26 April 2009

Getting the Most out of a Genealogy Conference - Part 2

Read the first part of this article here.

So, you've made your hotel reservations and sent in your conference registration. What next?

If the conference offers several presentation sessions, how do you choose from among the many options? Study the program and pick the lectures you want to attend.

Devise a plan of attack.
- Study your family group sheets and pedigree charts.
- Identify specific "missing pieces" or unsolved puzzles in your documentation.
- Review the conference schedule to pinpoint sessions that will give you the most useful tips and guidelines.
- Build your plan around the key sessions you want to attend.
- Then fill in the rest of your schedule plan.
- Identify speakers who have experience in the geographic areas of interest.
- Step out of your comfort zone. If you've searched online, then go to a session on a search-and-touch techniques. If you've never touched a keyboard or used an Internet source, then see what is available online.

Put together a shopping list. You'll find lots of new and used genealogy books for sale. Read book reviews or visit a library to get a preview of authors' books. If you're an online researcher, visit the speakers' and exhibitors' websites to find what products and services they offer.

What should you bring with you?
- Family group sheets and pedigree charts, either on paper or on your laptop.
- Notes or questions that you want to pose to speakers.
- Other materials (e.g. photos to be restored or analyzed).
- Book or tote bag (some attendees use rolling bags for convenience).
- Sticky notes to flag pages in the syllabus.
- Pen or pencil for taking notes
- Highlighter
- Camera

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