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NEAF 2024 Set For April 20th-21st

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35 replies to this topic

#26 Stevegeo

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Posted 22 April 2024 - 06:56 AM

 i was there sat, and wrote my review  (in off topic forum) driving 3 hours,  for a HUGE DISAPOINTMENT..

 

As previous  said, the food.. and attendence    all stated correctly. the vendors .. all towards AP.. no bargins.

 

Classics were a hit,  and solar guys  did ok.. but for the money.. not worth it.. 

 

side note , since i build buggies i was hoping i could  maybe get a spot for next year. as a vendor.. talked to a few to get a price for a booth.. $650 ... with the attendence as low as it was this year.. i think i will hold off..

 

i did see one for sale, NEW and even at that low of a price.. no takers, 

 

stevegeo



#27 Alan French

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Posted 22 April 2024 - 08:00 AM

 

 

As previous  said, the food.. and attendence    all stated correctly. the vendors .. all towards AP.. no bargins.

 

 

Was the cafeteria across from the auditorium open? That was always a far better choice than the counter in the exhibit hall.

 

Clear skies, Alan


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#28 spongebob@55

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Posted 22 April 2024 - 08:59 AM

While I didn't go in to buy food, the cafeteria was certainly open.

The theater was very comfortable and was even cool on Sunday.

A colleague and I got a few great TeleVue blems

Great discussions learning about the trend toward smart scopes.  

Most suppliers noted the decline in attendance hopefully due to the eclipse.  One supplier told me that even though there were fewer visitors at his booth, the ones who were there spent more money and he did well.

Will be back again next year for my 13th year.

SB



#29 Don25

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Posted 22 April 2024 - 09:13 AM

I was there Saturday....don't know if I'll return. Last time I was there, was back about 2005 or 2006, and I remember quite a bit more vendors. Also, a number of vendors, didn't bring stock with them, and only offered a 10% discount, with online sales.

 

For a $38 entrance fee, I don't know if I'll return. I did order 15x70 Binoculars, course I got a notice, there's a 2-3 week backorder, before they arrive.


Edited by Don25, 22 April 2024 - 09:14 AM.


#30 slavicek

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Posted 22 April 2024 - 09:45 AM

I stay for 2 days.
Cafeteria was "bare bones" but I got my salad. However, I do not go to NEAF for the food.
They should definitely upgrade their web (vendors, speakers.. going to NEAF is like buying lottery ticket, you don't know what you will get). And it's not charity, they collect $$ from vendors and public.
I think Camera Concept "made killing" (good for him) "the boss" was smiling all weekend long... and I dropped some $$$ there too.
Fewer vendors, lot more astro photo gear. I am strictly visual so that was disappointment for me. But that's where we are in Am Astronomy. Still, I managed to get what I wanted and some... I came home with pair of ZAO IIs (!), discounted 8 mm Ethos, Bradons and 6 TAK TPLs. And I got myself all kinds on other stuff I "need".
Also I got some good info from TV boss David, from TAK representatives and others. I wanted to talk to TEC and Lunt but they were not present. I will have to contact them thru email. But talking in person is more fun. Lower attendee count ment more time for me to talk to vendors!
Presentations were good too.


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#31 RedLionNJ

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Posted 22 April 2024 - 12:14 PM

Cafeteria was "bare bones" but I got my salad. However, I do not go to NEAF for the food.

 

I think Camera Concept "made killing" (good for him) "the boss" was smiling all weekend long... and I dropped some $$$ there too.

 

Presentations were good too.

Agreed, nobody goes for the food. Personally, I prefer to stop at a convenience store beforehand and buy a sandwich I know I'll like. You can either take it in with you and sit at one of those little tables in the field house, or leave it in your car and go out to eat it whenever you feel like it. It can be a long day without sitting at least somewhere for a while.

 

Jeffrey Norwood (CC) has built his NEAF presence over the years. With the demise of OPT and Meade declining to attend, his booth has grown and achieved a top spot in the layout. And good for him. The logistics of packing up what must be his entire inventory, moving it from Stony Brook to Suffern and then unpacking it for display must be incredibly daunting. But if you're looking for some specific accessory on either the new or used market, Jeffrey may well have it in stock. Kudos to all the vendors who go to such lengths to make stock available to the NEAF attendees.

 

Personally, I think the presentations get (on average) better every year. This was the first time I hunted down the pro-am collaboration presentations (down a hall, past some restrooms, through a locker room and into a kitchen area, it seemed like!) and the noon presentation on Saturday was particularly well done.  I only wish more time was allotted for some of them.


