On the ARRL’s PR mailing list, someone asked, “I’m thinking of suggesting a Amateur Radio Display at the local farmers market. Does anyone here have any experiences to share on this type of display?”
There were many responses:
- I replied, “Hang a big banner, making it obvious that you’re there demonstrating amateur radio.”
- Jim, KB9LEI, said, “My suggestion would be a battery-operated emergency setup with natural antenna supports–if possible,and use speakers instead of headphones, so those standing around can hear what’s going on.” He also suggested that they have a display of QSL cards.
- Steve Sanders (no call mentioned) said, “I took some articles from QST (Katrina, Boy Scout Convention, etc.) and blew them up to 11″ x 17″ and laminated them. “
- Dawn, KC9LQS, noted, “As a former Farmer’s Market manager, I know that displays are a big draw. You might consider some form of audience participation in addition to your demonstration — perhaps letting guest operators make contacts under your direction.”
Some other suggestions I’d make include:
- Set up a base station, and have one or more rovers reporting on the wares of the various vendors.
- Have a variety of brochures, including the “Hello!,” “We Do That,” “When All Else Fails,” and the “Leap into Ham Radio” brochures.
- Also make up and distribute a brochure that describes your club and its activities.
- Set up a little code practice oscillator, along with a chart of the characters and encourage people to pound out their names.
- Offer to send radiograms. Of course, you have to find someone in your club that still knows how to pass traffic!