Overall, I had a ball at the 2015 conference of the National Genealogical Society! Kudos to all who put this together. I've been the coordinator for a 10-state (non genealogy) conference, so I have a pretty good idea of what goes in to the planning.
|Ann Fleming tossed out the first pitch|
of the StL cards v. Detroit Tigers game
and got chased by FredBird!
Even though some of the so-called genealogy "Rock Stars" were a disappointment to me, I still had a great time and learned a lot!
The social aspect of the conference remains the high point of my week. I loved getting to meet my friends from Facebook and FB groups, who I've only known in an online capacity for a few years. Finally meeting in person totally Rocked!
The iPhone app for the NGS conference was Uh-Maze-Ing! Before I left home, I had entered my schedule for the conference. Even though I changed my preferred sessions on a daily basis, I LOVED being able to pull up the app on my phone to see where I was supposed to be next. NGS gets 10 stars for this!
The Cards are my favorite MLB team, so it really was
a thrill to attend the game on Sunday evening.
Thanks to my friend, Diana Ritchie, for scoring great seats
behind the Cardinals dugout!!!!
ICING ON THE CAKE!
Meals . . . I managed. I applaud NGS for offering options for vegetarian and gluten-free meals. It's a start. I'm a "wheat-free, grain-free" eater. I'm easing off the foods that wreak havoc for a diabetic - such as potatoes and sweets. So the menus that included taters and desserts created an issue for me. But - I survived and brought in my own snacks that fit my eating plan. I gained 4 lbs on my trip, which wasn't really a surprise. Two of those are already gone, so I'm okay with that!
Those who know me well know that I do NOT want a lot of paper! I could easily have done without the majority of the "Stuff" that was in my registration bag. Sadly, I left the majority of the promos, bookmarks, etc behind at the first hotel I stayed in. I wasn't even that enchanted with the USB drive with the syllabus as I had downloaded it to Dropbox and my Kindle HDX. But, no doubt, I'll find another use for it. Planning ahead, I brought along my own Bright Pink tote bag! Had I misplaced anything, it was certainly going to be easier to find than looking among all of the Green Totes!
Seating .... OUCH! Yes, you really crammed us in together. This was almost like airline seating.Seriously, would an additional 6" between rows have been that much to ask for? Many of us take notes on our mobile devices and for those of us who have a bit of a tummy - well, it's difficult to take notes when we don't have a table. It would be REALLY nice if the last three (or so) rows of each room were chairs with tables so we could easily type or take notes on our mobile devices. I brought along my own "butt cushion," but still, a bit more comfort would have been nice.
Food options: Must say, I give you points for the Food Trucks, even though I didn't make use of them. Friends gave them high marks. I attended a conference in Denver in April (4,000 participants!) during which the food options were limited to roasted nuts and coffee. So NGS scored high in this regard. For the meals/banquets I didn't pay for, I was able to get a decent salad option. I thank you for offering choices!
This was my first national genealogy conference. I adapted to meet my own needs. It could easily have been a day or a day and a half shorter, with fewer choices of sessions. But I had a good time and learned a lot.
I conveyed my pros and cons regarding the sessions to NGS via the IOS app. While I still may be considered "the Cranky Genealogist," I really did enjoy my time in St. Charles.
Will I attend another NGS conference? Probably.