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 Post subject: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Fri 19, 2016 5:53 pm 
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Location: Radio Heaven, North Carolina, near Charlotte, 28106-3015
Is anybody in the group at AWA Rochester, anything to report?
How's the turnout? Is the flea market packed out?

Let us know what we missed.

cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Sat 20, 2016 3:18 am 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
I was there yesterday (8/19) for the flea market which is now available to everyone, both members and non-members. Sellers pay a $30 fee for as much space as they need for all 3-days. Seller participation seemed a bit more active compared to the past few years. Buyers can enter for free all days even though there is some confusion about this on their website. Their newsletter is clear about this. But, with very limited advertising to the general public, buyers were somewhat sparse.

I saw lots of early primitive battery sets, 1930's tombstones and cathedrals, parts, and test equipment. There was one seller who had dozens of typical AA-5/6 sets, perfect for beginners, but there either weren't many beginners or the prices were too high. I think both. There was a good display of tube audio and associated stuff but, again, high prices were a deterrent in my opinion. Keep in mind that the flea market is not the main thrust of this convention which concentrates more on discussions, demonstrations, equipment contests, and social events. Being a day tripper, although I am a long-time AWA member, I didn't register to attend these.

I had to buy something so I bought a miniature, 6-transistor Sony TR-620 radio in poor shape for $5.00 which I need like a hole in my head.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Sat 20, 2016 3:28 pm 
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Compared to other radio meets with viable flea markets, I doubt "we" missed very much.

Once upon a time the AWA meet was the Mecca of antique radio.

They are suffering like most of the meets, but the difference is they also shot themselves in he foot.

So sad.


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Sat 20, 2016 3:49 pm 
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Location: Lehigh Valley, Pa
Quote:
but the difference is they also shot themselves in he foot.


Yep... in the foot, in the back, in the head, in the butt.... be careful what you ask for/do, you just might get it!!!! I haven't gone in... well, forever... miss seeing my old cronies, but they're mostly 'no shows'.

Jim

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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Mon 22, 2016 5:11 am 
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
Kutztown is where everyone fled when AWA refused to listen to everyone.

I used to call Ktown the place for "Rochester Refugees". I became one of the Ktown regulars beginning in 2006... its well run by Renningers and a unique show in that car camping is the norm for sellers (not much for hotels nearby). And, its CHEAP. Seller spaces with huge sturdy flea market tables and AC and lighting overhead in the pavilions. Easy load in. Only thing is, if a storm comes up with any wind, it carries rain under the pavilions. LOTS of newbies/general public show up on Saturday too. Lots of east coast audio money there too, buying tubes, amps, whatever.

Rochester finally started changing but it was too late by then, everyone was moved to K-town. They isolated themselves from the "riff-raff" newbies very well. The shows that are adapting to the times and finding new, more accommodating venues and new marketing outreach to newbies are growing. K-town is one, MARC 's Vintage Electronics Expo / Extravaganza is another.

If you are into studying up on radio stuff pre 1930, I suppose Rochester is still the place to be. Now that many of the folks who really know or knew that subject are dying off, the event is too. In about 12 years the last member of AWA will be left... aged 103 or so, and that will be the end of an era.
Mark Oppat


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Mon 22, 2016 1:44 pm 
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Location: Townsend, Ma.
I have never understood why a common belief is "AWA shot themselves in the foot".
I have been attending since 1976 and have never seen any evidence of that beyond wanting it held in a expensive place in a hot time of the year in order to be near the museum. Most venders that I know that have left were overpricing their goods and complaining that they couldn't sell them. Like all meets it had an official starting time and other restrictions which were resented for various reasons but enforced as it still is at CCAWA. The flea market at Rochester has dropped all of these restrictions.
I like Kutztown as much as anyone and always go if I can.but the high end stuff never shows up there for the serious collector as it still does at Rochester..
Kutztown is more fun, noisier and stuff is cheap and the whole weekend can be economical.
I wonder if any of these complainers ever contributed anything to either venue..


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Mon 22, 2016 3:30 pm 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
Merrill Bancroft wrote:
The flea market at Rochester has dropped all of these restrictions.
Yes, but how many people know that? Their website says the first day of flea market buying is only for registered members but that hasn't been true for several years. To AWA's credit, the correct information saying that it is free on all days for all buyers including "walk-ins" was published buried in their quarterly Journal but you have to be a member to receive that. Even some long-time members thought that you still have to become a member and register for the conference before you are allowed to attend the flea market.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Tue 23, 2016 7:12 am 
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
Merrill, you said you've
" never seen any evidence of [AWA shooting themselves in the foot] beyond wanting it held in a expensive place in a hot time of the year in order to be near the museum. "

Well for starters, THAT is a very big reason ! Another was that AWA made it nearly impossible for newbies to attend.... no publicity to the general public, a requirement that you join AWA to attend, event started in the DARK of morning, flea market administration was often confusing, site was not very accessible to newbies or sellers, no porta johns in the flea for years, etc, etc.

