28 August, 2013
FGS 2013 Wrap Up
The 2013 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference is “in the books” and all that is left is sorting out the final details. Wow! What a conference! Although the final numbers are not yet tallied, there were 1500 to 1600 people gathered at the Grand Wayne Convention Center for the event.
Registrants had the challenge of having to choose between six lecture sessions each period of the day on Wednesday – Focus on Societies Day – and between eight sessions each period on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Fortunately, the majority of the sessions were recorded and MP3 downloads or CDs of those recordings can be purchased from Fleetwood Onsite Conference Recording. The full CD-ROM set is available for purchase now and individual recordings will be available within 2 weeks after the conference at http://www.fleetwoodonsite.com/index.php?cPath=299#.Uh4KCz8Wk7d. Watch for details on the FGS website. The 2013 Program Committee put together a selection of lectures that was amazing – something for everyone from the beginner to the professional researcher. Topics ranged from geographic areas to research facilities to ethnic interests to methodology, with a healthy dose of technology sessions throughout. Focus on Societies Day provided presentations on subjects to energize, motivate and provide strategies for those involved with genealogical and historical societies at all levels.
In addition to the regular sessions, attendees enjoyed the stellar Plenary and Keynote opening lectures on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. On Wednesday, Cyndi Ingle Howells, founder of Cyndi’s List of Genealogical Sites on the Internet (www.Cyndislist.com), gave tips for society leaders and members about making their society’s website the best it can be. On Thursday, Richard Aquila, an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer and professor of history at Penn State University-Erie, delighted the audience with his talk on the history of rock and roll music as it applies to social history and can be used as a source illustrating its time.
Eleven luncheons, five workshops, two evening social events and the Farewell Brunch rounded out the schedules of those attendees who chose to add those optional items to their calendars. Some took advantage of early-morning and late-night extended research hours at the nearby Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library. Registrants also were treated to a Q&A “ask the expert” panel and one-on-one consultations on Tuesday, a special War of 1812 Q&A panel on Thursday, and the opportunity to sign-up to lead or participate in GenSpiration “unconference” sessions throughout the week.
The exhibit hall was completely sold out and attendees were able to see and try the wares of software vendors, booksellers, companies selling heritage crafts and jewelry, and much more. Vendor demonstrations provided an opportunity for intimate question-and-answer periods. The Society Showcase area in the exhibit hall featured twenty societies who took advantage of reduced-rate tables to let visitors know about their groups’ projects and activities.
See you next August 27-30 in San Antonio for the 2014 FGS Conference!
National Conference Co-Chair