Just in time for SCGS Jamboree in a few days, I’ve updated my list of tips for attending a genealogy conference. You can read the original post here. In a few days I will be at the Southern California Genealogical Society’s annual Jamboree conference. This conference is one that I have attended for several years now. I have learned a lot about what to expect and have listed my best tips here for you.
Here are my 10 Tips for Attending a Genealogy Conference
1. Dress comfortably and wear good walking shoes. This is a must, there will be lots of walking especially around the exhibit hall but to each session you attend as well.
2. Bring a sweater. It would be better to dress in layers but some prefer to bring a light sweater. Depending on each person, the lecture rooms can either be too warm or too chilly so either dress in layers or bring a light sweater.
3. Bring some water. With the lecture rooms possibly being too warm and to help you stay hydrated, you can bring your own water, however, the hotel do offer small cups of water in each room. Just keep in mind that sometimes they don’t refill it as often as needed.
4. Bring items to take notes with. For those who pre-registered, we automatically get a digital copy of the syllabus on a flash drive of some sort. Some also took advantage of the fact that they can order a printed copy of the syllabus. If you didn’t and don’t have access to print out the handouts from the syllabus, then go old-school and bring a pad of paper and a pen to take notes with. Old school is always a good back up.
5. Arrive early for your session. Sometimes, especially if the speaker is a popular one, the rooms will fill to capacity. When that happens, the room will be closed to anyone who does not have a seat. This is due to fire regulations on the capacity of the room and SCGS can’t make any exceptions. If they do, they could get in trouble with the Fire Department and/or be fined. One way to guarantee your seat in your favorite lecture is to volunteer to help in said lecture. Volunteers are always guaranteed a seat in the class. Ask someone at the volunteer desk in the hallway outside the exhibit hall.
6. If you have business cards/calling cards, bring them. It will help you to network with others even if you aren’t a professional genealogist. You never know, you could meet a distant cousin and want to stay in contact.
7. Network!!! Along those same lines, collect business and personal cards from others. You never know when you might need some help in a distant area.
8. Don’t be a wallflower! If you have questions, ask the person next to you. It’s a great way to make new friends! This comes in handy when your family is tired of hearing you talk about genealogy.
9. Remember to be courteous to the speaker. Don’t take pictures, unless you ask and get their permission first. The speakers put a lot of time and effort into their lecture and more often than not, they don’t get paid enough for it.
10. Finally, have Fun!!! Yes. This conference is a learning experience, but there are new people to meet, vendors to see and new speakers to listen to. Relax and enjoy it all!
Want to meet up? Leave a comment and let me know. Maybe we can get a group together to have lunch?