Many lists of complaints and suggestions were published here and in other places 15 years ago about Rochester. Do search on line and they will show up. Basically the response from AWA was "the flea is a tiny pimple on our prestigious "CONFERENCE", and we prefer not to put any effort into it".

Let me say I sold and attended Canandiagua / Rochester probably 8 times beginning back around 1986. I attended my first AWA in 1976 when it came one time to Dearborn, MI for the Bi-Centennial so its not like I never went. The last AWA Rochester I attended was around 2004. I had enough of it by then when no one at AWA was listening to sellers and collectors. By 2005 the flea market had crashed and its never recovered since Kutztown was discovered by the former Rochester sellers.

Mark Oppat


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Tue 23, 2016 10:34 am 
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Location: Townsend, Ma.
Well, we go done this path every year. AWA was and still is the place for serious collectors and historians. Kutztown is the place for , flea marketers, loud music and beer in a free for all atmosphere. I like both and go to both and have since both began and will until I die..


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Wed 24, 2016 7:58 pm 
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Location: Crossville, TN USA
Maybe we do go down this path from time to time, however,....... The feeling I got from the last couple of AWA conferences I went to was that the AWA was more concerned with the museum than the organization. The organization as a whole played second fiddle, the merging of the two boards into one was further evidence of that to me. And they were very defensive of that.

There is also a certain feeling among some of the principals that we "know what we are doing," "we don't need any advice or suggestions," and also a touch of superiority. At least that was my interpretation of the way things were. I first went to Canandaigua in the mid-1980s and went every year and continued on into the hey days at Rochester. But I detected a subtle shift in the way things were run. When a number of us tried to make some positive comments and suggestions in the open member's forum we were dismissed, politely, but still dismissed. Perhaps a bit of snootiness? That's when I decided I no longer needed to be a member of this "elite" organization.

I know I am not the only one who felt this way. I talked to several others, and while their comments did not necessarily echo mine, there were some startling similarities. So, a number of us simply found more "user friendly" venues and ceased to attend Rochester and dropped our membership.

To the credit of the AWA they maintain some very high standards in their journal, their contests, and their forums, and their museum is, without doubt, the finest in the world, or at least in this country.

But perhaps their success, maybe in the museum, eventualy led some to dismiss the significance and importance of some other aspects of the organization. Maybe the flea market was an acceptable annoyance, but it clearly was one of the attractions that drew a number of us attend. Roy Wilgemuth (sp) tried his best to resurrect a dying horse, but I suspect it was too late.

Now there are other events where the flea market and auction are big drawing points and that has contributed to the ongoing demise of the Rochester flea market. And we can always blame the Internet, but there are still plenty of us who like to attend conventions and flea markets, and all that goes with it.

AWA will continue to proper with its excellent pulications and its forums, but they have clearly lost one segment of their membership, perhaps by default, hopefully not by design.


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Wed 24, 2016 10:09 pm 
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It is hard to disagree with you.


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Thu 25, 2016 9:43 am 
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
Merrill Bancroft wrote:
Well, we go done this path every year. AWA was and still is the place for serious collectors and historians. Kutztown is the place for , flea marketers, loud music and beer in a free for all atmosphere. I like both and go to both and have since both began and will until I die..


No question AWA is THE source of information for many collectors. BUT, and this is a BIG BUT.... what good will all that be in 10 years? AWA is doing nearly no outreach to newbies and non-collectors. They had the chance in the 90's to do that when the flea market was large but they blew it. Sure, the AWA members like their stuff, and they enjoy the AWA "the way it is" and all. But the AWA needs to LEAD, not follow.

Remember the flea market is the gateway to collecting. A young couple might wander in and be attracted to the colorful Catalins but end up buying a simple wood radio... and a lifetime of collecting begins. I see this a Kutztown. NEVER did at AWA. Just a bunch of over 50 eggheads (me too, now). You gotta show the sexy stuff on line to get them in the door, AND make it EASY to attend, no membership required... $5 entry is common at most shows these days.

