The new venue allows for both more commercial space and more fleamarket space. We added new commercial vendors last year, and we’ve added new ones this year, too. We also changed our procedures to not allow commercial vendors to operate from the flea market area. This change was welcomed by almost everyone.
We had some challenges with load-in & load-out procedures. We were trying to keep from blocking the doors to the loading dock and get more people moving in/out at the same time. Not allowing vehicles to the top of the ramp caused some people problems, so we’re “tweaking” our procedures this year. If you need to park at the top of the ramp, we’ll allow one vehicle at a time to the top of the ramp to unload (not “unload & setup”). If you’d prefer to work from the base of the ramp and not wait in line, we’ll handle that, too. This should allow the fastest load-in/load-out we can manage.
There were some challenges with people not getting access to sufficient handicapped parking. We’re working with the Convention Center to allocate the entire 1st floor of the parking garage as handicapped parking. Additional handicapped parking is available on every floor of the parking garage, adjacent to the elevators. We’re going to try to keep up with how many spots are used and how many are available,
The Elephant-in-the-Room for 2015 was the Fun Run on Saturday morning. The conflict with the run route caused many of us to not be able to get to a parking spot, preventing some from attending the event. This happened to customers, vendors, and staff. We were caught by surprise, just like you were. We’ve met with the Convention Center executives, the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau executives, and the Police Department to ensure that those issues don’t happen again.
The Concession Stand in the Main Exhibit Hall stayed busy, as did the Snack Bar on the 2nd Floor. This year we’ll open an additional Concession Stand in the Main Exhibit Hall, as well as add some additional items to the menu. (yes, we were listening.)
In 2015, we were only able to get access to the 3rd floor conference rooms on Saturday, because of the timing of when we executed our contract. Even so, we provided a full schedule of presentations and classes. For 2016, we have the meeting rooms for both Friday and Saturday, allowing us even more opportunities for presentations, meetings, testing, and classes.
We’re hams too, and enjoy a good hamfest just like you do. We think we’ve addressed the problems and opportunities from last year, and we have some more things we want to do for this year. We want to make Ham-Com your favorite event – whether you’re a vendor, a participant, or an attendee. We sincerely appreciate your comments and suggestions on how to make the event better. Thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you in Irving in June!
Bill Nelson, AB5QZ – President
Fred Varian, WD5ERD – Vice President
Jim McClellan, N5MIJ – Director
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The Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas represents the innovative future of meetings and events. With almost 100,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space. Learn More.