This isn’t a ‘Hamfest Review’ since I am writing this post 1 day before the Hamfest supposedly begins. This is more of a ‘Here’s the reason why I’m not going to the Texas City Hamfest this weekend’
From ARRL’s website, you can find Hamfests listed by State, and for the past few months, the Texas City Hamfest has been listed with a date, URL, contact info by email, etc. I really wanted to go to this Hamfest because I like the Galveston area, and this is a Hamfest I’ve not attended before. However, since it is next to impossible to get ahold of these guys, I won’t be attending this year.
When I first contacted these folks back on May 5 of this year, I got a reply from a club member, asking me to contact another club member for details on the Hamfest. I was provided with the gentleman’s name, callsign and email address. I sent him an email that same day.
No response was ever received. I tried the same contact again on May 20, but also no reply.
Once June arrived, I had somewhat put this Hamfest out of my mind because I figured that if people were contacting them about vendor tables, tickets, etc – and they weren’t responding, then the event probably wasn’t going to be that big. Also around the first part of June I found that the Tarrant RACES folks were offering a RACES New Member/Renewal Class on this same date. I’ve been waiting to complete my RACES information, so decided to forget the Hamfest once-and-for-all and attend the RACES class.
Somewhere between the first of June and today, when I finally looked at the Tidelands ARC homepage again, they put up a Hamfest sign-up form on the frontpage of their website. This form wasn’t on the website back in May when I was trying to contact them. Perhaps if vendors/guests fill this form out, then it will get some attention, but I can’t say. I’m not planning to go to this event for the reasons stated above.
I hope the Hamfest turns out with a good crowd, because I want more and more Hamfests to have good showings, overall. It boosts interest and participation in our hobby. However, if you are going to host a Hamfest, and announce it on the ARRL page, you really should have better contact information and follow up from your website. I can’t imagine many people will be attending this event because anyone who contacted them in advance was likely ignored, as I was. But I still wish them well in their efforts.