at the same time as Dayton was the NRA (National Rifle Association) annual show in Phoenix Arizona, a show I debated attending rather than the Hamvention.

On a “Comparative Standards” basis the NRA offered to blow away the Hamvention for a number of reasons:

  • At my membership level I was afforded tickets to see the speakers & attend the high level dinners (Rank has it’s Privileges).
  • Phoenix is a destination with so much to offer, specially contrasted to Dayton.
  • Weather is usually stunning, though this year they were hotter than I would have liked.
  • Transport is an easy direct flight in & out.
  • Plenty of high quality hotel rooms available.
  • A very high quality show on offer, with exceptional additional meetings.

On a “Comparative Standards” basis I nearly skipped the Hamvention excepting a few things that swayed me back to Dayton:

  • Originally my Friend & Elmer George W9EVT had planned to attend.
  • I wanted to do the RTTY focused portion of Contest University.
  • Driving appealed as a healthier option, as I have been avoiding Commercial Air Travel.
  • Two of the very big name speakers for the NRA show had to reschedule for 2010.
  • The family I have who winter in Phoenix area had just left for the season, and if seemed rude to visit their winter hometown for a show, but to have not gone out to see them.
  • The economic loss if I cancelled at the last moment was much less for Dayton.
  • My son Tom KC9JGD had the time available & the interest to attend Dayton (though he admitted he would really like to do another NRA show.)

“Comparative Standards” is a sort of personal value calculus, where all sorts of factors get weighed back-and-forth.

It usually is a three or four way evaluation for most people with an example being something like my matrix:

  • Attend Dayton Hamvention
  • Attend the NRA Annual Show
  • Stay Home, life as usual
  • Go to Washington Island, where I can do radios & shoot
  • or of course some other option I’ve not listed.

Let me say that staying at the Crown Plaza did raise Dayton’s “Comparative Standards” by a huge amount, but not by enough that I won’t struggle with the decision process for next year.



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3 thoughts on “Post Dayton Hamvention 2009 Thoughts – Part 3

  1. Scot, K9JY says:

    Plus, distance to travel. Going to Dayton from Washington State as compared to driving six hours from Chicago is a huge difference.

    The networking is good. The facilities…Hara, hotels…all are not worth the trip. The facilities really hold back going there. I still think they need to move the Hamvention to a better, accessible city with good convention facilities.

    Columbus? Cincinnati? Cleavland? Ohio is good…driving distance is good from most eastern and midwestern cities.

  2. KC9HTV says:

    I hear this every year after Hamvention, that they need to move it to another city, Hara sucks, Dayton sucks, etc. Granted Hara Arena has seen better days (they’re currently celebrating their 50th anniversary), but nobody seems to notice the simple fact that Hamvention is sponsored by the DAYTON Amateur Radio Association, so where else would they hold it? I’ve helped out a few times as a volunteer, and the organizers are well aware of Hara’s limitations, but it’s the only facility with enough room for the convention and the flea market. I don’t mind Hara so much, but then I pay attention to the convention, not the building.

    • k9zw says:

      Hi Tracy KC9HTV,

      Yes a Hamvention elsewhere wouldn’t be “Dayton,” but as you mention with the Exhibition Hall and the City being renown as substandard that is going to happen.

      Just like a restaurant that has gone to seed, at some point the patrons will vote with their feet unless the joint cleans itself up.

      Is Dayton Hamvention at the point in its product life-cycle?

      Arguably yes.

      More to follow as I complete out my post Dayton Hamvention posts, and thank you posting your thoughts!



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