XENIA — Greene County’s hotels and restaurants weren’t the only ones seeing, uh, green as a result of Hamvention.
More than 1,000 exhibitors filled the fairgrounds barns, hawking everything from knobs and switches to antenna and top of the line radios.
And they cashed in. And cashed in. And cashed in.
“It’s always a great show for us,” said Denise Bauman of Atlanta-based Diamond Antenna. “It’s great for sales. Our dealers do well here. It’s easily a five-figure show for us. This is the biggest show by far.”
Tom Stone of antenna specialist Hy-Gain — part of the Mississippi-based MFJ conglomerate — attends most major amateur radio shows east of the Rockies that he can drive to and he had high praise for Dayton Hamvention.
“This is probably the single largest weekend sales we do year-round,” Stone said. “That’s saying something.”
He estimated sales in the “many tens of thousands.”
“(Hamvention) probably affects business all year-round,” he added.
While not essential to his overall operational status, Stone compared Hamvention to the Detroit Auto Show.
“You don’t have to have it, but it helps,” he said. “It’s a definite boost.”
For others, Hamvention sales make or break the bottom line.
“It’s a big part of it,” said Sonia Kelly of Kelly Laser Works, based in Mississippi. “We’re a little mom and pop business. We only market to ham radio.”
Kelly attends most of the larger shows, including Orlando, Huntsville, Ala., and California.
“We certainly do a lot more business here,”she said. “More than double what we do (elsewhere).”
Kelly estimated sales at around $7,000.
“There’s been a big response this year,” she said. “We will sleep good tonight.”
Most exhibitors probably did as well.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.