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ARRL EXPO and Hamvention® 2022 a Great Success

05/26/2022

By all accounts, the 2022 Dayton Hamvention®, which also served as the 70th reunion, was a great success. Thousands of ham radio operators, their families and friends, and other enthusiasts passed through the gate during its 3-day run, May 20 - 22, at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Local reports estimate the event brings over $30 million dollars to the economy of the Dayton metropolitan region. Official numbers and estimates will be available later.

ARRL’s large exhibit area, ARRL EXPO, included a steady flow of visitors who were treated to a variety of exhibits representing popular membership programs and services. More than a dozen booths were led by a team of 80+ program representatives and volunteers that included members of the ARRL staff, Board of Directors, and Field Organization.

Using the theme "Be Radio Active," ARRL also organized many Hamvention forums to encourage attendees to become more active and involved with amateur radio.

An ARRL Youth Outreach forum on Friday highlighted resources and ideas for attracting and developing young hams. ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, led the crowd of attendees through a highly interactive session discussing strategies, tools, and reasons for engaging youth. Centered around the theme of ‘How and Why to Engage Youth in Amateur Radio,” forum attendees participated in discussion groups and shared their findings throughout the forum. The entire presentation was recorded by Josh Nass, KI6NAZ, and can be viewed on his YouTube channel, Ham Radio Crash Course, at https://youtu.be/QZco6tElKBc.

Goodgame’s participation also included exhibits for ARRL Education and Learning programs and the Teachers Institute. “Both booths were very busy during the entire convention,” he said. “We made a concerted effort to draw-in not only ham radio instructors and others interested in our educational programs, but youth themselves.” Young hams and prospective hams were surveyed by volunteer Cyndi Goodgame, K5CYN, about their experiences and interests with amateur radio, for the purpose of gaining insightful data to help drive future ARRL programming and outreach. “Attendees who were not licensed, or were seeking upgrades, were shown tools and techniques to help them prepare for their ham radio license exam,” said Goodgame. “Some even returned to the booth after passing their exams!”

ARRL Teachers Institute Instructors Larry Kendall, K6NDL, and Wayne Greene, KB4DSF, demonstrated some activities that teachers who attend the professional development program are taught and take back to their classrooms. Adults and youth were given information on the program to take back to their schools, with the goal of continuing to grow the Teachers Institute. An October 2022 session of the Teachers Institute is planned.

ARRL Radiosport and Regulatory Information Manager, Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, described the busy Radiosport booth where attendees could have their QSL cards checked by volunteers for popular ARRL Award programs including DXCC. Nearly a thousand cards were checked. He also transported nearly 60 pounds of cards back to ARRL Headquarters, destined for the Outgoing QSL Bureau.


Jahnke also kicked off the ARRL Field Day forum on Friday, which included advice for anyone planning to take part in the popular annual event. 2022 Field Day is June 25 – 26, 2022. Joined by his co-presenters, Jahnke focused on the new Field Day rules. ARRL Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV, offered operating tips, including how to make your Field Day site safe by addressing generator safety, cord management, area lighting, and lightning protection. ARRL Public Relations Committee member Scott Roberts, KK4ECR, covered ways to promote ARRL Field Day to maximize attention from the community and local media.


At the nearby ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) booth, VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, said traffic was brisk. Visitors conveyed positive feedback and comments about the program and the new Youth Licensing Grant Program. “We fielded hundreds of questions about our programs, the FCC application fees and rules, and license application filings,” said Somma. Over 90 prospective VE packages were given out. The team also accepted applications for license renewals and changes, and re-enlisted VEs with expired accreditations. “Attendees appreciated our support and booth presence for licensing questions,” she added.

The VEC booth shared its space with the ARRL Volunteer Monitor (VM) Program. A highlight for visitors was the participation of ARRL VM Program Consultant Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, and FCC District 3 Enforcement Bureau Director, Lark Hadley, KA4A. Jahnke, Hollingsworth, and Hadley presented a VM forum on Saturday, summarizing the positive impact of the Program over the past couple years, its cooperative and productive partnership with FCC on enforcement issues, and with an emphasis on encouraging good operating practices.


ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, coordinated and operated the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) booth. His team included Section Emergency Coordinators, Public Information Coordinators, and Vice Directors. “It was great to interact with hams from around the country at the booth and gather input from them,” said Johnston. He also led the ARES forum on Friday, where Johnston shared opportunities for radio amateurs to train and volunteer to serve their communities. He also covered the importance of building relations with local Emergency Management agencies, and building a strong team. He included panelists from around the country who discussed their experiences and successes from within their local ARES community as well as ways to encourage new involvement at the local level. Johnston also toured an EmComm vehicle exposition hosted by Hamvention. “The time, money and care that EmComm groups and individuals have committed to these vehicles is remarkable and truly a valuable asset to their communities in preparing for any emergency,” he said.


A large membership and sales area invited attendees to join ARRL and to renew their membership. Team members were on-hand to answer questions about accessing membership benefits and services. A variety of ARRL publications and products were stocked to peruse and purchase. Favorites included an end-fed half-wave antenna kit, ARRL License Manuals, and 2022 ARRL Field Day gear.

Several ARRL Authors and Editors were hosted, engaging attendees with their contributions to ARRL magazines, books, and online content. Included were QST Columnist Dave Casler, KE0OG, QST Product Review Editor Pascal Villeneuve, VA2PV, and ARRL News Editor John E. Ross, KD8IDJ. National Contest Journal (NCJ) Editor Lee Finkel, KY7M, added to the celebration of the journal’s 50 years of publication. Author Glen Popiel, KW5GP, discussed and signed copies of his newest ARRL book, More Arduino for Ham Radio.

Other ARRL exhibits in the EXPO included ARRL Affiliated Club Benefits and resources for radio clubs, the Collegiate Amateur Radio Program, handheld radio testing by the ARRL Lab, and the ARRL Great Lakes Division (Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio). Attendees could also meet-and-greet ARRL Officers.


An ARRL Membership Forum was held on Saturday afternoon and moderated by Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK. The forum included presentations on behalf of the ARRL Historical Committee presented by Midwest Vice Director David Propper, K2DP, and the Legislative Advocacy Committee, presented by West Gulf Division Director John Robert Stratton, N5AUS. The forum concluded with remarks from ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, and ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA.

Addressing the membership forum, President Roderick recognized the important contribution of nearly 7,000 ARRL Field Organization volunteers across the country who contribute to strengthening ARRL and amateur radio, and serve their communities. Roderick also urged members to help grow our next generation of radio amateurs by recruiting and developing young hams.

A video of the forum is available on ARRL’s YouTube channel.

Read the full story on the ARRL website, and see more photos on the ARRL Facebook page.



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