The next AK Fest ?

Discussion in 'AK Fest 2005' started by Grumpy, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Ms Grumpy

    Ms Grumpy Administrator Admin Subscriber


    There was 23 total rooms for us and only 3 or 4 of them were not listening rooms.
    Gonna be hard ( read expensive ) to top that but I think we can give it a shot. :)
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2005


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  2. styler

    styler Super Member

    a turkish prison
    not too much to improve on

    AK fest was pretty great! pretty hard to make any drastic improvements. I've been pushing for a less urban setting like Ann Arbor, less traffic, good nightlife etc. I do think 3 days would be better, or at least a pre-fest mixer/party where everyone can meet before we start crowding rooms. also, i think we should plan to take some of the burden off david and family. if the grumpsters are gracious enough to organize this again, we need to raise more capital and ease the stress. i agree that the multiple small rooms is the way to go, worked well. :thmbsp:
  3. Fisherdude

    Fisherdude Regular Dude - Super Mod Staff Member Super Mod

    Out West.
    I've been enjoying this thread a lot, and posted a few thoughts along the way. I'm one of the many AK'ers who made it to both fests, and I'm totally committed to coming next year. I've already put in my request for a room so I can bring some gear!

    I'll try to be somewhat organized (a challenge, I know!) in my thoughts for next year...

    Things To Keep The Same:

    1. The location. I know, it's a long trip for many, but the truth is that the population center of the US is somewhere in Missouri, and Michigan isn't that far away. There's a heck of a lot more members in Michigan than in Missouri, and no matter where else we go, we'll be getting farther away from more members than we'll be getting closer to.

    2. The hotel. As long as you didn't get sent to the 800 number, reservations were very easy. The price can't be beat. There's no way we're getting two floors all to ourselves anywhere else, at least for less than $150 per room. Having the listening/demo floor above the sleeping floor kept the rest of the guests (and the management) happy. They got us a nice big room for lunch and the swap meet.

    3. Everybody getting together for lunch. It really makes it feel like a group with some friendliness and some history behind it.

    4. Lots of small listening/demo rooms, instead of partitioning the ballroom into sections. If we run into a problem with not enough rooms for listening plus vendors, I really wouldn't want the vendors to end up in the ballroom area. They'd really feel "banished", and that's not right. We'll just need to balance room allocations between members & vendors, because they're really part of this effort.

    5. The team!! Kam & Grumpy and all the extended family members who pitched in really give it a close-knit feel.

    Things To Add/Change Next Year:

    1. A scheduled "Welcome" function, like meetings frequently have a cocktail reception, except ours would be more tailored to the group. Beer & wings on Saturday night from 5:00-6:30! We'd need the big room. I really think it would be great for everybody to get together all at once, with a beer in your hand and your nametag on! End no later than 6:30 so people can head off for dinners, etc. I really think this would add to the feeling that we're really part of a group.

    2. Make the announcements and awards that take place during lunch scheduled. For example, lunch from 11:30-1:00, and everyone has to be in the room at 12:30 for important announcements. Lots of folks had finished lunch and were going back upstairs and missed Glenn and Dave getting their plaques. Everyone should get to share in these awards. Plus, more very much deserved recognition for a job well done for the recipients.

    3. Perhaps a little more organized opportunity for people to get together in small groups for dinner on Saturday night, especially for the many members who don't really know that many other members well. Maybe two or three sign-up sheets in the check-in area for groups going to different kinds of restaurants, blues clubs, etc. Or an anonymous list for the ballet later in the evening! Some of the local members who know the area well could chaperone/lead each group.

    4. Scheduled how-to/diy events throughout the two days. It's really important that members who are interested in a certain topic know what room and what time. It's also not fair to the members doing the demo to expect them to just "hang out" waiting for somebody to ask them to do something. They want to visit all the other rooms, too. We might even make the list of demonstrations final before the week of the fest so members can sign up for what demos they want to attend, and we know how many people will sign up to see each one. We may have to get a big room, like the lunch/swap meet room, just for some of the demos! Some ideas, most of which have already been mentioned:

    a. Turntable cartridge mounting/setup.

    b. Speaker surround replacement.