One of, if not THE most important function of AWA now should be the outreach and marketing of this hobby to newbies.
And, its all about Vintage Electronics now... not "Antique Radio". "Antiques" are out with Millennials... "Vintage" is the word they use... and, "radio" has no appeal at all... "audio" is an attraction, other vintage items like gaming or early computing gear... its ALL of interest and should be integrated in the AWA umbrella before its too late. We have been beginning that at the MARC shows in Michigan... and, its been very successful. A 30% increase at the winter show near Detroit last January.
I am no expert at on-line marketing. Thats why MARC is reaching out to pros who know it. AWA needs to hire a young marketing firm to do that for them as well.

Lets keep this hobby alive, not let it slide into oblivion as many clubs are doing.

Mark Oppat


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Thu 25, 2016 12:53 pm 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
oldradioparts wrote:
....the flea market is the gateway to collecting.....One of, if not THE most important function of AWA now should be the outreach and marketing of this hobby to newbies.
It's interesting that you used the word "gateway". In fact, the AWA does have an outreach program in the form of a website with articles written with new collectors in mind. It is called the "AWA Gateway". I wonder how many new or prospective collectors know about this?

http://www.antiquewireless.org/awa-gateway.html

There is also a Spring flea market and auction conducted each year near the museum site at Bloomfield, NY. But I wonder how many people who are not members know about this event?

http://www.antiquewireless.org/2016-spring-meet.html

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Sun 28, 2016 5:46 am 
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
Dave Doughty wrote:
oldradioparts wrote:
....the flea market is the gateway to collecting.....One of, if not THE most important function of AWA now should be the outreach and marketing of this hobby to newbies.
It's interesting that you used the word "gateway". In fact, the AWA does have an outreach program in the form of a website with articles written with new collectors in mind. It is called the "AWA Gateway". I wonder how many new or prospective collectors know about this?

http://www.antiquewireless.org/awa-gateway.html

There is also a Spring flea market and auction conducted each year near the museum site at Bloomfield, NY. But I wonder how many people who are not members know about this event?

http://www.antiquewireless.org/2016-spring-meet.html

Dave



my guess is the AWA has done NO promotion to the general public about either.

In my opinion the MAIN FOCUS today of every club should be not to cater to the hard core collectors but to reach out to the possible newbies. This can be done without upsetting the existing members. In fact, existing members will be very pleased when their more common stuff sells in the flea market !
Mark Oppat


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Mon 29, 2016 7:52 pm 
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Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
There is always talk and questions about how to market to new prospects but I for one have no clue as to specific AFFORDABLE & RELIABLE ways to do that. One great problem with the Internet it seems to me is there are a blizzard of forums, sites and blogs, none of which seem to be able to 'reach critical mass' so to speak and deliver the goods (news about any event of consequence). To shotgun them all would take a whole lot of work by savvy people and money.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Tue 30, 2016 2:05 am 
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Merrill Bancroft wrote:
Well, we go done this path every year. AWA was and still is the place for serious collectors and historians. Kutztown is the place for , flea marketers, loud music and beer in a free for all atmosphere. I like both and go to both and have since both began and will until I die..

I'm a life member of AWA but I have never been to the conference. I haven't been to Kutztown either. I haven't been to either, and probably never will, for the same reason: THEY ARE TOO FAR AWAY. Something is needed on the western side of the country; San Diego is a very nice city, Phoenix or Los Angeles would work, Silicon Valley would be a great choice. I have been to the De Anza Electronic Flea Market, http://www.electronicsfleamarket.com/, several times and that is fine, but something better is needed.

Check the locations of the people who have responded to this thread; Tennessee is the farthest west of any of them. That leaves most of the country unserved.

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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Tue 30, 2016 9:26 am 
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
Robert Lozier wrote:
There is always talk and questions about how to market to new prospects but I for one have no clue as to specific AFFORDABLE & RELIABLE ways to do that. One great problem with the Internet it seems to me is there are a blizzard of forums, sites and blogs, none of which seem to be able to 'reach critical mass' so to speak and deliver the goods (news about any event of consequence). To shotgun them all would take a whole lot of work by savvy people and money.

Robert


Robt,

Your main problem is the same as I had 4 yrs ago. I didnt know how much I didnt know.


Step #1 understand that we are mostly all "OLD FARTS" and have no clue. You have to either PAY or CONVINCE a QUALIFIED offspring of a member to do it for the club. Best is to PAY someone, and there are many folks under 25 who can do the branding and promotion work for the clubs. Contact the marketing professor of some area colleges or even high schools. I did, and the young high school marketing student who came out gave Leann and I a 2 hour tutorial, but also taught us mainly how little we know about marketing to folks under 25 ! Armed with that info, we began to do some ourselves and paid others to do some things, also we recruited a club member who markets his "mid-century modern" stereo consoles (YES there is a big market out there for them again, if fully restored !) on Facebook and Twitter and other sites. He knows what he is doing... they sell for $900-$1500 each.... I just had to get him to start doing it for MARC as well.

