VCF Midwest update?

Julian Wolfe fireflyst at
Wed Aug 3 13:21:09 CDT 2005

Okay, I guess I have some patching up to do here, just to clarify how I feel
after hearing Pat's explanation:

1. There was some miscommunication due to a bunch of factors, and after
hearing everything, I really do think Pat did a good job considering the
circumstances.  I have actually changed my mind about that.

2.  I will now for sure be exhibiting next year as long as I get enough
ahead notice.  Two months is not really enough.  I know several people who
actually were going to go but had already made plans for that date prior to
the show.  The more notice I have, the more I can do for preparation.
Again, I under stand this was a first time experience, so I'm stating this
more as a 'tip' than anything else.

3.  I did have a good time at the show.  I met a lot of people and had a lot
of great conversation.  I know I downplayed this a bit before and I
apologize for that.  Thanks for creating a friendly atmosphere, Pat.

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk-bounces at [mailto:cctalk-bounces at]
On Behalf Of Hans Franke
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 9:17 AM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: RE: VCF Midwest update?

Am 2 Aug 2005 16:36 meinte Julian Wolfe:

> I actually have a few problems with how the show was run, speaking mainly
> an exhibitor, I think it was run quite backwards.  To charge to exhibit,
> then not charge for admission, is a slap in the face to the individuals
> hauled their stuff out to show.  This wouldn't be so bad, except that the
> promised T-shirts were never delivered, and without notice to anyone.  It
> may only be ten dollars, but it's a matter of principal.  Way to show
> appreciation for your exhibitors by ripping us off.

Having read that, and seen other posts, I think I have to
add my comments on VCF MW (not that I would have hold them
back anyway).

To begin with, I have to recognice that it was the first
show Pat ever did, and remembering my first VCF in Munich,
or other firsts, he did a quite good job.

Beeing without prior experience, Pat tried to implement the
guidelines layed out in Sallams VCF Handbook as straight
forward as possible. The processes pointed out therin are a
result of several years of experience, but as all written
rules, they need to be adjusted to the reality each time 
gain (did somebody shout kai-zen?). So one of the things
that happened to be reality at Purdue was the seperation
of speeches and exhibiton in two rooms on different floors.
People went in to the speech without having shown up at
registration before. Also with all the in and out, and a
rather unlucky placement of the registration (forced due
the floorplan) it was hard to enforce payment. So the switch
to a voluntary payment was just fair.

I think I was even part of the reason to this decision, since
I pointed out to him that several people attended the speeches
before paying the entrance fee. 

For the next VCF MW, I suggest to implement three measures:

a) Using two rooms with a common entrance and connected
   to each other
b) Handing out tickets (or stickers) to the visitors which
   they have to show for reentrance.
c) Strict entrance controll (Real checks, not  TSA style)

Especialy a (and c) was also something I had to learn the
hard way for VCFe - people try alwas to sneak in, and
if you don't watch all entrences (or reduce them to one),
they do so even without knowing that they should have payed.
> I may attend next year, but I certainly won't exhibit - you know the old
> saying...screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me.

Julian, I would realy like to see you as an exhibitor again.
We need to give Pat the same privilege to have a second try.
We all should strive to a professional format, but don't forget
that this is still 100% hobby driven (and in my opinion will
stay that way). VCF at large being the #1 venture in classic
computer shows doesn't change that fact.

To be honest, I was also a bit surprised about the USD 10
when Pat asked me to pay - I guess he remembers my face -
but I figured that it needs every buck possibele to get
VCF over the hill, espechialy since attendance was hard
to guess before the show happened.

Now, coming to fees for exhibitors and comparsions to
other shows, we should make a few definitions aghead:

An *exhibitor* is a person at the VCF who shows of his or
her computer(s) just for the sake of it. No upfront comercial
interest here (*1)

A *vendor* is someone who vants to sell or trade things at
VCF. No matter if he's a pro, semi-pro, or just getting rid
of surplus stuff. On trade shows such persons may be called
exhibitors, but since VCF is a combination, we have a need
to distinguish here.

A *speaker* is someone hwo gives a lecture at VCF.

A *visitor* is a person who attends VCF to experience the
'services' of the other three cathegories.

I think it's out of question that usualy the vendors and
visitors are supposed to pay an according fee. Now, for
speakers and exhibitors, there may be different rules. It
has also always been a difference between VCF California
and VCF Europa. While the VCF handbook suggests a exhibitor
fee, VCFe just asks exhibitors on a personal base (so for
each person) for a voluntary buy of the 'Exhibitoners Pack' 
(ar about USD 30 each (*2)). I get a pretty good turnout
there, since people realy want to support the show.

For a future VCF MW, this might be the way to go. Especialy
as long as an entrance fee for visitors can not be enforced.

Some of the confusion might also be attributed to communication.
That is another lesson to learn when you do a show like VCF.
95% of your job as producer at VCF is to produce in front of
all people, you are have to act as a carnical barker :) If
the change in the entrance police would have been made public
right away, and eventualy extended to the exhibitor fee (not
vendor), I doubt that any of the vendors would have gone back
to request a refund.

Speaking of a money making scheme, Pat, I want my money back!
Preferably in 2 nice installments of a cold beer at the next


Oh, and Pat, all the above is ment as constructive kritics,
and not in any way to put you and your helpers down. I was
realy surprised how well VCF MW went.

*1 - In fact, my exhibiton was a new interface card for the
     Apple II (<Plug>It's a nice full size prototype card,
     including support logic and a full Megabyte of flash,
     just send me a mail if you're interested, a website
     will be up soon</Plug>) I did not bring any additional
     to VCF MW, since I wanted to go in there just to show
     my tinkering with the Apple II.

*2 - Well, 30 USD seams a lot, but people get 4 meals (2x Lunch,
     1x Breakfast, 1 huge Dinner Buffert) and some snacks
     included. It'S my belive, that there's nothing worse than
     people attending the show getting grumpy over not enough
     food *G*

VCF Europa 7.0 am 29/30.April und 01.Mai 2006 in Muenchen

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