XENIA — In its second year at the Greene County Fairgrounds, Hamvention attendance declined slightly from the previous year, totaling 28,417.
Hamvention’s attendance in 2017 was 29,296.
“We think people were waiting to hear about the upgrades we made and some did not happen until the very last moment. Many were worried about the mud and were waiting. Lodging was tougher this year with other events taking place in the area,” Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, Hamvention general chairman said.
Preparation for Hamvention 2018 was fine tuned, Cramer said, after critique sessions with committee chairs and input from emails, letters and phone calls from attendees and vendors last year.
“From feedback received already this year from guests and vendors, we believe we have been successful and are working hard to prepare for Hamvention 2019. We expect new additions to the show and finer tuning to make sure our guests keep coming back,” he said.
Some of the upgrades for 2018 included frame tents that were more stable in the wind and rain. Asphalt millings were used in the flea market area to create roads and eliminate mud and will be expanded next year. Changes in onsite parking eliminated some of the muddier areas.
Other changes received many positive comments. The increase in the number and variety of foods vendors reduced waiting times. Increased seating and shade were well received. The number of forums increased with the addition of a new forum room. A new product showcase was added to highlight new products for media and guests.
Central State University also opened their dorms for the event, providing a good and inexpensive place to stay with breakfast and dinner provided. There was a shortage of rooms with the grand opening of the Memphis Belle Exhibit at the Air Force Museum, but the Greene County and Dayton Convention Visitors Bureaus kept tabs on rooms and helped direct those that called.
According to Cramer, Greene County, Xenia Township and the City of Xenia were great to work with all year long.
“We appreciate their assistance and plan to keep this location as the new tradition,” he said. “The Greene County Fair Board has been exceptional in making this our new home.”
He thanked the 769 volunteers at this year’s Hamvention and said they were well trained and tried to make all of the guests welcome.
“We thank all who attended this year’s show and hope to see you again next year,” Cramer continued. “We already have plans for making next year even bigger and better.”