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Anyone else disappointed in NEAF 2012?

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#1 gatorengineer

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:10 PM



I should preface this post by saying its always a great day to go to a telescope convention, and to be around some great guys and gals in the hobby.

This years gathering to me anyway, had a distinctly different feel however.

There were many "no show" booths or at least very late to open booths on the first day anyway. Many of the larger vendors booths were staffed by folks with very minimal knowlege (if you want to ask a technical question, you need to wait to ask that guy, over there (e.g. I still dont know how many version there were of the NP127). Many of the vendors also seemed to have quite a flustered air to them (said another way perhaps curt and short, even though the crowds were quite thin).

Lastly, I think the economy has taken a toll on the hobby, while there were lots of toys for the high dollar imaging crowd, I didnt see anything "new" at the show for the visual observer, especially one on a budget.

This is the first time I can say that I saw this happen..... in quite a few years in going to NEAF. The lack of any buzz in the forums here seems to bare that out.

Perhaps it was just me........

I still contributed to the hobby by buying from Night Sky Apparel, a subscription to the Sky at Night, and got a great deal on a David Levy comet hunter, in lieu of a midsized refractor that I had hoped would magically appear.

#2 lloyd007

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:14 PM

I too felt the atmosphere was much less jovial and more somber overall at NEAF 2012 than 2011 as well as being emptier.

#3 Pinbout

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:31 PM

This is the first time I can say that I saw this happen..... in quite a few years in going to NEAF. The lack of any buzz in the forums here seems to bare that out.

Perhaps it was just me........



it's not just you.

there were a couple of cool things but I was disappointed as well.

look even televue, the first day, where's the binoviewer showing off the enire new line of delos in the the binoviewer? the second day ok you got the binoview but why do you have 12mm Naglers in it. Bob the general manager said,"I only bought one each of the Delos."

don't you want to promote your new line with excitement?

now the solar party on the otherhand... :grin:

#4 lazhow

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:35 PM

Watching the live webcam by the Astronomics booth I felt that when they annouced that attendance was greater than last year...I could not believe it. Maybe attendance was up ...but.. people walking out with merchandise was few and far between. The last Winter Star party was also less amateurs attending and this could be the economy taking its toll.
Just my opinion...however..without mentioning names some vendors also felt spending was down!
:bawling:

#5 Illinois

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:41 PM

I went to NEAf 2012 for first time and it overall is great! Few things that I am not happy is that few booths is empty and Sky Shed Pod booth dont have Sky Shed Pod for display that I want to see it. They gave me just paper of information and order Sky Shed Pod. B+H Photos booth is open is only on Sunday. Many astronomy books are expensive and I got two good books. Good to see all Meade, Celestron, Tak, etc to display all telescopes. Peterson Engineering and EZ Bin0c mount kit is real good and I plan to order one for myself. Suffern town streets is trickly and even GPS tell me where to go and I passed small sharp turn streets and went back to get right way to NEAF. Overall My sister, daughter and myself enjoy NEAF and looking forward next year.

#6 hfjacinto

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:42 PM

While I really enjoyed the show and Alan and team did an excellent job. I was also disappointed, I think since 2011 was the best show ever, its hard to keep topping your self. The recession also has hit the astronomy community pretty hard. Its hard to send 5 people to NEAF when there is not a lot of money. The empty booths also surprised me. Lets hope that the 2012 turns out to be a better year for the amateur astronomy community. But I am also to fault, this year my hobby budget is down, in 2011 I spent over $2k (for a Lunt 60MM Scope and other goodies), this year I was way under. I wonder how many of us spent less this year? One of the biggest surpise was TEC, they only brought 2 scopes. I also missed APM not having a booth and when is Orion coming back? Aren't they one of the largest dealers.

#7 jrcrilly

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:13 PM

I wonder how many of us spent less this year?


I did; I spent nothing. I didn't go there to buy anything, though, so I wasn't disappointed. It's primarily a trade show, after all. Most exhibitors don't do any selling there. I was able to catch up on lots of new products being displayed and to chat with their producers and that was what I went there for. I want to be a well-informed consumer for the next time I go shopping (if I ever do). Those who were there to sell seemed to be kept pretty busy. In the two cases in which I know what they brought and what remained at the end of the show, they had done well.

I was also surprised by TEC, but that's because they had never appeared there before. They don't have a broad product line so two telescopes (one brand new and unexpected) seemed sufficient to me.

I guess it varies with your area of interest. A non-imager would walk by a large number of exhibitors without seeing anything of interest. Evolving technology creates new and/or improved imaging gear and designs every year but there probably isn't much to be done visually that isn't old news.

#8 ghataa

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:45 PM

B&H is closed on Saturdays due to religious observance so that explains one vendor. However, I did notice many empty booths. There also was limited product on hand for my items of interest and I had to have items shipped so it is as if the vendors may have been expecting less sales.

