April 17, 2016

Meet Me in Ft. Lauderdale

It’s hard for me to believe, but in just two weeks I’ll be flying to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the NGS 2016 Family History Conference. I’ve been looking forward to it for months, and suddenly it's just around the corner. Here are some of the things I'm most excited about:

Several of the nation’s leading genealogists are presenting new lectures that I hope to hear, including Elizabeth Shown Mills, Tom Jones, Mark Lowe, Judy Russell, Rick Sayre, Josh Taylor, and many others. There are so many good speakers and topics that it’s going to be very hard choosing between them for each time slot.

I’m also hoping to hear presentations by some speakers that are new to me, and on subjects I’m less familiar with. Exploring new territory is one of the most beneficial aspects of attending a National Genealogical Society conference, I’ve found.

My week kicks off with the BCG pre-conference workshop, “Putting Skills to Work,” with Jeanne Larzalere Bloom and David McDonald. A chance to hone my skills with an awesome duo from the Board for Certification of Genealogists in an interactive, small group setting. What could be better?

The exhibit hall promises to be a buzzing place, with big displays by the likes of Ancestry, FamilySearch, Find My Past, and My Heritage; tables offering help from national and state genealogical societies; and a host of vendors demonstrating and selling genealogy-related books, maps, software, archival products, and services. Good thing I’ve been saving up for this.

Speaking of demonstrations, the Genealogy Gems booth will be offering free 30-minute power sessions by Lisa Louise Cooke, Diahan Southard, Jim Beidler, and Lisa Alzo. These are always fun and informative.

I can't wait to spend some time with friends and colleagues from other cities and states—without a doubt my favorite part of any big conference. I also hope to meet new friends and readers. I love talking with others who share my passion for genealogy, and life in general. (As if you can’t tell.)

Last but not least, Fort Lauderdale is a beautiful place, and the weather should be fabulous.

Will I see you at #NGS2016GEN? If you haven’t registered yet, you can get all the information you need at the conference website, but you’ll want to hurry, because pre-registration ends April 22. Of course you can always register at the door, too. Hope to see you there!

- Shelley

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