This time next week, I will be at the SCGS Jamboree which is being held at the Burbank Airport Marriott, June 6-8, 2014. It is a great source of genealogical education and it is a whole lot of fun too! I am very excited to attend and can’t wait.
A good friend is joining me at the conference this year. She asked me what tips I could give her as a first-time attendee. I started thinking about it and came up with a few so I decided to post my tips here and hopefully it could help others besides my friend.
#1 You will see this on most tips for attending a genealogy conference. Bring comfortable shoes, dress is layers and drink water. You will do a lot of walking and being comfortable and well hydrated is very important. The temperature in each room varies and you won’t know what the temperature will be like until you get the room. It is best to dress in layers or bring a sweater for when the room is either too hot or too cold.
#2 If the genealogical conference has an app, USE IT! Its a great tool to help you keep track of not only your first & second choice in classes. The app is also good for when you have friends at the conference. Within the app, you can send a friend request to your friends and if they accept your request, you can communicate with them in getting a group together for lunch. If you are really close with your friend or if you have family attending and you can also share your schedule with each other. This helps you to see where this person might be at in case you need to get a hold of them or if you want to attend the same class together. I love using this feature of the app with my daughter so that I can keep track of what classes she might be in and possibly sit with her in a class.
#3 This next tip really depends on your note taking habits. Usually you get a syllabus book/binder free with your registration but if the organization putting on the conference is trying to cut down on costs, you might just get a CD copy instead. I like to obtain the syllabus and mark my first and second choice in classes, then when I attend the classes, I write on the syllabus for each class itself. It helps me to keep up with what the speaker is saying and to keep the appropriate notes and what the speaker is saying together. HERE IS MY TIP: If you are not able to get a printed copy of the syllabus, go into the app and on each of the classes you want to take, if there is a PDF symbol, you can email the handout to yourself, then print them before attending the conference. You still get the syllabus for each class and to write on each of the appropriate speakers outline. You also are helping by not printing out every single page of the syllabus.
#4 Don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with the people sitting around you. You might find a cousin sitting right next to you!
#5 Don’t be afraid to network with other genealogists outside of the classroom. There are some genealogists that do get paid for the research they do, but if you meet others who are researching the same area as you, they might be helpful when you have hit a brick wall. It is also a good idea to keep their contact information handy too.
I hope that these tips have helped you and my good friend as well. If you have any other tips for first-time attendees to a genealogical conference, please list them in the comment section so that others can use your tips.
Happy Ancestry Hunting!