Radio enthusiasts were able to fully enjoy the Ham Radio despite the coronavirus pandemic: The international amateur radio exhibition was held as a purely virtual event on the original show dates of Friday, June 25, through Sunday, June 27, 2021. In cooperation with the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC), the trade fair team from Lake Constance offered radio amateurs from all over the world an outstanding venue for a digital meet-up. “It was important to us to offer the industry an opportunity for getting together and networking again this year, despite the fact that the Ham Radio was not held live in Friedrichshafen,” says Messe Friedrichshafen Managing Director Klaus Wellmann, summing up.
Some 24 companies commercially exhibiting their products and services, 28 associations, up to 600 parallel connections, about 70 lectures, many discussions, and the exchange of expert knowledge on the virtual platform allowed Project Manager Petra Rathgeber to give the fair a great assessment overall: “The event was extremely well received, and we are quite pleased with the feedback we were given by the participating companies. However, it was also clear to us that a digital event cannot completely replace a trade fair held in person. We are therefore also very much looking forward to the 45th Ham Radio in Friedrichshafen next year.” The most popular presentations included “Fairy Tales and Facts from the Antenna Forest,” “Using NanoVNA Correctly,” and “Lightweight Yagis.”
DARC Chairman Christian Entsfellner had the following to say: “Ham Radio World was a fantastic success for DARC. The Board of Directors received a lot of positive feedback from members, who frequently expressed their unbridled enthusiasm. By recreating the fairgrounds in the virtual world on a one-to-one basis, we were able to bring the feeling of visiting the fair straight into the living rooms of our visitors at home – which turned out to be a very special experience for all radio enthusiasts in attendance.”
The expectations of the exhibiting companies were also met, as confirmed by Siglent’s Sales & Marketing Director Thomas Rottach: “We loved the idea of setting up the Ham Radio as a 2D playground, along with the ease of being able to jump right into a video conference. The traffic at our booth was also good. However, as a manufacturer of measurement technology, we thrive on customers at trade fairs being able to touch the devices and convince themselves of their function and functionality. That of course is something that becomes very difficult in the virtual realm.” Harald Schönwitz, Chairman of Germany’s Workgroup on Amateur Radio and Telecommunications in Schools (AATiS), summed up his experience by saying: “Ham Radio World was an opportunity for us to refresh contacts from previous years and to make new ones. While this virtual trade show was not really comparable to a face-to-face event, it helped bridge the gap left by the past two years. Some of the lectures in our teacher training program were as well attended as lectures held in the past. To put it in a nutshell, it was a highly successful event. I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all the organizers and programmers.” Petra Walter, Bonito Sales, adds: “We had so many great conversations at the booth. It’s a shame that more companies didn’t take advantage of this great event.”