It is hard to believe that one week ago the NGS conference began. This was the largest genealogy conference I have attended and I look forward to many, many more. Here are my general thoughts on the conference and recommendations for the next one:
- First of all, I ask attendees in the future to please be polite to each other. I had doors slammed in my face because people were in too much of a hurry to wait 5 seconds and hold them open and the commotion surrounding full sessions, with people shoving, cutting in line past people waiting much longer and being just plain rude, is not necessary. It’s just genealogy people. If all else fails, I’ll give you the $12 to buy a recording to listen to later. Also, remember to wear comfy shoes, bring a water bottle and snack bars, get enough sleep and take care of your biological processes in a timely manner. These things will keep you in a much friendlier place.
- In that same vein, please NGS, have Elizabeth Shown Mills give her presentations in the ball room or have a live streaming available. I do not need to be in the same room with her, I could happily listen while watching the slides in another room. I am told RootsTech does this type of thing well, maybe they could help.
- Plan in advance which lectures you will attend and let the conference know so that they can plan the room size accordingly. If you aren’t 100% sure, mark the option with the most well known speaker.
- If staying in a hotel outside the city, check rush hour traffic ahead of time. In Cincinnati, this tripled the amount of time it took to get from my hotel to the conference center.
- Attend as many social events as possible. As great as the sessions were, my favorite parts were talking with other genealogists, particularly bloggers, who are tremendously friendly and interesting. Also, be involved in social media, as these also give you a chance to connect with other attendees.
- Even though everyone who applied to be a official blogger got to be one, I still felt tremendously honored to get my badge sticker saying I was one. I think the inclusiveness of official bloggers lately (such as the 1940 census project) make for a much better experience. It allows people of all different levels and interests to participate, which gives everyone more information. It also made me much more aware of what was going on, as I wanted to let everyone following #NGS2012 know.
My plans due to the conference:
- Research reports! Nearly every session I attended spoke of the importance of research reports for your own research. This will help me with inferential evidence and to become a much better genealogist.
- Search railroad records for my ancestors whom this applies to.
- Read more case studies. I have always skimmed my NGSQ and other genealogy journals for items of interest to me. I now understand the importance of all case studies to help me become a better and more well-rounded genealogist. Time to download the back issues.
- Create a 5 year plan in relation to my genealogical skills, with the endgame being certification by 2017.
- Start saving my pennies for 2013! I am lucky enough to have a free place to stay and a lot of airline miles, which means more money available for extra activities like lunches and for buying more at the expo
- What were your thoughts on the conference? Will you be attending the next one?