Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reflections on Salt Lake Christmas Tour 2010

I am finally back home in Chicago - and made it just in the nick of time before that blizzard arrived! Last week, from Monday, December 6th through Friday, December 10th, 2010 I delivered 8 different genealogy and technology related lectures as part of the Salt Lake Christmas Tour.

I wanted to share some of my thoughts and observations on this wonderful event:
  • While attendance was slightly down over previous years (I blame the economy), there are about 100 fellow genealogists from all over the country and from all walks of life.
  • There are many social events during the week, some organized and scheduled and some spur-of-the-moment such as the nightly dinner club.
  • My favorite event was the daily breakfast (at the not-so-favorite hour of 7:00 am) where I could talk with folks and see how their research had progressed the day before. Also there were prizes given away each morning and also many people brought genealogy-related gift items for sale and on display.
  • While many of the attendees have been coming each year for over 25 years, newcomers are instantly made to feel welcome and part of the family.  This is sort of like "genealogy camp" and by the end of the week you don't want to leave all the new genea-friends you've made!
  • Sure there are lots of fun and games, but there is some serious research taking place.  The professional researchers including Arlene Eakle, Loni Gardner and others are available for consultation and to guide you to the resources and methodologies you need to break down those brick walls. The ratio of professional researcher to attendee is usually around 1 to 7.
    • The chance to research at the Family History Library during a period when there are plenty of microfilm readers available. All those tapes you usually order and wait for are there waiting for you!
    And I'm happy to report that there are 356 days left until the 2011 Salt Lake Christmas Tour and that I'm scheduled to participate again next year! Leland Meitzler and I will hammer out a list of presentations - including some hands-on mini-classes - and sign a contract by the end of January.

    I'd love to see some of my readers and fellow genealogists there for a week of research, education and holiday fun! You'll be hearing more from me next year about the 2011 tour - stay tuned!

    © 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

    1 comment:

    Jo said...

    100 fellow genealogists, all at the same event at the same time? That makes Scotland look like a very small country indeed, as it is relatively speaking... We can't drum up more than a dozen or so on a good day. Hope you exceed expectations for 2011 :-)