“Secret Handshakes, nah, lets go Whole Hog!” and talk in layered jargon.
Not really so much of a Hamvention comment, but noticing that at the Hamvention the usual Ham tendency to used jargon does make many presentations “indulgences for the initiated” while being indecipherable to those new to our hobby.
Just week or so before Dayton I had the opportunity to join a lunch group after church which included another Ham. Our supply priest had been a multitalented fellow who among his life accomplishments had earned his General Class ticket over forty years ago.
Our lunch group’s discussion had been much about the church and lessons of the day, until Fr Michael and I had a brief “eyeball QSO” discussing his efforts to resurrect his station after a decade of being off air.
We suddenly realized that the other three at this lunch gathering were staring at us in wide eyed amazement, as we had distanced our language from anything they were going to comfortably follow.
Our brief full tilt “ham chat” was didn’t say anything to the non-ham and excluded them.
A Ham Fest, by definition, is a greater moment of this sort of indulgence – one where we should remember to go the extra mile to make the conversation approachable by the uninitiated – in the hope that they join us in our hobby!
The Dayton Hamvention has taken me a couple years to get “the hang of” even with seasoned long time Dayton Hamvention attendees elmering. The tutorage of attending with George W9EVT has been invaluable.
But what would Dayton be like if I was a walk-in off the street?
What is the quality of the Hamvention experience for a first time attendee who doesn’t know the ropes?
The event guide wouldn’t help much. As most were distributed without a vendor list & booth guide they really fell pretty far short as a planner. Oh, and they are not available in advance to use in planning, though some of the forum & event information is available on the internet ahead of time.
What about that extra mile effort for the non-Ham who hopefully would become a soon-to-be-licensed-Ham as a result of a positive Dayton experience? Glossary? – nah. Maybe some extra literature and a gathering spot for newbies to meet each other and get their first bit of Elmering? – don’t think so.
Or an advanced guide on how to plan your Dayton Hamvention that brings together all the little bits of information floating around (like how various DX Clubs have hospitality events, or the advance registration policy of the various hotels, or a few words on how the Salem Mall shuttle works, or if there was anyway other than driving to get between various events like Four-Days-in-May (the QRP focused event nearby) and the Hara?
How about a simple bit of information on where to go in an emergency? Or what food is available? Where is the first aid stations?
And of course that decryption key to our “Whole Hog Jargon” for the lay person!