Step #2 KEEP AT IT. It takes time to build an audience in every market. But, once you begin to have some successes, you keep doing what works and keep exploring new ideas. Its not easy, it takes a lot of time (at least it does for me doing it for MARC) but its worth the results. Last winter we bumped our attendance from 380 in 2015 to 520 in 2016. Our vendors were VERY happy ! Guess what? That builds great word of mouth and this winter I bet EVERY vendor will be back and many more. I expect we will sell out tables at this venue (over 100 ). Just a few years back the club was talking about moving to a SMALLER place due to low turn out. I said, "No, lets fill the place we have". Its working.

#3 On-line marketing is MUCH cheaper than the old newspaper ads or TV or Radio ads. Not that those should be eliminated., its just those resources are not going to hit younger folks.

#4 Create a snappy website, a twitter account and other social media programs to promote your events. Its all about visuals so you need to get great pix of stuff from your previous shows. You need to create a lot of content, too, like a tutorial on repairing record players. Or, link to members Youtube vids showing off their collections or repairs. Ask Youtube authors if you can post info on their pages, too.

#5 it helps to have some P. T. Barnum in your blood. Create events like we did for MARC... the "Radio Rescue" we started 15 years ago is a free service to the general public to bring vintage radios and related items in to the show for our "Roadshow" style evaluation service staffed by MARC members. We've had nice Catalins, AK Breadboards, a LOT of German radios in this area and very common junk come in. Get some local celebrity to do a presentation at your show. We are having a legendary Motown recording engineer speak at our winter show. "the Secrets Behind the Scenes" kind of presentation with audio only he has. Motown collectors are nuts for this kind of thing. How are we going to market that? By making it a Limited seating event ! By giving away a few tickets on local over the air stations and perhaps television... and, of course, social media online.

Tying in to other related hobbies is not a bad thing either. Auto collector clubs, train shows... treasure finder clubs, you can do presentations to these groups. Again, old school but it doesnt hurt.


So, understand that 99% of the population in your area has never heard of your club's events. Or, that there are folks like us who can restore vintage electronics.
THe old days of putting up flyers on bulletin boards is gone. Only old farts read them. Thats OK, and it can be part of your marketing, but its way off the center of what should be your strategy today.

The main deal is much of this just takes time. But, hiring a young pro to steer you or do much of it is a smart move too.
But, you must do something. Do nothing and all this stuff will fade away and be forgotten. And, to me, that would be the worst possible outcome.

Mark Oppat


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Tue 30, 2016 1:44 pm 
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Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
Mark,

GREAT OUTLINE ! Thanks for posting. FWIW I'm going to send this to a few AWA officers.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Wed 31, 2016 3:34 am 
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Location: 19001
I'm a life member of AWA but I have never been to the conference. I haven't been to Kutztown either. I haven't been to either, and probably never will, for the same reason: THEY ARE TOO FAR AWAY. Something is needed on the western side of the country; San Diego is a very nice city, Phoenix or Los Angeles would work, Silicon Valley would be a great choice. I have been to the De Anza Electronic Flea Market, http://www.electronicsfleamarket.com/, several times and that is fine, but something better is needed.
Check the locations of the people who have responded to this thread; Tennessee is the farthest west of any of them. That leaves most of the country unserved.


A California event would certainly be nice for those out West, but you do realize that nearly 70 million people live within a few hours' drive of Kutztown, right? :D
We're talking Boston, NYC, Philly, Baltimore, DC, and all of their sub & exurbs; not to mention folks who drive in from upstate NY, western PA, Ohio, New Jersey, and Canada.

Kutztown seems almost a perfect East Coast location, being away from any serious metro traffic, and with relatively easy access from huge population centers.


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Radio Rochester report?
PostPosted: Aug Wed 31, 2016 4:02 am 
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Location: Crossville, TN USA
I can commiserate with the western folks. I moved from suburban Maryland to Texas and it was quite a shock. Much less to choose from in antique stores and junque shops. Also there were only two clubs in Tx at the time, Dallas and Houston. We subsequently started one in San Antonio-Austin area. Just not a radio rich area compared to the East Coast.

We winter in the Phoenix area and I have seen very few radios as I travel around AZ. Went to one meet early this year, and it was small by comparison to what we see "back east."

So those folks on the west coast don't have as much to choose from, but still there are some great clubs out there in California and the Pacific Northwest.

We in the east are spoiled. I make as many meets as I can and will continue to do so as long as I can. As a flea market rate Rochester is not worth it to me, not when there are so many bigger and more well attended flea markets. Awa does offer a lot of other things at their conference though.


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