Sunday, March 1, 2009

Report from the St. George Family History Conference

Yea. We are back in conference season again. I love conferences so much I hate to come home. Luckily we have a bunch planned--three straight weeks right now. I'm going to report. And hopefully I'll even get to a few classes to report on too.

I took a second to snap a quick picture during a couple of the busy periods. Registration was good this year and the lines for same day registration ran all the way out the door. We did well, and in talking to the other vendors, they did well at the conference too. After all the news lately about recessions and bailouts, we are relieved that it is looking like the genealogy industry is fairly recession proof. I think people fall back into their hobbies as an escape when they are stressed. And genealogy is a wonderful, powerful hobby to have--a good soul feeding way to spend your time. Apparently alot of people feel that way.

I have several companies and some lectures to tell you about over the next couple of days. Let's start with this: a good starting point for any genealogist--
Paul Larsen and his book "Crash Course in Family History" at I have loved Paul's book since I first came in contact with it many years ago and it is always my first recommendation to any starting genealogist. It is a beautiful and graphically engaging book. When we started this business, it was my phone book and I referenced it constantly seeking partnerships and insights.
I got to see the galley pages for Paul's next edition. I was very flattered that he wanted my opinion on it. It will be another good one. And we have arrived--we are in it. I highly recommend this book.

Highlight of the conference came at the very beginning when I was able to go down early and help Holly with last minute preparations. Having helped early last year you would think I had a good idea about what it took to put on a conference like this, but again I have a new appreciation. It is quite a feat to keep 70 speakers, 45 vendors and 60 volunteers happy. And Holly does such a good job making the conferences fun with lots of swag and prizes and great organization. I'm going to do a better job of answering quickly when Holly needs something from me for a conference.

The other highlight includes of course going to dinner afterward with the great people we work with to talk about everything going on--my very favorite part of conferences. And as of tonight I have survived the low point. One of our desktops quit on us last week and then my laptop was fried during the first morning just as we were swamped. While I still have to take the laptop in to be fixed tomorrow morning, I had the cords here at home to test out the hard drive. We went straight to it when we got home and miraculously, the hard drive is fine and I can get at everything. Phewwww. Life is good.

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