Ham Radio 2024 sets strong accents as an expert platform

47th International Amateur Radio Exhibition concludes on Sunday after attracting 11,300 visitors – New Class N entry-level license has a successful debut at the fair
June 30, 2024

A shared passion for amateur radio brings people together: More than 11,300 attendees from 58 different countries gathered from June 28 to 30 to engage in radio communication, acquire technical gear, and attend informative talks. In addition to the trade fair slogan of “60 years of Islands On The Air (IOTA): Where technology meets adventure!” the joint exchange and lecture program at the fair highlighted the new amateur radio regulations and the launch of the N license. “Once again, Ham Radio has demonstrated its value as an indispensable and expert platform for the international industry. We provided a diverse exhibition and supporting program in collaboration with our collaborative partner, the German Amateur-Radio-Club (Deutscher-Amateur-Radio-Club, DARC), catering to radio amateurs of all levels of experience and technology enthusiasts, both young and old,” say Managing Director of Messe Friedrichshafen Klaus Wellmann and Project Manager Petra Rathgeber, expressing their delight.

For three days, more than 380 participants showcased the wide-ranging world of radio, with 150 commercial exhibitors and international associations as well as 230 flea market exhibitors. The joy of reuniting again with fellow hobbyists was clearly evident throughout the four exhibition halls and the Foyer West. Many radio enthusiasts chose to camp overnight in their motorhomes at the exhibition site, where more than 560 vehicles were parked on all days of the fair. Some 77 young technology enthusiasts delved into the realms of science and radio at Ham Camp. Discovering, tinkering, and crafting: The young participants engaged in a technical scavenger hunt, decoding Morse code, solving quiz questions, practicing soldering, and taking part in various other activities.

More than 110 lectures, exams, and workshops were attended by a diverse group of attendees, including IOTA enthusiasts, diploma program participants, educators, and tech fans. They found great value in the information and knowledge shared, as well as practical travel tips, with some even obtaining radio licenses during the event. Over 93 teachers participated in the training sessions during the fair on Friday, which emphasized knowledge transfer and methodologies in science instruction. The new amateur radio regulations and Class N entry-level license aim to increase interest and participation in amateur radio by attracting more people to the hobby. The new class provides a low-threshold introduction to the technical hobby for all interested parties. At this year’s Ham Radio event, the exams with the new catalog of questions were held for the first time anywhere in Germany. “Many people took the amateur radio exams, and the new N license was met with great interest,” reports Lutz Heuschke from the Amateur Radio Department of Germany’s Federal Network Agency.

The collaborative partner also provided a favorable evaluation of how Ham Radio 2024 was going. “As the inaugural Chair of the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC), I always have a packed schedule, so the time at the fair always flies by. But all in all, the Ham Radio event was once again enjoyable, with a fantastic atmosphere in the exhibition halls,” says a delighted Christian Entsfellner, Chair of DARC. “As Federal Minister Dr. Volker Wissing emphasized in his video message during the opening of this year’s Ham Radio, amateur radio fosters and nurtures cross-border friendships. The international gatherings held at the fair, particularly with the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), sparked numerous fruitful discussions. We were able to successfully coordinate various international matters, including the utilization of frequencies and operating modes, benefiting all parties involved,” said the Chairman with a sense of satisfaction. The trade fair’s slogan, special area, and themed supporting program were also very well received by attendees this year. “Our slogan for next year will focus on the 75th anniversary of DARC, reflecting on everything that has happened in our association’s history and looking ahead to future developments,” explains Christian Entsfellner.

Erik Swartz, Managing Director of Elecraft, emphasizes the significance for the industry of networking and collaboration within the Ham Radio community: “Since we operate solely online and ship to customers worldwide, participating in trade fairs is crucial for us. It provides customers with the opportunity to interact with our products and engage in direct conversations with us. I believe our success would be significantly diminished without trade shows such as Ham Radio.” He found the younger and highly engaged audience especially impressive: “Even though I thought that visitor numbers were the same as last year, we were actually much busier at our stand this year.” Thorsten Chmielus, Chief Executive Officer of Aaronia AG, also appreciates the trade fair crowd: “Participating in the Ham Radio exhibition is fun as it allows you to connect with a unique community.” Managing Director Frank Dathe of Funktechnik Dathe has considered the amateur radio trade fair in the south to be a must-attend event for the past seven years: “Our customer base has grown enormously, and this trade fair radiates throughout Germany. We will be happy to come again.”

The next Ham Radio will be held again in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from Friday, June 27, to Sunday, June 29, 2025.