The FGS 2011 Conference was a whirlwind of activities, and as exhausted as I am (even after being home for a few days), it was well worth it.
Since this was my first national genealogy conference, I had to of course see how many ribbons I could amass. By the time I left on Sunday, I had 28 ribbons, which reached my ankles. If I didn’t have the longest tail, I’m sure I was a close second. Sadly, it reminds me how much I spend on genealogy (albeit, for me, well worth it) since all of the membership ribbons are legit (I didn’t take anything that I didn’t belong to).
I don’t typically spend much time in the exhibit hall at conferences. I usually take in as many sessions as I can, but this conference was a different experience for me. I found the exhibit hall to be my networking hub and spent more time there then I would’ve bet on one week earlier.
I visited about 75% of the vendors over three days. I learned about a variety of new products and services that I was previously unaware of, and learned about new offerings from familiar vendors. Look for blog posts later this week about some of my favorite vendors and interesting news items.
Since I normally don’t find myself in the exhibit hall, I don’t usually come home with much more than I left with, but I found some great goodies and memberships that I just had to have:
- Carmack’s Guide to Copyright & Contracts, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
- Michigan Genealogy, Carol McGinnis
- Michigan Place Names, Walter Romig
- Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century, Michael Leclerc and Henry Hoff (I was in the right place at the right time and got a free copy and had it signed by Michael!)
- Godfrey Memorial Library
- Utah Genealogical Association
- Subscription to Family Chronicle
- Several back issues of Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy
- NGS membership pin
I had a blast talking with everyone I came in contact with. One of the benefits of being on Facebook and having a blog is that I already knew so many people before having ever met them in person. Most everyone was as I imagined. And of course I met some new friends and I look forward to growing those relationships.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, FGS 2011 met or exceeded my expectations. I really do encourage you to attend a national genealogy conference if you have never been to one. There is so much to learn and so many wonderful people to connect with, you are at a disadvantage if you don’t.
If you weren’t able to attend FGS 2011, you can purchase conference recordings of the sessions. (Note: Not all sessions were recorded.) Recordings can be purchased at Fleetwood Onsite Conference Recording.
To read more about my conference experience, refer to the following posts: