Monday, February 28, 2011

Back From London: A General Summary of WDYTYA Live 2011

Hello All -

Well, I am back from my WDYTYA Live experience in London over the weekend. I must say that I had a fantastic time over the three days. There was so much to see and so many lectures to attend. I didn't really get a chance to see as much as I would have liked, but nevertheless I had a great time. From a professional point of view, I was able to network with my fellow colleagues and meet those who I have known about but not met before.

It was real treat to me Dick Eastman, Chris Paton, Jan Gow (of NZ), Ian Marson (AGRA Chairman), Eileen O'Duill (APG Intl. Exec. Comm. from Ireland but American expat like myself), Kathy Hinckley (APG Executive Director), Laura Prescott (APG President), Alvie Davidson (APG Exec. Comm. from Florida), just to name a few.
Everyone was just very nice and friendly.

I spent most of my three days volunteering on the stands of ASGRA and APG. I got to speak with quite a few folks that wanted some advice on Scottish genealogy, and giving information about the APG and ASGRA for those that were interested. The time went by quickly, and at the end of the day nursing sore feet from standing and walking about all day. I probably shed a couple pounds during the three days.

This year was the first year that ASGRA had a booth. They were sharing it with AGRA and Origins. ASGRA is the credential organization of Scotland for those in professional genealogy. They are similar to AGRA in their aims and goals, but more for the Scottish professional and also that the records and research required is a bit different. There were 5 in total that came from ASGRA, including myself, down to London. We gave alot of help and advice for those who have Scottish ancestors, and also helped to promote the organization to a wider audience.

Also, making their debut this year was the Association of Professional Genealogist (APG) who are headquartered in Colorado, USA. The APG is a professional organization for those in the genealogical field or industry. It is not a credentialing body, but they do hold their members to a code of ethics and standards. Also, they are worldwide in their membership. There are over
2, 200 members from all over the globe - USA, Canada, NZ, Australia, UK, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Spain, even Japan and South Africa. I think that they were very popular if the steady flow of people visiting their stand gives any indication. I think that those who came from US and those from the Administration were very pleased with their reception.

On Saturday evening the APG had a dinner/get together for their members at the Pizza Express after that day's show was over. It was a great time had by all, and it was great to chat with colleagues from all over Britain, US, Europe, Canada, Ireland, etc.

The lectures were all day long for the three days. From what I could observe they were very well attended. Some of the more popular ones had folks standing outside the barriers to listen.
I am sure many people learned alot, and also got those who were thinking about genealogy to get started in it on their own family.

Sunday was fairly quiet compared to Friday and Saturday. Many commented on this, but I think that overall the event was well attended even if the numbers were a bit down from previous years. One theory could be for the lighter turnout is that the WDYTYA series in UK has not had a new season yet, but this is just my opinion. Usually whenever a new series of WDYTYA the ratings do very well, and there tends to be a increase in interest in family history.
Don't know really, I am sure that the event people will figure it out for next year.

Overall, I thought that the event was great and I had a enjoyable time. I hope that those of you who weren't able to go this year can make it in 2012.

Until next time ....


Mike said...

Carolyn, really nice to meet you at WDYTYA.
I'm sure Tracing Bureau will be of great assistance to your followers in finding missing relatives world wide.

Keep up the good work. Mike Reed.

Mike said...