Saturday, April 27, 2013

Why Genealogy Conferences?

Tina Lyons asked this question of Ambassadors to the FGS conference that will be held in August in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

Unfortunately I'm unable to attend FGS this year but I am going to two other conferences.  I'll be at NGS (next week)  and Jamboree (next month).   So, why do I go?  I go

1)  To learn.  I consider myself an intermediate researcher, but I have numerous "brick walls."  And I'm not comfortable with some types of records.  So I go to attend sessions to help me with the "gaps" I feel I have.  And I've been know to attend 3 sessions during 2 conferences on the same or similar topic because I want to get different perspectives.

2)  To find out what's new.  The exhibit/vendor hall is an important part of my conference experience.  Where else can I learn about what's new?  And I can ask questions about what it does, how it works, what I can gain from using it, etc.  Reading blogs is another way I learn about what's new, so I look forward to reading other's blogs to see what they have learned.  Because I definitely don't always know the "right" questions to ask.

3)  To buy books, CDs, DVDs,  postcards and stuff.  I have to set a budget, but this is the place where I can touch and look through books to see if they have info that I want.  (I really have trouble buying books without touching them first.)  The CDs and DVDs are for my continuing education.  Postcards and other stuff help me add interest to my writing.  (And I really don't like to shop.  But this is different!!)

4)  To be around others who have a passion for genealogy.  I've met great people.  But I haven't been very good at getting the meeting into the start of a long-term relationship.  I'm not really a "party" person, and I don't function well staying up late.  Because I attend sessions almost every time period, I'm not networking.  This is something I really want to get better at.

5)  To return home energized.  Oh, I'm often so tired when I get home.  My mind is on overload with all of the new information.  I have these new ideas, new techniques to try, new web sites to look at, etc.  BUT, I also have so many ideas to help me with my research and my writing.  Too bad that life still interferes with genealogy once I return.

So why are you going?  Or why aren't you?  Hope to see you in a session or in the exhibit hall.  Please say Hi.