Can’t Attend a Genealogy Conference?
Some of us are genealogy conference groupies. If money and time were no object we’d go to every conference there was, at least I would.
Why? Well….Genealogy conferences are fun! You get to meet up with your online genealogy buddies and you get to learn new techniques for finding those elusive ancestors. It is also fun to travel to new places.
Realistically though, very few of us can go to every single genealogy conference even if one is a presenter.
Travel expenses are costly and there are time commitments in our ‘real lives’ such as work or volunteer activities. Also one’s health might prevent one from traveling to a conference. Maybe your spouse isn’t into genealogy and doesn’t want to spend every vacation going to yet another genealogy conference (fortunately I have a supportive husband).
There are as many reasons as there are people that prevent folks from attending a conference, no matter what the hobby is.
What I do when I can’t attend a Major Genealogy Conference
There are two things I do when I can’t attend a major genealogy conference.
1. I order the conference syllabus on CD. The syllabus gives a synopsis of the lecture notes of all the talks and who the speakers are. Often it contains contact information for the speakers if you wish to learn more.
For example – I recently received the 547 page conference syllabus for the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference held this past August in Knoxville Tennessee. It cost me $20 USD and arrived in a CD sleeve in the mail. The contents are fully searchable and the CD is jam packed with great genealogical advice in the form of lecture notes for each talk. I consider this a great bargain.
2. I order the audio of the talks I am interested in. Often these big conferences will have an agreement with JAMB recordings or other recording companies to provide the audio version of the actual talk. Costs of each recording vary but are generally around $12 each or less. This is another great deal and alternative method to hear highly knowledgeable genealogists speak about their topic of interest. FGS had an agreement with JAMB this year as did the organizers of the Southern California Genealogy Society’s Jamboree.
Note – it is helpful to have a copy of the syllabus first to aid in choosing which recording to order. Alternatively you can ask a genealogy friend who did attend to help you decide. They will have a copy of either the syllabus on paper or CD and can look up the talk to see if it is one that meets your needs before you order the recording.
Don’t miss out. Order the syllabus and/or the recordings if you can’t attend. Do as I do and enjoy ‘visiting’ these large genealogy conferences at home.
(Of course I’d sooner be there in person…..:)