George

#9 The Ardent

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:00 PM

I recognized several members of these forums, but not one of them introduced themselves. There seemed a lack of general friendliness.

The Solar party was the best ever. Did you see Venus in the 6" refractor?

#10 hfjacinto

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:07 PM

Ray,

If I know who you are I will introduce myself. Sometimes you are in a conversation with someone you don't realize that someone you know is there. For example I didnt see John and I know who he looks like. If I knew who you were I would have said hello. I also had my kids with me and they are always running around. I did see and say hello to a lot of people that I had meet at prior NEAFs.

#11 AZStarGuy

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:15 PM

Maybe the recent price / economic adjustments and a lack of sales prior to the event put a damper on overall feel for those there to sample & buy?

#12 jedimasterk

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:56 PM

With the bad economic times, it might be a good idea to try something a bit different for NEAF 2013. Maybe with a focus on more of the science, clubs, and organizations themselves, rather than products. Provided nothing really new is anticipated.

#13 Doc Willie

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:32 PM

I had a really great time this year, spent plenty of money, interacted with the Meteorite Men, enjoyed the talks, etc. Overall, it seemed less crowded. Notably missing was Orion. I am sad that TeleVue no longer has the blem sales, not that I would have bought anything, but it did seem to up the level of excitement in past years.

I think the economy is the major factor, so things may pick up next year or two.

#14 Jeff in Austin

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:37 PM

This was my second NEAF. The first was 2010. Seemed like less "stuff" on display this year, but I still enjoyed the show. Well worth the trip. I thought the organizers did a great job, and I did catch some views of the sun Saturday in the AM. I was not disappointed one bit.

I also helped the "local" astro economy by jumping on a NEAF special scope, buying my first meteorite, and outfitting the family with the most geeky t-shirts I could find. All before 9:15 on Saturday.

Like I said, well worth it. :grin:

#15 Steph

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:53 PM

Jeff. :ohmy: That's all you did in 45 minutes? We Texans have an image to maintain you know!!



:lol:

#16 bilgebay

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:28 AM

Certainly there was less stuff on display but I am far from being disappointed. I2ve found the show quite satisfactory. Of course, this is my opinion.

#17 bilgebay

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:28 AM

Certainly there was less stuff on display but I am far from being disappointed. I've found the show quite satisfactory. Of course, this is my opinion.

#18 PJ Anway

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:00 AM

I sure wasn't disappointed in NEAF 2012. Purchased a couple of items, spent around $600 and I wasn't the only one. Talked to a good friend who was helping out at the Astronomics booth and he said they were sold out of scopes by Saturday afternoon. One thing that was a continuing disappointment (nothing to do with NEAF) for me is the astro mags. I stopped subscribing a few years ago, saying "Too much black holes and aliens", but I thought I'ld check out their booths and see if anything had changed. First I went to Astronomy mag's booth. They were giving away two of their latest issues. April issue cover - "Black Holes" & May issue cover - "Alien Life?". Had to chuckle and didn't bother with the other booth.

#19 Gone caving  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:48 AM

Boy you guys are tough! Attendance was up, Vendors are telling me they did better than ever.... I'm sorry if a company doesn't show up, as there are many reasons that could make that happen. Sickness,death, etc etc . So if you were disappointed, I'm sorry. The job is open anytime... next year think what you can do to help promote our amazing hobby and help me spread the word to our youth.....

I saw more vendors enjoying themself more than ever before...

#20 Chucky

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:54 AM

Wonder if would be best to have the show every two years?

#21 DeanS

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:59 AM

It may have seemed less 'busy' this year with fewer vendors, however the vendors selling things looked packed all day long. While some other vendors showing products looked bored quite often. I missed some of the higher end scope and equipment guys this year too. I do know some of them will be at AIC instead.

I only spend $250 but really was wanting to be 'sold' a new CCD camera. I was not offered enough of a discount to make me whip out my cash, however to be fair this vendor was so busy all day long she did not have time to really talk with people other than to take their money.

It is a day long drive each way for me, but without a doubt worth it. I will be back next year.

Dean

#22 Fred1

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:14 AM

Wonder if would be best to have the show every two years?


BETTER NOT!!!! :bawling: This was my 5th NEAF and as enjoyable as the 1st 4, if not better. I still spent and brought home a scope, eyepieces, filters and plenty of freebies for my club's outreach events.

Great job Alan, and thanks so much for the help in getting my new purchases out through the bay door. :jump: :bow:

#23 bob71741

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:16 AM

I do not know what kind of camera you were looking for, but Point Grey was giving out 50% off coupons for their cameras. They even mentioned that in the NEIAC post shown below.

#24 DeanS

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:26 AM

I am looking for a 4000 Kodak chip camera with filter wheel and OAG. I did look at their products, nice stuff.

#25 Gone caving  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:30 AM

Fred1
Always there to help! We try very hard to produce a great show.....not an easy task.....






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