17 March, 2013
Sue Zacharias Helps You Navigate Around FGS 2013
By Sue Zacharias
While most FGS conference committee chairs have a face that is recognizable within the genealogical community, some might say that I am the one who puts the face on the conference. My role is to create the materials you will use to navigate your way through the conference: the printed registration booklet, onsite guide, and syllabus.
FGS 2013 Brochures on display at ACPL
The 16-page registration booklet echoes the information already found on the conference website. It is filled with all the pertinent information you will need on the conference, as well as a brief overview of conference sessions and events for each day. This overview, referred to as “the grid,” will help you determine which sessions will be relevant and useful to your genealogical practices and/or research. Each session is identified by experience level: Beginner (B), Intermediate (I), and Advanced (A). Sessions identified with all three indicate the session is applicable for any skill level.
The onsite guide is your roadmap to the actual conference, filled with maps of the conference center and exhibit hall, including vendor information, and of course the daily grids, which will now contain room assignments for the individual sessions.
Last, but certainly not least, is the syllabus, the book containing all the conference handouts from each session. It has been said that the purpose of a syllabus is three-fold: It serves as a contract between speaker and session attendee, stating exactly what the attendee can expect to learn in any given session; it serves as a learning tool so that attendees can make effective decisions on whether a particular session will enrich their genealogical experience; and it serves as a permanent record of the event, material that attendees can refer back to days, months, even years after the conference has taken place.
Fun fact: The word syllabus was first used in 1656 as a term for a table of contents. Its current use of referring to an outline of lectures dates back to 1889.
Although the preparation of conference materials is a time-consuming task for the designer, the materials are meant to help you, the conference attendee, better manage your time at the conference. My face might not be recognizable at the conference, but the face of my work will be highly visible, whether in your mailbox, conference tote, computer, or smartphone. Enjoy!
Note from Tina Lyons: Registration booklets have started being shipped out. If you would like a copy for yourself or copies to pass out at your society or library, fill out the form at http://tinyurl.com/bjhaeok. You can also learn more about the conference and pick up a copy of the registration booklet this week at RootsTech in Salt Lake City.