Monday, August 1, 2011

Attending a Family History Expo

Not many of the attendees of a Family History Expo or any genealogy conference know what goes into getting everything ready for the event.  A year or more ahead of time plans are made for where, when and how the next year's Expos are going to be held.  It just doesn't happen.  The staff and vendors arrive ahead of time to set up and coordinate.  Many people get involved, hours tick by and even though tired, they are dedicated to presenting a top notch event for genealogists.

I just returned home from the Family History Expo in Overland Park, Kansas.  As you can see by the photos, there is a good deal of thought that goes into setting up.  Some of the vendors have their props and signs shipped and others bring trailers, some fly from one location to another and others drive.  It's like old home week when finally get together.

Once things are in place, the rush and sometimes confusion begins the next day.  If you are attending an event, keep in mind that we are all human and errors happen.  Even computers are not perfect.  Smile and be patient!  People register and are given their packets or hand out bags.  They ask questions and we try to answer them.  Then the classes begin.  Unfortunately attendees can not take in every class and hear every speaker.  They must choose between several tracts.  However, they can use their syllabus to read what they missed.

As a speaker I enjoy seeing genealogists, meeting them and learning from them.  Yes, I learn also!  If they attend my class and go away learning just one thing, I'm happy.  That's my goal as a speaker!  There has not been one Family History Expo this summer where I have not met a relative or somebody that I have met through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or blogging.  The world tends to be small and getting smaller.

One of the exhibitors brings his children.  They are polite, cute kids.  If you meet them, you won't forget them.  Rachel is a young artist.  She draws what she sees or what she imagines.  I commissioned her to do a painting of me in one of my classes.  Rachel doesn't go into the presentation rooms.  She stays in the vending area, so she drew what she imagined it would look like, including the escalator which was beside the exhibit hall.  Rachel did a good job and I will treasure her drawing.  She drew a good likeness of me.  Notice the blonde hair.

A friend of mine has attended three Family History Expos this summer,  as well as the Civil War Conference here in Nebraska.  She said she thought she was becoming a Family History Expo Groupie.  Even if you are not a joiner, you can attend one of many enlightening genealogy conferences this summer, fall and next year.  Be sure to put the Family History Expo on your calendar!

You Go Genealogy Girl #1 --- Ruby


  1. Thanks for the behind the scenes look. This was the first FHE I attended and it was a great experience. It was a treat to meet you, too, even briefly!

  2. I wish I had had time to visit more with people. Being one of the speakers and doing so many presentations I was a time watcher!!

  3. Rachel did a good job - lady at a table with a green cover and an escalator in the background - that's kinda what I remember from NGS this year!



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