Some of us attend the Visalia DX Convention in great measure to socialize with close friends, hams that we work on the air, and potential new friends. Some of us feel that this in-person socialization is an important part of our radio lives.
The planned 2021 Internet convention is missing the in-person socialization, and this smaller social gathering is planned to fill that void.
The social gathering is not organized to compete with the main convention, but to augment it. The event's date was selected to not conflict with the main event.
Social Gathering Details
As announced previously, a Visalia DX and Contesting Social Gathering is planned for March 19, 20, and 21 at the Visalia, California, Wyndham Hotel (refurbished former Holiday Inn).
None of us are interested in contracting the Covid-19 virus, nor are we interested in anyone else contracting it at the event. We are uncertain about what impact the virus will be having ten months from now. We may cancel the event. We may cancel the event very close to the planned date if health concerns warrant it.
We expect to know considerably more about how society is faring as we approach the date. Radio-convention wise, Quartzfest, Orlando, and Yuma will have recently either functioned or been cancelled, and that will impact our planning.
If the event happens, we don't know whether we will try to require masks, enhanced social distancing, diving helmets with oxygen tanks, or what. At present, I don't expect to be shaking hands with anyone.
Rather than have any particular clubs involved, Jim Neiger, N6TJ, and I decided to run the gathering as two individuals. This permits rapid reaction to whatever the future holds. Note that I was the Convention Chairman, when the DX Convention was first moved to Visalia in 1978, and where we had a two-person convention committee. We have the experience to make this event function smoothly.
Our intent is to keep the event as simple as possible. We do not expect to make money. In fact, we hope to not handle any money. The exact procedure for paying for the dinners is presently undefined, but we are working to somehow have attendees pay the hotel directly.
We expect that there will be no raffles, no prizes, no programs, no registration packets, no patches, no reserved seating, and probably no something-elses.
We expect that this event will be smaller than previous Visalias, and smaller than the main Internet event as well.
There will probably be an organized ARRL discussion, maybe some sort of organized contest discussion and/or DX discussion, and maybe a presentation or two on some sort of operation such as an expedition. Major DX-pedition presentations should be left for the main Internet event. The format of the discussions will be in some way dependent on the number of attendees present. These may be round table discussions or larger forums. We have been given use of the hotels meeting rooms. Any agenda will likely be finalized in the week before the event. If you have something you feel would be of interest that you can present or lead, please let us know.
If an ARRL or CQ Magazine QSL-card Checker shows up, there may be QSL checking, something probably not expected over the Internet. A volunteer is presently expected.
The major activity is expected to be talking with each other, in a safe way. We will encourage getting to know people that you do not know well.
We have received inquiries regarding exhibitors. The current plan is to suggest that anyone wanting to exhibit products simply rent one of the first-floor rooms that face hallways or other public areas, like we did 30 or 40 years ago. As we get closer, we will know the expected attendance, and whether the event merits exhibitors.
Some of you have volunteered to help. Let's see what is needed as we proceed.
The Wyndham Hotel
appears to desire our business, and is working hard to make this work. A reduced hotel rate of $95 per night for one or two beds has been negotiated. The rate applies for Friday night, March 19, and Saturday night, March 20. A smaller number of rooms are also available for Thursday night, March 18. Reservations may be cancelled up until one day before the check-in date.
Call (559) 651-5000, Group code: 031 821 CAL. Group name: California DX Club.
Parking is free.
Motorhome parking is free, but if hookup is needed, expect a small cost.
We are endeavoring to run this without cost, but if we end up buying a bunch of cans of soda, we can probably survive eating the expense. Otherwise, there may be a donation jar.
You can now book your rooms with the Group Code and Group Name,
below. Rate should be $95, and they are giving us a day before
cancellation without penalty. Dates are 19, 20 March 2021 and you are
welcome to arrive 18 March, of course, at the same rate.
Group code is 031821CAL
Group Name California DX Club
If you think you will attend, please let Jim know at N6TJ [at] sbcglobal.net. If you have a probability of attending, such as 50%, please add that information.
Make your cancellable reservations directly with the hotel
Show up. Bring adequate funds to pay for whatever you eat and drink.
Talk to your friends, safely.
Keep in mind that the event is 10 months away, and will not happen if conditions are not
safe. We suggest not
buying non-refundable airline tickets.
Dick Norton, N6AA, Co-organizer, with Jim Neiger, N6TJ, Co-organizer