NGS 2014: Tips for the Attendee You Can Implement Now!

Woo hoo!  As you can see I was recently named an Official Blogger for the National Genealogical Society conference to be held in Richmond, Virginia in early May.  I am looking forward to it for many reasons including the strong program with many great choices, meeting some old and new friends and staying with my good friend Mary.

Embed from Getty Images

This is my second NGS conference, having attended Cincinnati two years ago.  I remember being slightly overwhelmed at the first one and thought that first-timers and even “multiple-timers” might appreciate some tips about “Conference Survival!”  Since we are several months in advance of the conference, this first post focuses on the things you can do now to enhance your experience.

  • Download the mobile app.  I love this app.  Install it on your ipad and your phone.  Play with it.  It has maps, speaker bios, a direct twitter link (even if you have never tweeted before, this app makes it easy to start.) and the program. Here is the link:
  • Once the mobile app is downloaded, start reviewing all the program options and make some selections now.  You develop your personalized program by clicking on the star.  Do not worry if you have 5 selections for one time slot; your inclusion of those on your Personal Schedule will be great reminders of what you might want to attend.  You will, of course, have to narrow it eventually to one.  That’s the tough part.
  • NGS is live streaming 10 lectures split between two tracks for $65 each.  These will be available for three months after the conference for those who sign up.  Track One is “Records and Research Techniques” and Track Two is “Virginia Records & Migration.”  Make a strategic decision now about whether you want to join the hordes of attendees for these presentations which includes Elizabeth Shown Mills and Tom Jones, or attend one of the other great options which are at the same time slot and watch the presentations later.   You can find more about this option here:
  • If you haven’t made your reservation and you need a room or you have a room and you feel sorry for all those “folks who want to attend but are shut out of the hotels because they are all sold out,” put your name on the roommate wanted/room wanted list.  It’s easy and you may make a new friend–or not–but that’s the fun of it.!forum/ngs-roommate-connections
  • If you do not tweet, learn how now so you understand the power of the tweet!  Conference hashtag is #NGS2014gen
  • Sign up for the conference blog–this will get you real-time information about the conference.  Right now each blog posting is highlighting a difference repository in the area.  If you have Virginia or research needs that take you to DC, these repositories are a gold mine of resources.  Sadly, I have no ancestors from the area.  Just enter your email address in the left sidebar and hit the subscribe button.  You will be able to unsubscribe whenever you wish.
  • Speaking of research…if you plan on doing some research while you are in the area, make your research plans now.  Identify the time you have available and which repositories you will visit. Outline your research question/problem and identify the likely repositories for your search.  Check out their online catalog and the hours/days of service.  Maybe even give them a call.  You do not want to arrive and find they are closed.  Start gathering your supplies, get your equipment repaired or purchased, and/or take a class to use that new laptop even more efficiently.
  • Load into your smart phone or tablet the apps you will be needing for travel, messaging, or research.  My favorite new app is Finescanner!  How did I live without it?  Finescanner facilitates you taking a sequence of pictures using your camera and then puts the jpegs into one PDF document so your can read them in Evernote or Good Reader!  No more individual jpegs for this girl!.  Even my husband was impressed with this app. (This is not a product placement–I make no money off the sale of the app, if fact when I last checked it was free at the app store.)  If you use your camera as a copier, then you may find this of help.  If you pay a little more you can get OCR but the reviews are not universally ecstatic.

That should get you started.  I am getting excited just writing this blog!

If you see me at the conference and you are a follower, don’t hesitate to come up and introduce yourself.  I would love to meet you.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last posting:  worked more on my ProGen assignment, developed a slide show on GPS Element #2 (SGS is doing a series on the GPS–the “Garmin” of genealogy–it will help us find our way!) Started the research on the expansion of the posting on Gender Balance and authorship for APGQ.   The graphic image of the luggage on this posting is a Getty Image that they have recently (like yesterday!) opened up to non-commercial uses.  They have some great graphics.  I now have to figure out how to get the text to wrap the image.


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