Imagine yourself in a place surrounded by all of the “latest and greatest” in genealogical products including books, software, databases, archival and scrapbooking supplies, gadgets, and clothing with a genealogy theme. Hard-to-find genealogy books are available for browsing and purchasing, including a large selection of family histories and books that have long been out of print. You have hands-on access to genealogy software programs so that you can decide for yourself which one will meet your needs. Well-known genealogists give lectures on a wide variety of research topics, and are available to answer questions or provide suggestions on your latest genealogy research project or brick wall. And, best of all, you have a large group of fellow genealogists to enjoy it all with!
Sound like heaven? Well, almost. It’s a genealogy conference!
There are hundreds of genealogical conferences, meetings, seminars, and workshops taking place around the world each year. The majority of the conferences are held in the late spring or early fall. Many national and regional organizations host annual conferences; state genealogical and historical societies hold their annual meetings, and numerous local societies and libraries host workshops and 'mini-conferences.' These are some of the best opportunities available for genealogists to “live” their hobby. I've attended several genealogy conferences and always come home exhilarated and full of great new ideas! Here are the top ten reasons why you should put attending a genealogy conference on your 'must do' list, along with some tips on how to make the most of your experience.