    (Just those two could be standing room only! Or, maybe once each day to spread out the crowds.)

    c. Overview of basic test equipment. Speaker holds up DMM..."This is a digital multi-meter. It is the most basic piece of test equipment that you need. Here are the key functions it needs to have...This is the price range you will find...etc., etc. Types of soldering irons/stations. Perhaps a brief discussion of more advanced equipment, such as scopes, sig/function generators, distortion analyzers, etc. Maybe 30 minutes total.

    d. Basic troubleshooting, with a walk-through of the most commonly encountered problems, like fried output transistors, leaky caps, testing tubes & transistors, etc.

    e. Something that actually shows soldering would be really informative and interesting for the beginners. Maybe Craig could replace a selenium rectifier and coupling caps in a tube amp or receiver. It would be a reasonable 30 minutes or so, and would generate a ton of great discussions and Q & A.

    f. Maybe a room or two with some A/B'ing set up. No, no I'm not talking about getting into cable wars, but it might be really interesting to hear the difference between 86 dB speakers and 98 dB speakers, or the difference between SET & PP amps with identical speakers & source components. Identical artist/album on CD and vinyl. Lots of opportunities without getting controversial!

    g. This one may not be easily doable, but I was thinking of something on acoustics. Perhaps showing changes in speaker placement, against the wall, not against the wall, toe-in, spacing between speakers, long wall, short wall, on stands, not on stands, etc. Just an idea!

    5. I think it's really, totally, absolutely reasonable to charge a small fee for attending. For all of the members that work for companies that are in industries with national meetings/conventions/ often are those free? I'm talking about bumping it up to something very nominal, like $50, to help cover expenses, prizes, pizza for lunch and beer & wings on Saturday night, etc.

    Hope this helps with the discussion. We've got lots of time 'til next year!

  4. luvvinvinyl

    luvvinvinyl Lily! Staff Member Admin Subscriber

    South of Detroit

    A cogent, comprehensive post! Well said, sir!

    I like your demo suggestions, and the caution that they be scheduled, with a sign-up in advance, to gauge interest.

    I would be happy to sacrifice my personal time to lead a scholarly expedition across the border, to study "Modern Interpretive Dance", at the Windsor Ballet. Not that I have any first-hand knowledge! Umm, is my wife reading this?
  5. Retro Stereo

    Retro Stereo Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Owatonna, Minnesota
    Clay you da man! :thmbsp:

    Just what he said!

  6. shelby1420

    shelby1420 Enjoying the music.....

    Oromocto, NB
    My 2 cents...... as i have already posted in this thread i thought fest 2005 was perfect, i missed the awards Sat ( did not know they were being done then, was bummed about that.....) but probably just missed the appointment that they were being done...... other then that its hard to improve on something sa well organized and thought out as this last fest was!!!!!


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  7. Kegger

    Kegger R.I.P. 1/12/1966 - 6/1/2017 Super Mod

    I second clay's whole post/suggestions except!

    "5. I think it's really, totally, absolutely reasonable to charge a small fee for attending. For all of the members that work for companies that are in industries with national meetings/conventions/ often are those free? I'm talking about bumping it up to something very nominal, like $50, to help cover expenses, prizes, pizza for lunch and beer & wings on Saturday night, etc."

    Call me a cheapskate but I'm not just thinking of myself, I think $50 is a little steap and feal something more like $20 is appropriate!
    $50 might put some people off a bit.

    Just my thinking here!
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2005
  8. jerrymrc

    jerrymrc Spaz! Subscriber

    Colorado Springs
    As long as it is not further east of this years I will do AK Fest 2006. I think the idea of having some of the members systems, Vintage/New/Diy is what set
    it apart from the "New car Show" Thing.

    We all can go down and listen to new equipment but the thought of having members systems there and hearing sounds of the past are what AK is all about.

