- I’ve never been to a conference before and I’m not sure it’s for me. What advice can you give me?
- I’ve been going to conferences for years. What’s so special about this one?
- I will be attending alone and won’t know anyone there. I find that prospect intimidating.
- What’s the best way to prepare for the conference?
- Are there other ways to help out or volunteer?
- This conference sounds like a great way to reach people. How can I advertise my business or services?
- How can I spread the word about the IAJGS Conference?
I’ve never been to a conference before and I’m not sure it’s for me. What advice can you give me?
Most genealogists toil away alone, doing research in libraries or online and conversing with others only electronically. A five and a half day conference like ours offers networking opportunities with others as obsessed as you are and a chance to socialize with and learn from your Internet colleagues. Chance encounters --a conversation continued after a lecture has ended…getting to discuss the material in a lecture with the expert who just presented it -- can lead to beneficial connections that will advance your research and provide a chance to make friends. By signing up for our blog and newsletter you’ll learn what’s in store for this years conference-goers and decide if it’s for you.
I’ve been going to conferences for years. What’s so special about this one?
Many of us have been attending the IAJGS conference for longer than we care to remember, and although there are always repeats of certain popular lectures -- because there are always new people attending who will enjoy these top-notch presenters, and beginners who are just getting started and need to learn the ropes -- we also feel an obligation to present programs that are first-time events and offer speakers never before seen at this conference. That’s what we plan for this year: to keep the level of interest high for both first-timers and long-time conference-goers, and to serve the research interests of newbies through professionals.
I will be attending alone and won’t know anyone there. I find that prospect intimidating.
We’ve all been first-timers at IAJGS conferences-- a bit daunting if one is attending solo and doesn’t know anyone -- but we’ve come away from the experience with a renewed sense of purpose, dozens of new contacts, many friends, and even some new relatives! Genealogists are gregarious, inquisitive and extremely friendly. They love interrogating newbies (in a good way) about their backgrounds and ancestors. “Jewish Geography” to the nth degree!
Conference organizers will offer new ways to facilitate these social opportunities, including “dinner with 10 strangers” (a sign-up option at local restaurants) and a buddy system, for those who want someone to make contact with one of our JGSLA members on the first day of the conference to provide them with an overview of what’s in store and some guidance. Odds are, you won’t be alone for long. Also consider inviting a friend or relative to come with you, even if they are not into genealogy. The conference will offer a number of historical lectures of academic interest, performances, and computer and artistic workshops and a film festival. There will be learning and socializing opportunities for everyone. Details on all of the above will be coming soon.
What’s the best way to prepare for the conference?
Organizing your genealogical data is always helpful and you can’t start that too soon! The more information you bring with you, the more efficient your time at the conference will be. We’ll publish a guide to preparations early in 2010 on this website.
In the meantime, making travel reservations or looking into travel options is a good idea. Many people may want to plan a family vacation to see other tourist attractions in California and the Western States before or after our event. You might also want to spread the word about the IAJGS conference to other people you think might be interested in attending.
Are there other ways to help out or volunteer?
Yes! We need volunteers in all facets of conference preparation and execution. If you want to volunteer your time or have a particular skill you want to share, check out our Volunteer link on the home page or write to email@example.com. We also welcome your financial sponsorship of our lectures, special presentations, films and receptions. For more information on what you can do click on the Sponsorship link on the home page or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. The JGSLA is a 501(c)3 non profit organization and contributions are tax deductible in the United States.
This conference sounds like a great way to reach people. How can I advertise my business or services?
How can I spread the word about the IAJGS Conference?
Please send people the link to our website and/or suggest they subscribe to our newsletter. We will also be preparing an introductory PowerPoint presentation “Go West Genealogists” which will be offered to anyone, free of charge, to show at JGS meetings and to Hadassah, synagogue, temple, or school groups. This guide should be available by December 2009. For more information on this contact us at: email@example.com.
Consider organizing a group from your community. Sometimes planning an activity where people know each other can be the tipping point in convincing them to come to this type of conference: a learning vacation where they can make strides in learning about their family history.