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Family History Expos November 2010 Newsletter

Can you believe it? It’s already November and we are approaching the Holiday season. We are also approaching the last Expo of 2010. It’s been a great year with Expos in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, California, Missouri and Atlanta. And we are getting ready for another great year of Expos in 2011. We have posted some dates for 2011 on our website and will continue to update our schedule in the months to come.

See you at the Expo!


Join us in Atlanta!
This week is our Atlanta Expo. Read more about it here Join us for this great event!

Feature Article

Family History Conferences Bring Brilliant Minds Together
through Time Travel to Past … and Future

By Holly T. Hansen

Family history research is nothing short of time travel. The quest for and discovery of the intimate details of a late ancestors’ life requires the researcher to step back in time, literally and figuratively.

That doesn’t mean you have to use archaic research methods to uncover the annals of your family’s history. On the contrary, modern technology has made it easier than ever before to search historic documents, network with extended family members, then organize, publish, and share your findings in meaningful ways—instantly.

Why Attend a Family History Conference?

Family history events bring great minds together under one roof. Beginning family historians to professional genealogists attend family history conferences together.

Beginners attend family history events to get a grasp on the world of familial and historical research. They attend hoping to find the name of an ancestor and soon learn that they can glean information from industry experts that will help them with the tools, techniques, and technology to uncover their roots.

Experts attend for many reasons. They understand that technological advancements bring something new to the table every day including software, vast digital databases of freshly harvested information, new availability to libraries, books and recent discoveries. Experts enjoy sharing their knowledge and passion for family history research with others. They also tend to develop a tight-knit network of colleagues, friends and family members who share their passion for the past (and gather frequently at family history events).

Family History Expos offer:
• networking opportunities (people often meet with others who are researching the very same lines).
• classes on all types of research techniques, tools, technologies, and important information about ethnic research (most provide digital or printed syllabi to help you use the information you have gained long after the event is over).

• lectures from industry experts that keep attendees up to date on the latest news and information.
• hands-on demonstrations that allow you to “try before you buy” products and services to help with your family history research.
• exhibitors offering products and services to make your research easier, more accurate, more productive and more fun to share! (Exhibitors offer opportunities to meet with genealogy and family history groups representing locations, professions, and ethnic groups. They also make products and services available to you on site.)

• socialization with others who understand your drive to peruse the past.

• exposure for commercial entities that have products and services to offer the family history and genealogy communities.

Preparing for a Family History Conference

Once you find the family history event that’s right for you, make the most of your experience by properly preparing.

1. Review course descriptions and syllabi when available. Then, determine which courses best suit you and your current research projects. Study syllabi before attending the class. If pre-registration is required for classes, register well in advance.
2. Choose two or three research projects on which you want to focus. Take information about those projects and documents, or copies of documents so you will be prepared to ask questions and record answers and solutions for later use. Be sure to write down all the specific questions you want to ask experts.
3. Always have your pedigree chart handy as you’re likely to meet people who want to compare names, dates, and information.
4. Dress comfortably (business casual is appropriate). Wear comfortable shoes as you may be walking long distances between classrooms.
5. Create “business cards” to take along even if you aren’t in business. These only need to include your name, telephone number, email address, website
and mailing address. When giving them to people at the conference, write the surnames you discussed on the back of the card.
6. Take blank cards or an address book along to keep track of valuable contacts. A business card organizer works well, too.
7. Take a blank legal pad, notebook, and two or three pens along to take copious notes in workshops and classes. A laptop computer can also be convenient. Remember, a course syllabi will offer an outline and key points of the course as well as resources for more information.
8. If you go with a family member or friend, consider taking some different classes so you can compare notes.
9. Once you are at the family history conference, write down products and services that interest you most.
10. Plan to open yourself up to meeting new friends and enlarging your circle of research.

What Should You Expect from a Family History Conference?

The format of family history conferences varies greatly depending on the hosting organization, the location, the number of anticipated participants, and the level of experts teaching classes and workshops.

In most cases family history conferences offer a variety of classes to meet different research needs and interests. Classroom-style courses are most common when attendees are divided into small groups with more than one class offered at one time. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the first event begins. Take time to locate classrooms, restrooms, the exhibit hall, water fountains and concessions.

Research the location of the venue before leaving home. If the venue is located in an unfamiliar neighborhood, community, or city, get directions from an online source such as . If you have a Global Positioning System (GPS) enter the address of the venue in advance before you leave.

Most larger family history conferences offer lodging options that discount room prices for conference participants. Make travel reservations early. Plan to stay in conference hotels and motels for the best networking opportunities after hours.

Some family history conferences offer keynote addresses to “kickoff” the conference. Conference participants gather together in one place before dividing up for individual classes. Plan to arrive at the keynote address early, whether it is at the beginning of the conference, during a meal, or at the close of the conference. Seating is usually limited.

Exhibit halls are areas in which vendors of family history products and services gather. Organizations such as genealogical societies, family history associations, and special-interest groups also seize the opportunity for exposure in the exhibit hall. This is a great place to learn about new software, technology, publications, presentation tools, and more. Often vendors sell their products in the exhibit hall, so have a little cash handy for those impossible-to-resist treasures. Sometimes door prizes are donated by sponsors and exhibitors for conference participants. Follow explicit instructions for your chance to win!

Some family history conferences offer a gift bag to registrants with valuable discount coupons, promotional items, and helpful publications.

If you are unable to register for the entire family history conference, you may be able to at least visit the exhibit hall where you will meet industry professionals who can offer you personal advice and assistance with research problems.

Holly T. Hansen, Family History Expos, Inc. Founder and President, is a lifelong resident of Croydon, Utah. She has been a family history educator for more than 15 years. Although she sponsors elaborate events, she also enjoys helping people one-on-one as they learn how to make technology work for them. An author, lecturer, and editor, Hansen devotes time every day to education.


Expo Highlights

Your Name Here When You Sponsor this Newsletter

By sponsoring our newsletter you get exposure to our audience while they learn about your products and services. Don’t miss out on a great way to advertise in a newsletter that informs the genealogy community.

For more information, contact Holly at 801-829-3295.


Tech Tip


Looking for digital imagine manipulation software? Gimp is freeware available at According to its website:
“It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
Gimp is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.”
Gimp runs on Windows and Mac. You can more about it here.

Family Tree Maker for Mac

Have a Mac? There are a few choices for family tree software if you use a Mac, but now there is one more. announced last week that they have a new version of Family Tree Maker for Mac users. You can read more about this here .


Upcoming Events

For more information, please see the Expos tab on our website at
November 12-13, 2010. Atlanta Family History Expo
January 21-22, 2011. Arizona Family History Expo
February 26-26, 2011. St. George Family History Expo
April 9, 2011. Migration Family History Expo
April 10-15, 2011. Family History Library Research Retreat
June 24-25, 2011. Colorado Family History Expo
October 29, 2011. Military Family History Expo
October 30 – November 4, 2011. Family History Library Research Retreat

More details on our events will be available soon!

Family History Expos, Inc.
PO Box 187
Morgan, UT 84050

Main Office: 801-829-3295
© Family History Expos, Inc. 2010. All rights reserved.
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