Wednesday, September 7, 2011

FGS2011 - Day One

Today was the first day of the 2011 Federation of Genealogical Societies' Conference. I spent the morning driving to Springfield from Fort Wayne. The trip would have been better if we didn't have to come to a complete stop on 69 for some unknown reason. The first stop of the day was Lincoln's Tomb. (Like any good genealogist I went to the cemetery first.) then we stopped at the Cozy Dog Cafe for their original corn dogs. (This was the only thing I found in Springfield that interested the husband. No moonshine here.) Then we checked into the hotel and rested a bit. Finally it was time to go to registration. I picked up my conference bag, name tag and other goodies. then I went back to the hotel and dumped out the bag, got out what I needed and ditched the bag. My husband kept saying it looked like a nice bag, but I didn't need to carry something that everyone else had. On the way to the first session, I met up with some of the folks from Ancestry that I met at Ancestry Day in Fort Wayne in July. They wanted to know where I was to collect the War of 1812 donations that morning after Curt Witcher talked about the project. Apparently the donation of $1005 that I collected from the attendees at Ancestry Day is now legendary. Then it was time for my first session: Paula Stuart-Warren's Publicity for Society Events: Simply Supercharged. Paula had some great ideas that will hopefully serve me well as a member of the Indiana Genealogical Society's 2012 Conference Committee. My favorite thing she said was "family gets in the way of family history." All those family events really take our time away from our research. Paula put us in small groups to plan out a one page conference flyer. Well, it just so happened that I was sitting next to Melissa Shimkus from the Allen County Public Library. She had shown me flyers for the National Black Genealogy Summit that Curt Witcher wanted her to pass around. So I decided to pass off those four page color flyers as our group's effort. Paula was amazed that we had brought a color printer, but said we should have made our flyer more than a month in advance of the event. Then she went back up to the podium and mentioned our group's "effort" to everyone and on the tape. Of course then we had to share our awesome publicity skills with Curt, who just gave us the look like we were crazy. Of course this was mostly my doing and I shouldn't blame Melissa too much. Melissa and I attended Amy Johnson Crow's talk called "Finding and Keeping Volunteers" next. Amy talked about the need to outline the roles for volunteers and find the right people for those jobs. She always has wonderful examples to add to her talks and this one was no exception. I especially liked the reminder to change passwords when a volunteer quits or as a last resort you have to fire them. I skipped the last session to grab a snack and take a nap. Then it was time for the Old Fashioned Praire Social. It was fun to talk to fellow bloggers and IGS board members. I am going to attempt to make a list of everyone I met later (when not writing on my iPad so I can link better.) I look forward to tomorrow's events.

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