Posts Tagged ‘Colorado Family History Expo 2009’

Personal Highlights from the Colorado Family History Expo

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Just a few more potential “rush periods” left between class sessions at the Colorado Family History Expo. Soon I’ll be packing up the booth and heading to the airport to return to Chicago.

It’s been pleasantly hectic at the booth almost the whole time, so I’m only just now getting around to posting about my experiences. Here’s a list of personal observations from the Expo:

  • Colorado is gorgeous and Loveland is no exception. The interplay of tall mountains and towering thunderstorms has been magnificent to watch (if not to drive through.)
  • Holly and her crew at FHExpos have managed to pull off a successful conference, despite this being their first time in Colorado. Logistics have gone smoothly, booth traffic has been disproportionately high (nearly as good as at NGS, I’d estimate) and the attendance at my presentations has been surprisingly good.
  • A lot of genealogists in Colorado (and even New Mexico) are interested in offering lookups from their local records. I’d estimate between 20 and 25 people indicated solid, detailed interest in becoming Genlighten lookup providers. That’s 2-3 times what we typically see at a regional-level gathering.
  • At past FHExpos events, the balance of booth visitors has tilted more toward genealogy beginners looking to use Genlighten to find source documents. Here most of them have been interested in finding documents for others. I credit that shift to Holly’s efforts to get local genealogical societies involved. Both the Larimer County Genealogical Society and a collective of other Colorado and Wyoming Genealogical Socities are represented in the exhibit area. Their members have also given some well-attended presentations. This has raised the level of research experience among the attendees, in my opinion.
  • Family History Center consultants seem hungry for how-to help with Footnote.com. They recognize its potential value, but have yet to find success with it for their own research. That makes it tough for them to recommend it to their patrons, even though it’s accessible at FHCs for free. One attendee at my talk asked if I’d write her FHC a “manual” on how to use Footnote. Maybe someone (not me!) needs to do that.
  • Just as the “Genealogy Demographic” has turned to Facebook, they now seem willing to explore Twitter. Will they be turned off by the increasing levels of spam on the site? Very possibly. But if they could post their genealogy queries and questions to Twitter and receive “real-time” help from their followers, I think they’d join in droves. Facilitating that kind of interaction is definitely on Genlighten’s product development roadmap.
  • Our MiFi Wireless hotspot has provided reliable internet connectivity throughout the Expo, whether in my hotel room, at the exhibit booth, or in the presentation venues. The amount I’ve saved on wireless charges this trip has already offset the initial purchase price.

Time to pack up the booth and hit the road. Next on the Genlighten schedule? The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California, June 26th-28th.

Next Up: Colorado Family History Expo 2009

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

After a week off this coming weekend, it’ll be time to head off to another genealogy conference the following weekend, June 12th-13th. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to recruit lookup providers from Colorado for almost a year, and now I’ll get my chance.

At Holly Hansen’s invitation, I’ll be trying to share my impressions of the conference in this blog and via Twitter.

I don’t often get away from the Genlighten booth to attend many presentations during conferences like this one, and I’ve only rarely attended any evening conference events, but I’m making an exception this time. I’m very much looking forward to attending Jean Hibben‘s banquet presentation. I met Jean at the Mesa FHExpo back in November, and I was highly impressed with her combined background in genealogy, history and folklore. Looks like she and “Uncle Butch” will be providing musical entertainment as well!

Presentations I’m Working On

I’ll be giving the Footnote for FHC Consultants talk I gave back at the Mesa FHExpo last November, updated to discuss the records Footnote has added since then along with their new “I Remember” pages.

I also plan to present an Introduction to Twitter for Genealogists. This will be a completely overhauled version of the talk I gave at the South Davis Family History Fair back in March of this year. Twitter is no longer the obscure geek-oriented service it was then. Oprah and other celebrities have embraced it and the mainstream media has coronated it as the next big shiny thing. If you’ve found Twitter helpful in furthering your genealogy research, please let me know in the comments to this post.