Welcome to the first QSO Today Virtual Ham Radio Expo blogpost.
I was inspired to create this project after I heard about the closure of the Dayton Hamvention. Clubs and organizations, by their nature cannot move as fast as a single individual to put together and share a large event. I am writing this on the eve of Contest University going virtual and glad to see that the ham community has adapted very quickly to the social distancing requirements that has us mastering Zoom.
My team and I spent a considerable period of time to launch this event, originally scheduled for June, because we wanted to use a professional virtual convention platform that will make a great user experience, very similar to a real convention. We put up the money and signed the contract just this week.
We will have 5 speaker auditoriums, a large exhibit hall that is completely interactive, and sponsor and special interest lounges for interacting with other ham radio participants. While the speaker webinars will be "semi-live", meaning pre-recorded to insure no technical problems during the live hours, the speaker will be present for taking Q&A with all of the features including screen sharing.
The exhibit booths too, have a range of features including video demonstrations, full audio, and text chat to allow every attendee to see and ask questions around all of the products that interest them. The whole convention will be open for 30 days after the live days to allow every participant to come back, see all of the speakers, and visit as many exhibitors that they desire. Interaction may not be live, but exhibitors will be messages to reply to questions.
I look forward to seeing everyone in August!
73, Eric, 4Z1UG