Well, if it wasn't all about vintage, then it wouldn't be the right event for
our group. We're certainly not the right group to be hosting a general-purpose
Let me share some more background about how VCF events work (I apologize if
you've already been to one)... VCF began in 97 with the main show every fall,
at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California... since then they
started VCF Europa every May in Germany as well. VCF East 1.0 took place in
2001, in the Boston area, and VCF East 2.0 didn't happen until 2004, also in
the Boston area -- LOL and that was mainly because I and a few other local
people (I lived in Boston at the time) did most of the legwork.
Sellam Ismail, who runs VCF, puts the vast majority of his effort into the main
VCF event. It's more of a fluke when he has the time to produce one of the
smaller, regional events. Every year, his time constraints get more intense,
and that shows signs of continuing. (The guy has three jobs!) That is why, a
few years ago, he gave control of VCF Europe to a trusted party in Germany
(Hans Franke; some of you might know Hans from the classiccmp.org mailing
I and others people, for a while now (long before MARCH existed), have been
trying to convince Sellam that the way to best have regional events is to
continue to entrust select people in each region. He'd continue to "own" the
main VCF and set the bar for the regional franchises.
Now he's coming around to that idea. This summer, there will probably be VCF
Midwest 1.0, at Purdue University (Indiana). There are some people in Texas
working on VCF South plans. VCF Canada is also a possibility. And, for the
east, he's agreed to entrust MARCH (me specifically) with the VCF brand.
By the way, none of the stuff I just wrote is public yet, so please keep it
Anyway, VCF East 2.0 last year was a moderate success. Sun Microsystems hosted
th event at their Boston-area campus. The show was advertised among local
computer clubs, press releases were distributed to the local media, it was
Slashdotted, posting were made to the appropriate newsgroups, we informed
regional related clubs (vintage radio, museums, colleges, etc.) ... several
hundred people showed up.
The way the actual shows work has two parts. They take place on either a
Fri./Sat. or Sat./Sun., with four or five lectures held each morning, and the
exhibits being open each afternoon. For the regional shows, it doesn't require
too much space; about 1,000-1,200 sq. ft. is fine, with another smaller room
for the lectures. Basically any decent sized ballroom or gym would suffice for
the exhibits part. I feel it's better to have a jam-packed smaller venue than
a morgue-like larger one. I've been involved in planning enough events,
including some massive shows for work, to speak from experience about this.
With the proper effort put into marketing, we can expect VCF East 3.0 to
attract 20-30 exhibitors, and maybe 500 attendees over the weekend. Ideally,
we find someone to donate use of venue space, and we charge about $20 per
exhibitor. Unlike at TCF, we DO allow selling to transpire -- or at least we
don't disallow it -- to avoid attracting local government attention, permits,
and all the stuff. Hopefully we find someone to donate things like tables,
signs, etc.; even better if we can get corporate sponsorship for these things.
After the Trenton event, we can work on helping the Infoage group -- my thought
process is that the nicer and more helpful we are to them, the more willing
they will be to return the favor. Oh, here's another idea: since they want us
to get involved with their museum efforts, maybe we can have VCF East 3.0
double as the grand opening (or at least a "public beta") for the museum! I
think that would be quite awesome.
Of course, when it comes to our own event, we need to count on more than seven
of our members to exhibit and get involved! :-)
--- Chris McKinley <chrism3667@...
> I never understood why it takes so long to arrange
> such an event...but Ive never done it. It wont be
> anywhere near as big as TCF mind you. Truth is, how
> many attendees would it draw if it was only vintage?
> Maybe consider an autumn version of TCF, minus all the
> indoor vendors (i.e. just flea market and maybe a few
> workshops.). I think I was going to say something
> else, but I forgot...
> --- billdeg@... <billdeg@...> wrote:
> > It seems like far into the future, but planning one
> of these events will take
> > a year, I agree with Evan about March as the date.
> We should get started
> > asap. We can discuss the basics at the TCF, start
> assigning prelimiary tasks, etc.
> > Bill
> > In a message dated 4/4/2005 12:10:39 PM Eastern
> Standard Time,
> > evan947@... writes:
> > > Per prior emails (from March 16), I corresponded
> with VCF's Sellam
> > > Ismail yesterday, and he supports our idea for
> making VCF East into a
> > > MARCH event.
> > >
> > > This is part of a trend. Sellam will continue to
> run the main VCF
> > > show every fall out in Silicon Valley, but he's
> offloading the
> > > regional events to trusted peers. He trusts us
> to run "VCF East by
> > > MARCH".
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Personals - Better first dates. More second dates.
Evan's personal homepage: www.snarc.net
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