No matter what your interest, conferences can be fun and informative. Assuming the topic is related to your vocation or avocation, conferences often provide great networking and brainstorming opportunities. For instance, I know several authors who found the San Francisco Writers Conference enormously helpful in their paths to publication.
In a couple of weeks, I’ll be attending the joint Rootstech and Federal Genealogical Societies Conferences in Salt Lake City for the reasons listed below. If you share some of these motivations, I hope you consider attending one or both of these conferences or another family history conference.
Here’s why I’m going.
Feed Two Birds with One Feeder
I really dislike the “two birds with one stone” analogy. It goes against my love of birds and birdwatching. Watching the local house finches flock to the feeder a few feet outside my window, I made up a new one.
Partly due to limited funds and looming tuition payments, I choose to attend the joint conferences of the Federal Genealogy Society and Roots Tech. But, there’s another advantage. I can “feed” my need for increased know-how in two ways. I can brush up my genealogy skills and put a spit and shine on the techy stuff. Besides, I just like knowing things.
Self-taught only takes me so far
I’ve been dabbling in family history since 2006. Up until recently, I had my aunt, an expert in genealogical research, to mentor me. She learned things the hard way—traveling to court houses and cemeteries. Now, it’s time for me to take the reins of the family’s history cart and I want to do it right. I went to a local conference here in Detroit and found it was well worth the time. Now I’m stepping it up.
Salt Lake City is hosting the conferences.
At first thought, you’d wonder why a conference is scheduled for Salt Lake City in the bleak mid-winter. Why not, say, Houston? Then I saw last week’s Facebook posts from Texas where it was snowing. An “ah ha” moment followed.
Salt Lake City is home to the Family History Library. If you do any kind of family history research, you’ve probably dreamed of going there. Holding two Family History conferences a few blocks away from the ultimate repository of genealogy resources increases the draw.
Plus, Salt Lake City is used to winter, and they have mountains. They do it well, minimizing the bleak part.
I’m presenting at RootsTech.
In the interests of full disclosure, I admit I’m a presenter. But that’s not why I’m going. I applied to present because I wanted to go to the conferences. Just in case you’re interested in blogging about family history, I encourage you to check out my session (RT1527).
I want to connect with others.
I’m hoping to meet other Geneabloggers and other techies. Internet friendships are nice, but I long to put a face to my virtual friends.