During the weekend of August 8-9 2020 the Virtual Ham Expo event was attended by over 20,000. Open to anyone who wants to sign up, the Virtual Ham Expo will be running until September 9th, 2020. While the live chat at the vendor booths has ended, the links to vendor videos and documents remain available.
Eric Guth of QSO Today Podcast fame is the event’s MC.Virtual Ham Expo offered more than I anticipated from an online event. To my knowledge, this event was a first of it’s kind in the Ham Radio world.
Attendance is free and only requires typical sign up information. The virtual lobby reminded me of events I attended years ago at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.
Computer, auto and boat shows were all the rage back in those days. I remember watching a demo of Windows 95 at the Microsoft booth fail to the old BSOD or blue screen of death. Something that Windows 10 still does today on rare occasions.
After entering the lobby, I was presented with Eric’s navigation video. The banner at the top of the expo lobby includes links for the vision impaired, lobby, auditorium, speaker agenda, vendor exhibit hall, Q&A sessions, prize leader board, swag bag, how to, help desk and keyword search.
Wanting to look for new gear first, I went to the exhibit hall first. Among the 35 or so booth, about 18 were actually companies selling equipment. Most of the vendor booths have links to documents which you may place into your virtual swag bag. Videos of their product offerings were also available at some booths. I collected a number of documents from vendors like ICOM, QRP Labs and Rig Expert.
Guest speakers presented a full list of subjects under four virtual tracks. Portable operating tips, bonding and grounding, the slot antenna, new Rig Expert Stick 230, mountain goats and shack sloths and the salt water amplifier were among my favorites.
This year’s event was a huge success with somewhere around 20,000 virtual attendees. With the feedback and experience obtained this year, I am sure Virtual Ham Expo 2021 will be greater.
Under these uncertain times and cancellation of Ham Radio events everywhere, the need for a Virtual Ham Radio Expo was a no-brainer.
I am looking forward to Virtual Ham Expo 2021. After taking the event survey the 20201 dates were revealed.
Mark your calendar for The 2021 Virtual Ham Expo on March 13th and 14th.