Hi Barry. I got back into astronomy because of what cameras can do now. I was bored with visual. Not that there is anything wrong with that..
I went to Neaf last year. I'm going again this year. It is a great place to see many vendors and products in the same place. I was surprised at how small it was. Compared to computer and medical equipment conferences I have gone to and participated in, this was much smaller with fewer vendors. That being said, you will meet the principals of many of the companies. Steve Bisque was there last year of Software Bisque and I had just purchased a Bisque MYT mount. That was a nice surprise. After going to Neaf, I felt that the companies involved need our support. We are lucky to have manufacturers and retailers that support us since it is a small world of amateurs and equipment.
I had never seen anything bigger than a 12" dobson before I went. I couldn't believe the size of the mirror that I saw in a truss tube dobson. It must have been 20+ inches and that is something to behold. The Meade 14" and 16" fork mount scts were there on mounts. Not only are the tubes big but the mounts and tripods were massive. Heck, you could throw a tarp over one and have a tent to camp in as well....ha. And you will see Celestron products, focusers, variety of scope designs, refractors of many sizes and from various supplier/builders, mounts, finders, guiders, cameras and pretty much all that you will want or need.
One thing I didn't do last year was take enough advantage of the seminars. I discovered that there is also the NEAIC conference the two days before the Neaf show. I am going to that as well this year. There are presentations during the Neaf show too. Some fill up so you should plan on the ones you want to go to before the show and get there before they start.
I bought tickets online. You can also pay at the show. There was a line but probably no more than 20 deep if you wait to pay until the show. I will pay early this year as well. I don't like waiting in lines.
Edited by rms40, 05 January 2018 - 01:49 PM.