NERGC 2019 officially starts today and as I sit sipping my coffee in the lobby waiting for the first session to begin, there is a real buzz going on all around me. There are many first-timers here who have that gleam in their eye of a genealogy kid in a proverbial candy store. NERGC promises to be a great reward to them and to all of us.
A regional conference is a more intimate experience than national ones like NGS, FGS or RootsTech. Folks at a regional conference are either from that area, or their research is from that area. So right off the bat you have something in common with them.
Yesterday was a Pre-Conference Day and I spent the day attending the Professional Genealogy track and then helped one of my societies, The Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor, set up their vendor booth. Setting up a vendor booth at a conference was a new experience for me. You are trying to create a compelling booth that will draw people over to you. My take-a-ways? Free stuff. And Candy. That’s it. That’s the secret. Don’t tell anyone I told you.
Today will be a mixture of sessions and volunteering. The fabulous Cyndi Ingle, creator of the indispensable Cyndi’s List, will be the opening session. She is doing a talk, Genealogy and the Internet – A Match Made in Heaven. There’s a girl after my own heart. I didn’t buy tickets to a sponsored lunch today, so I’ll be volunteering at either the DFAW booth, or see if they need help at my other society, The Connecticut Society for Genealogists.
After lunch is a session by Dan Earl, Cloud 9: Genealogy Beyond the Binder. If you’ve never attended one of Dan’s talks before, you need to make it a point. He knows his stuff, and he presents it in such a funny and refreshing way. And plan to be a part of a giant selfie if you go to Dan’s sessions. He takes one at each session he does. He says he does it so he can prove to his wife back home that he really is where he said he would be.
I’ll start to wind down my day by trying to catch Cyndi’s other session today, Advanced Googling Your Grandma. I want to try to catch as many of her sessions as I can. My last session of the day will be to volunteer as a room monitor for Dave Robison’s session: Interview: Recording the Past. I’ve never been a room monitor before. I’m told my job is to just collect evaluations after the session as people leave. I’m hoping it’s not anything more complicated than that. I think I’m also supposed to make sure everyone behaves in the room. I think I’m pretty safe, there. Genealogists aren’t the heckling type. Or troublemakers. I hope I didn’t just jinx myself by saying that.
I tend to not do evening things when I’m at a conference. Mostly because I just need some down time. So I will probably not make it to the Society Fair or Special Interest Groups. But they are both really well attended, which just proves what a party pooper I really am.