[vcf-midatlantic] Sussex hamfest and swapmeets

Tony Bogan tony.bogan at vcfed.org
Wed Sep 16 15:27:25 EDT 2020

I’ve enjoyed hearing people’s experiences with various events, it’s been very educational! I’ve learned of several events I either had not heard of or did not know still existed.

And while someone made comments about a swap meet at VCF East, and reasons why VCF East didn’t have a swap meet at it, and who was right or wrong for wanting or not wanting a swap meet at VCF East, and all the reasons why a swap meet at VCF East is baaaaaaad, and growing the organization versus it stagnating and withering and dying etc etc, that SPECIFIC part of the discussion (while amusing) is not relevant to the original email that was sent out announcing the Vintage Computer Federation Swap Meet. 

Why? Because there is not a swap meet happening at VCF East.

There is a specific date (dates actually) for VCF East. There are specific dates for monthly workshops. There is now also a specific date for a swap meet. It’s not at VCF east, it’s not part of VCF East, it’s not associated with VCF East, and it’s not even in the same month as VCF East. It’s a completely separate event. That said, it’s great to discuss swap meets again!! (Just trying to not lose focus on the upcoming event that was announced at the start of this discussion)

Surprisingly, the VCF Swap Meet is geared towards people who want to go to swap meets. It’s not geared towards the general public who have no knowledge of vintage computers or vague remembrances of computers from their past and want to learn more and experience exhibits and classes and lectures. That’s what VCF East is for.

It’s specifically aimed at people who want to go to a vintage computer swap meet, hence the reason it is called the Vintage Computer Federation Swap Meet.

Oddly enough, as evidenced by this thread, there are lots of people who used to go to vintage computer/electronics swap meets as well as swap meets for other hobbies/past times.

Those are most likely the people a vintage computer swap meet would be targeting. In all likelihood (but don’t hold me to it) that’s the reason we announced the event on the Vintage Computer Federation e-mail list.

One of many ways to grow an organization is to increase the number of outreach projects to both the general Public AND the membership and other people in our specific hobby. Every event does not need to be populated by solely new attendees in order to grow the organization. Every event does not need to be aimed at the broadest audience possible. Some things are, by design, meant to be more narrowly focused than a major yearly festival.

Another thing we’ve all seen on this list are people mentioning they’ve infrequently (or never) replied to/emailed this list. Some in this very thread as a matter of fact. As with all groups, some people are more involved, some less.

One of the many ways to grow an organization is to try and engage as many existing members as possible while also growing that membership (attendance at events, interest in the hobby, all those things fall under “membership” in this context) and getting people who are moderately involved to become more involved.

Having a swap meet is but one more way to engage people interested in vintage computers and give them yet another opportunity to meet with others, trade/purchase items with/from each other, and enjoy the hobby so many of us love so dearly.

It also helps raise funds for the organization, yet another type of growth that is needed for VCF to thrive and expand.

So, feel free to attend our outdoor swap meet!

(The VCF swap meet is not protected under any copyright laws whatsoever. Any unauthorized attendance at the VCF swap meet will result in those unauthorized attendees being sacked. VCF East 2020 is not affiliated with this event in any way, shape or form. Any similarities to VCF East are purely coincidental. No animals were harmed in the typing of this email)

Tony Bogan

Sent from my iPhone

> On Sep 16, 2020, at 2:06 PM, Evan Koblentz <evan at snarc.net> wrote:
>> There's just not a lot of enticement for anyone else to go to them unless they are already interested in the topic.
> Yes, exactly.
> My job was to GROW the hobby and advocate to teach the public about computer history. Having a swap meet at the festivals would have done the opposite. Maybe you'd get a few more hardcore nerds attending, but at the expense of vastly more regular people. Consignment was the best compromise, and it was largely run by people like Kelly who knew how to organize it, and Corey who knew how to handle the $$$. I also added the Friday workshops (Ragooman's idea, R.I.P.) to keep the hardcore audience happy and raise more $$$. It worked pretty well, everyone would agree.
> Anyone who STILL thinks I should've turned East into a swap meet is stuck in the 20th century and doesn't get the big picture of what we were trying to accomplish.

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