New Hamfest for a Club

Discussion in 'Hamfest Management' started by wedgar, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    A club looking for some fundraising ideas for their club has suggested checking out doing a hamfest.

    What are some things the club should consider when doing the investigating?
  2. kb0isq

    kb0isq New Member

    What did you like or dislike at the last several hamfests you attended?
    Hamfest or just a swap meet?
    ARRL sanctioned? See their website for plenty of information.
    DATE - don't have it to close to another nearby hamfests date.
    Location - plenty of parking and room for twice the number of visitors as you expect. Indoors or outdoors or both?
    Availability of tables & chairs - do you have to rent them?
    How close are commercial vendors who would be interested in coming?
    Don't forget nearby hams who may make & sell things as a sideline.
    ADVERTISE - Email, newsletters, fliers, postcards, ARRL, QST, QRZ, local newspapers.
    Raffles - check local laws!
    Invitation letters to as many commercial vendors as you can think of and requst door prize donations.
    Coffee & donuts or more?
  3. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Good list. Don't forget sales tax laws. :)
  4. Jerrysez

    Jerrysez Member

    I have talked about starting a hamfest, and I do have some help and encouragement.
    The first couple of years, you have to keep it simple.
    Don't expect to make a profit - breaking even is good.

    Have it as close to the interstate as possible.
    One possibility in Central - Western Pennsylvania is of course the Dubois Jefferson County airport.
    The airport has a large parking lot - paved.
    It has a limited amount of bathrooms and a small restaurant - which could be mutually beneficial to both the airport and the hamfest - not to sell food at the hamfest and to encourage the patrons to visit the airport.

    Admittance could be by donation - lord knows you can't shut down the airport for a day.

    Biggest fee's would be septic and garbage - this would probably run in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred dollars.
    The sad part is that it won't ever happen - because the clubs in this area are too small to do it alone, and everyone likes to go to a hamfest but no one likes to work. It would take a lot of sacrifice to make it happen...

    I could see a hamfest like this in the neighborhood of about the second week in May being a big hit.
    April is too wet and the first half of April you can still have snow.
    June is nice - but school is out and people goes on vacations, conflicts with Field Days and other activities.
    July - too darn hot
    August - again - very hot
    September - kids goes back to school - high school football - lot's of activities.
    October - nice weather the first two Saturdays - but it might be hard finding things for sale so late in the year.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2014
  5. Gilbert Skip Kauffman

    Gilbert Skip Kauffman Moderator Staff Member Bronze Member

    W3OK the Delaware Lehigh Ham ARC had many successful hamfest... The key is starting at least 3 to 4 years looking for a place to hold the venue. It should have ingress and egress to main roads. Large enough indoors for commercial vendors and outdoor space for parking as well as tailgaters. It should be affordable. Once you have a location nailed down then you must advertise, advertise and then advertise... Vendors have their dates and hamfest scheduled years ahead of time in a circuit. Start a mailing campaign via Email and snail mail.. The next hurtle is security, police or local part-timers... Then cost of the security.. Commercial vendors will stay overnight and will need a secure place for their goods. Now if you are this far, how many folks are needed as parking, money collectors, cooks, cleanup crew, etc. Will your club hold VE sessions ? You have now mapped out the location, security, advertisement, insurance and rentals. Take time and figure out how many vendors and tailgaters will it take to break even. Will the location support that number? Now are you frustrated yet??? Maybe, you should start a small tailgating venue for locals. If it works then think about increasing the size, but keep your eye on the cost vs income from the hamfest. I am not trying to discourage your intentions... You have the internet, large volume dealers and free shipping..that may work against you along with the weather. de Skip

Share This Page