    I can do a system set up in a room and a Veneer DIY over the weekend. Just sign me up. :thmbsp:
  9. surfdoc37

    surfdoc37 Endlessly Endless End

    Out West
    OK, I read it all. VEGAS. Cheap rooms, cheap food, cheap airline tickets from anywhere on the planet. Plenty of wandering tourists could also PAY ADMISSION, imagine that.

    My marketing sense kicks in now. If you want to expand, you have to take the show on the road. How many east or west coasters will NEVER attend a Fest just due to distance? It's one of those "If I'd only known it was this much fun I'd have been going for years". You bring others into the fold so they can fly out east the next year. Bring their equipment when the Fest is close, fly in to enjoy when it's not. Just do a three part rotation, east, central, west. East, central, west. Nuff of that.

    Vegas has it all, even the wary would go figuring they could find something enjoyable to do if the Fest didn't fill their needs 24/7. Three days, yes, full schedule on paper and online in advance would be a must. However I have to agree, had it been a nicotine Fest I'd have never returned and likely regretted attending in the first place. I'm spoiled now that my state doesn't allow smoking in restaurants, bars, work places, bowling alleys, etc. How nice it is to go out and actually BREATHE. I've fogotten that it's not that way everywhere.

    Charge yes, AK members get a discount if they support AK financially, ADVANCE TICKET DISCOUNTS. That would help to set a budget. Lots of great ideas from FisherDude above, did that include a session on reading schematics? I can see the need for a big screen with a remote camera broadcasting the soldering, coning, etc. How about an eBay session on buying, selling, photographing, and all that?

    Vegas has more cheap buffets than you can shake a stick at. You all could load up a van in Chicago and road trip out to Vegas with the gear... But I'll tell you if we aren't all exposed to a Fest we'll never take that first step and attend one. The critical mass phenomenom may be simply due to location and convenience. I could personally write the trip off as a business expense and may consider it next year depending on how the year progresses, but if it were nearby it would be a much easier decision. 'Just get 'em in, then they'll be hooked'. The rest will take care of itself.

    Just some thoughts from the Left Coast.
  10. styler

    styler Super Member

    a turkish prison
    AK Fest in LV

    Vegas is one of my least favorite cities, buuuuut in may ways you are right. one important question is:
    do we want it much bigger?

    i concur on the basic sentiment of your points. keeping it in the same spot year in and year out will take a toll. however, good points have been made regarding vendors, dedicated group of AKers in MI, etc. i do think that the site should move. one nasty part of vegas is that we may get treated as a convention, when that happens, all the rules change. one has to pay fees for various services (like bringing audio equipment into a hotel) and trust me, after doing trade shows, that aint cheap. on the other hand, LV has a plethora of small hotels where we could likely rent the entire hotel.

    but back to your points, i think you are correct, we need to take east and west into account and allow all members equal opportunity to enjoy the fest, hey 'toze you wanna set it up in LV?
  11. tentoze

    tentoze Twangophile

    Somewhere Else
    Available for advance work only- I won't be here past the end of the year.


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  12. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    PODUNC USA......
    Why not 'Toze? Inquiring minds want to know!!!

  13. NOSValves

    NOSValves AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I think it should stay the same except for one thing. Grumpy needs some serious dosages of Valium for the weekend;)
  14. vintage-yungin

    vintage-yungin i still really like pizza

    Killeen, Texas
    well there arent many members in cali but d@mn that sure would be nice :yes:
  15. krimney

    krimney AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Calgary, Alberta
    vegas....might be nice

    I've never been there and would like a reason to go..I don't gamble. but opening up AKfest to the public, while raising some $ would also take away from the overall "family" feeling from keeping it a members only event. Many times at AKfest 2005 I moticed rooms left un attended, some I walked in to sat down and listened. the owners were off doing their own thing. If the event was open to the public, I wouldn't feel too comfortable leaving MY gear and music un attended. A public event would eventually lead to everyone just staying with their own gear to keep an eye on it. Public also means kids and we all know what kids do to dust caps. :yes:

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