Thursday, July 18, 2013
Believe it or not, it is now less than five weeks until the FGS conference in Ft. Wayne! That means it is time for my conference planning to move into the final stages. I need to look closely at the sessions I have selected and maybe pick alternate sessions, just in case my first choices are full. Since I like to have a plan and to be prepared (even if I later decide to change my mind), a printed list of my selections, along with the times and room numbers, is on the top of my list of items to take to a genealogy conference.
Another important item to take to conference is, of course, my cell phone. Not necessarily for making calls or for sending texts, but primarily for taking pictures of friends and all the new people I hope to meet. An important component of conferences is seeing friends and making connections, and I love taking pictures so that I can capture those moments. If you plan to later blog about the conference, pictures can serve to enhance the content.
For note taking I will print a syllabus for each session I'm attending so that I can scribble anything and everything that I want to remember about the lecture that may not already be on the syllabus. My phone will also be useful for checking my conference schedule (in case I misplace my hard copy), taking notes, or for any tidbits of information I may want to collect along the way.
Business cards are a must, as an inexpensive and convenient way to exchange information with new friends, business contacts, or potential clients. Certainly I will be taking my laptop with me to Ft. Wayne, though I prefer to travel light, so I will probably not take it with me to conference everyday. It will be for use in the evening if I need to check my email or if I decide to blog about the days events while they are still fresh in my mind.
Don't forget to bring a sweater or jacket and to wear comfortable shoes. Temperatures can be variable at conferences and who knows how much walking will be necessary throughout the day and into the evening.
Finally, the most important things I'm taking to the conference won't fit in my suitcase and can't be entered into my smart phone. The most important thing I'm taking to FGS is enthusiasm! Enthusiasm to learn and grow and to meet people and hear about new and exciting ideas in the world of genealogy. Though it is just a few short weeks away, it is not too late to sign up for FGS 2013. I hope to see you there!