[vcf-midatlantic] Ken Thompson video

RETRO Innovations go4retro at go4retro.com
Wed Nov 11 20:01:53 EST 2020

On 11/11/2020 9:35 AM, Ethan O'Toole wrote:
> Oh man you missed it the last two years! The sales area is much 
> larger, and hopping. And still the cool system where you can leave 
> your stuff there and VCF takes care of it.
I'm glad to hear.  That said, such a setup is still non-ideal, since I 
don't have things I can just drop off to sell.  Like Applegate and 
others, my stuff is rather technical to explain and typically requires 
interaction with the buyers.  As well, I also use the products in 
conjunction with other stuff to exhibit something (using my Ethernet 
card on two machines to show IP networking between two C64s or showing 
off a ViC-20 65C816 CPU transplant using one of my PCBs.
> VCF isn't so large that the vendors and exhibitors aren't interested 
> in the talks. You might see a large loss of attendence to the keynotes 
> if the two are open together. If the keynote starts off while 
> everything is closed then things open up but keynotes continue then 
> you will have a huge exodus of people attending the keynote. This will 
> look rude. Keynote being solo event also "forces" some people that 
> might only be there for the sales or some particular subject to get a 
> little education and it might expand their horizons!
I agree I was interested in the talks, but I am also interested in 
maximizing time to interact with potential customers.  Don't get me 
wrong, I'm not saying that as "more time to make money", but I would 
always hear after the VCF-E show (on my 16 hour drive home most times) 
saying "Man Jim, I wish I'd have been able to connect with you at the 
show, I wanted to chat about your X and maybe get one.." I do agree 
opening the exhibits during the prezo is bad, but every other show I 
attend just has the exhibits open from hour 0 and so people make the 
decision about going to the prezo or not.  *AND*, recently, I fire up my 
laptop and tune into the live feeds (for the last few years, all the 
shows have been livestreaming the prezos) at my exhibit, which is 
*ALMOST* like being in two places at once.  As well, given how 
livestreams work, I can quickly back up and rewatch a point if I miss it 
while conversing with someone at the exhibit.
> Open back up later for a mixer / gaming / party kind of thing after 
> dinner? My possie usually does dinner then hits the Silverball Museum 
> in Asbury Park. It's fantastic! I don't know that I personally would 
> want to give that up but interesting point you make! Maybe more of a 
> mixer type thing?
Yep, I agree some folks hit the local arcades after the regular show, 
and some do really retire to their rooms and crash, but some of us like 
to have a "Hacker" fest type engagement at the show location after hours.
> Every event has it's own flavor. I help with a large event that has a 
> computer museum and arcade and stuff (23,00 attendees in 2020, over 
> 1200 volunteers and staff) and with it -- the militarization tends to 
> be department by department. The one where the department head is a 
> lawer seems to be the most regimented. Unfortuantely the people that 
> sit at the top of the event see that and want to duplicate it across 
> other departments, and it might suck the fun out of it and they might 
> shed volunteers. Some point in the middle is best. Well planned means 
> easier execution day-of!!! Keep planning meetings short and sweet, use 
> agenda lists and move through them quickly!!!!
I suppose I should clarify my position.  precision planning is not a bad 
thing, per se.  I jsut felt that the show was less a "choose your own 
adventure" and more a guided tour, where every hours was essentially 
preplanned.  I know there are folks who like that ("look ma, no 
decisions this weekend"), and there are those who are ambivalent 
("whatever"), and then there's maybe just a few like me, who find the 
lack of options stifling, in spite of the fact that the current thing is 
exceedingly interesting.  It's the lack of choice that is so frustrating.
> I cut the rest of your post but you made a lot of great points and 
> pointed out a lot of good things to look at. It is important that each 
> event has it's own feel but there is nothing wrong with drawing 
> inspiration and building upon ideas.

Of course, and my goal was simply to provide some additional data 
points, in case they are of interest. I wouldn't want VCF-E to become 
some limited mirror of another show, but there are some pieces I did 
want to point out (the vendor/exhibitor thing is probably the biggest 
one). I can't possibly wade into the political discussion, though I've 
made friends of Evan, Jeff, Corey, Bill, and some of the others, and it 
always pains me when my friend group isn't getting along.


More information about the vcf-midatlantic mailing list