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#32 kcoles

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Posted 22 April 2024 - 07:07 PM

I have connections in the Suffern area from living there years ago so NEAF is always an excuse to visit old friends as well as see products and ideas. While NEAF isn't back to pre-pandemic activity by any means, I had a lot of useful interactions when I went on Sunday. The occultation (IOTA) folks refine their methods and share them every year (I haven't tried observing an occultation in a long time but maybe they'll reel me back in). I enjoyed talking to the Stellafane people about my one completed mirror and the ones I hope to figure once I retire later this year. The classic telescope folks had great advice about getting some old equipment operating. Of course I bought something at Televue, and heard the Meade presentation about the Origin scope development. Mind you, I am not much of an imager and somewhat out of date on other equipment, but I got a lot out of NEAF - maybe that just tells you what the rest of my life is like.  graduate.sml.gif

 

I went by Questar in New Hope on the way home Monday to drop off one of my university's scopes for servicing. I told them I saw the booth with Brandon eyepieces and a couple of Questars at NEAF. IIRC, I was told they didn't have enough folks to exhibit when it was scheduled this year and were happy Brandon did set up.



#33 GlobularLover

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 09:24 AM

Hi Folks....

 

As one of the NEAF planners and coordinators, I want to thank ALL OF YOU for coming out to NEAF.  You are the reason we do NEAF each year and for 33 years.  RAC is a non-profit entity and nobody at RAC or NEAF is getting paid....nobody is making money off NEAF.....we're all volunteers.

 

We appreciate your support ! 

 

Let me address some of your concerns; please note that RAC has not even had time to do a post-NEAF meeting so these responses may change as more/new information comes in:

 

(1)  Attendance may have been lighter because of the Total Solar Eclipse but that was out of our control.  Don't forget, the main theater was FILLED Standing Room Only for several of the talks and people were also attending the Solar Party and the food court, workshops, cafeteria, etc.  So you just can't go by the floor attendance.

 

(2)  Temperature seemed OK in the main theater and certainly on the Field House floor.  I can assure you that there was an issue with the heat but it was for people working at the Ticket Area and especially in the Ticket Booth where the hot air was literally blowing in.  Yet numerous RAC volunteers and members worked for free to stand in 90-plus degree temperatures for several hours at a time to do their duty and make sure things flowed smoothly admitting attendees.

 

Needless to say, the tempeature for the complex is not set by RAC.  This was an RCC decision and policy and many of their staff were aware that running the heat on a day in the mid-60's was surreal.  

 

(3)  Vendor attendance is ALWAYS in flux.  Many vendors pre-purchase their booths and then cancel at the last minute.  Some give verbal committments and then have to cancel.  Stuff happens....it's one reason why we are hesistant to give out a formal list for vendors (or speakers, who also have time/day changes) because things change which are not under RAC/NEAF control.

 

When we meet in coming weeks, we will certainly take your ideas, suggestions, and complaints under advisement. 

 

We also believe that the surge in astronomy and other outdoor activities post-Covid is real and has staying power and that the interest in the Total Solar Eclipse means that an event like NEAF has just "sratched the surface" in terms of potential attendees.  As a small volunteer club, we just have to find out how to get our message out to drive more people to NEAF whether it is for the vendor floor or the talks or workshops.  Would you believe that one of our RAC members did not know about NEAF when living 15 minutes away from RCC for 18 years...but found out about it when he moved to Pennsylvania ?   Yes, we will be working on getting out the message going forward (social media and AI will be a huge help).

 

Thanks again for supporting NEAF.   See you next year !!


Edited by GlobularLover, 23 April 2024 - 09:42 AM.

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#34 kcoles

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 08:14 PM

Of course I bought something at Televue, and heard the Meade presentation about the Origin scope development. Mind you, I am not much of an imager and somewhat out of date on other equipment, but I got a lot out of NEAF - maybe that just tells you what the rest of my life is like.  graduate.sml.gif

 

 

Something else tells you about the rest of my life - that ridiculous typo. Heaven forgive me; Celestron! Need to rest and recover from an astronomy weekend.


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#35 lstjpn

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Posted 27 April 2024 - 08:11 PM

I attended both NEAIC and NEAF for the first time this year.  NEAIC was great, learned alot, met a wonderful group of people and talked to some of the most fascinating people I have met.  At NEAF, bought a bunch of different things, including a few Tele Vue Blemishes, a Daystar Quark and few other odds and ends.  I did expect it to be bigger, but like many people were saying that coming on the heels on the eclipse, many vendors were probably just overextended and tired after all of that.

 

I am planning to attend both again next year if at all possible.

 

Ryan


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#36 GlobularLover

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Posted 08 May 2024 - 03:00 PM

Reserve the date.....NEAF 2025....April 5-6th, 2025. waytogo.gif 


Edited by GlobularLover, 09 May 2024 - 10:18 AM.

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