This week Mocavo will be participating in the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ annual conference. It will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Hundreds of genealogists from around the country will descend on Birmingham to learn, network, and break bread with each other.
Some of the leading genealogists in the nation will be making presentations on a wide variety of topics. Learn the latest research techniques, publishing options, and technology. A limited number of tickets are still available for luncheons, workshops, and the social events on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. If you are attending and haven’t purchased tickets yet, be certain to do so when you pick up your registration materials, or you may be left out.
The exhibit hall will be filled with vendors displaying the latest books, software, websites, and more for genealogists. Mocavo will be there as usual, in the front of the exhibit hall in booths 106 and 108, across from FindMyPast. Visit the booth and enter to win a genealogy gift basket. The basket includes scrapbooking supplies, notebooks, a DVD of The Human Family Tree from National Geographic, and a FlipPal scanner.
Here are five tips to help you enjoy your experience at the conference:
1. Dress in layers
This may sound a little simplistic, but you could be surprised how much being comfortable and affect your experience. It is can be difficult to maintain constant temperatures in spaces as large as classrooms and convention centers. Not to mention that we all have different meanings for the words “comfortable temperature.” Dressing in layers allows you to add layers when you are cold, and take off layers when you are warm.
2. Download the App
FGS is using the Guidebook app for the conference. It works for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows phones. The app allows you to view the schedule, look at maps, create a personal schedule and to-do list, and even follow Tweets about the conference. You can download the app at guidebook.com/getit/. This is the same app used by NGS for their conference, so those who attended the conference in Cincinnati may already have it. Once you download the app, search for FGS to get the guide.
3. Create a Schedule in Advance
Whether you have the app or not, review the program in advance. For those getting an electronic syllabus, you can download it today to get more information about each presentation. Decide which sessions you want to attend and create a list. You can then check out the room numbers on the maps to see how far away from each other they are, and how far you must travel between sessions. While you are doing this, check for a second choice session for each time slot. Your session may be full, or you may decide that it is not quite what you needed. Having a second choice at the ready saves you time and allows you get the most learning out of each slot.
4. Review Vendor List
After you set your schedule for classes, go over the vendors. Whose booth do you want to make sure you don’t miss? Which ones do you want to visit earlier? One of ways costs can be kept down for individual participants is the fees paid by the vendors. Make sure you visit the hall and support the vendors!
5. Share on Social Media
While you are at the conference, make sure you share the experience with your friends! Use the official Twitter hash tag, #fgs2012, to see what participants are doing and tell others what’s happening. Those who, for one reason or another, cannot attend a conference appreciate being kept in the loop through your Facebook posts and tweets!
Make sure you stop by the Mocavo booth and say hello to us when you are there. The staff is always happy to meet our users and answer any questions or just receive feedback.