Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What we did over summer vacation: Conferences (read: Parties :-)

So one of the last things that I wrote, that has been nagging at me all summer, was that I would keep you posted on what happened at the Southern California Genealogy Society Conference. Well, that conference has come and gone, along with many others. Oh what a blast we have had. It is so fun to get out and go to conferences and meet with you. It always energizes us.

SCGS is always such a blast. The bloggers that we get to hang out with there are a party. And you can never have too much bling in Burbank so we have way too much fun. Apparently I need to be looking for a tiara for next year--let me know if you have a good source. It is good to see all the bloggers, and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Kim and our son Adam went to Colorado without me this time. Adam is now taller than me, and smarter than me on the computer, and I'm sure he's cuter than me too--so that sounded like a good idea. I missed seeing everyone there, but the younger kids had an opportunity to be in a parade here at home and we couldn't pass that up. (Sometimes it is hard to balance doing family history with making family history :-) We have been showing off Family ChArtist and the feedback has been good. People are always amazed at how quick and easy it is to put together a chart and that the 8.5x11s are free. We've done alot of tweaking over the course of the summer and still have more to do. We'd love to hear any suggestions you have.

Last year conferences were all about running into new online friends. They are now all great old friends. But one of the greatest things about conferences this summer was running into old friends from real life.
This is a picture of Lorna Rice and I from SCGS. She was my Primary School teacher when I was only 5 years old. Apparently I look enough the same that she recognized me ?!? No, her daughter had been reading my blog and they recognized some of my writings about my family. It was so fun to see her and even more fun to see that she was a genealogist.

And then there were all the people I accosted for help with the Utah Genealogical Association. Gena Ortega has been a great help, and A.C. Ivory (both below) has been such an energy with the Salt Lake Chapter and the Publicity Committee. If you are interested and I haven't gotten a hold of you yet, let me know. UGA is doing some fantastic things--but I'll save that for another blog post.

The BYU conference a couple of weeks ago was great as well. There were several wonderful new presentations on the future of FamilySearch and how to deal with this new database. We had planned to split up with BYU and the Kansas City Expo both being the same week, but orders were coming in so thick that we had to make sure we could take care of customers. So we decided to stick with the conference closer to home. We were sorry to miss out on the event (and the barbeque) in KC, but I am happy to report that we did get every order out this summer by the time the person needed it. Thanks to all the extra help we've had--Erin has been a lifesaver. She has taken to reading my mind now and I don't know where we got so lucky to find someone like her.

And so on to the next conference (ahem, party). We set up this Thursday for the Salt Lake Family History Expo. Holly says, "Kids are going back to school. Now's the time to think about what you can do to improve your genealogy skills. One way to do that is by attending an Expo where you can hear genealogical experts present on techniques to help you break down your brick walls. You can meet with vendors and learn about new products and websites. You can ask a professional genealogist for help on your toughest research question at the Ask-the-Pros booth. You can network with other researchers and maybe even meet a new cousin." And of course come see us at the Generation Maps booth and say Hi.

And then if you are in Ogden Utah on September 11th, or Pleasanton California on October 8th and 9th, or at the ICAPGEN conference in Salt Lake on October 22nd and 23rd, come say hi there too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What we did over summer vacation: work work work :-)

I'm officially a binge blogger now. Orders got so thick this summer that the blogging had to take a rest. It was a fantastic summer for us though and we helped tons of people display their family history. I'll catch you up on what we've been doing in the next couple of posts.

Here are a few of the comments we have enjoyed:
  • I wish you could have seen and heard my wife's expression when she saw the chart with her family.
  • Thank you so much for your efforts, especially over such a busy weekend. The chart is beautiful and will be very well received at the Iowa reunion on July 10. I’m hoping that many of the younger ones will look at it, study it, and leave with a better understanding of relationships. I will soon be 72 years of age and wish that something like this would have been available in the 1940s when I was a youngster. You are performing a wonderful service. The results of your work will live on for decades and decades.
  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have been holding my breath since I ordered the 11’ X 3’ wall chart for our family reunion. It arrived earlier than I expected and it is beautiful. The quality is so much better than we had thought it would be. This was worth every penny. All of our work is now ready for the family to enjoy.
  • The charts arrived. We love them and I can't wait to show my mother in law. Thanks sooo much for a wonderful job.
It's been funny. With the launch of Family ChArtist, we weren't sure how our company would change, but there has been even more requests for custom charts and descendant charts than ever before. Probably because we are the one place where you can have a genealogy chart designed just the way you want it--every time. And family reunion season is always great for us. We love doing those huge inexpensive charts that help you gather more information at the big family get together or the beautiful family representations that help everyone envision their history with lots of pictures.

I so enjoy helping people bring their family closer together. As busy as we've been this summer, I can't imagine working on anything more fulfilling. We love being able to help you show off your family.