I attended the Family History Fair in New York this past Sunday and must say that it was a very successful event. I am not sure of the total number of attendees, but seasoned veterans of this event told me that the size of the crowd looked to be about the same as last year's event when 700 people signed in.
This year's five-hour event saw a meeting hall that was constantly abuzz as people wove in and out of presentation rooms. Well-versed presenters made sixteen presentations. The attendees also checked the wares of a couple dozen vendors. You can read the article that I wrote earlier about this event at http://eogn.typepad.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2004/10/free_family_his.html. I just re-read that article, and everything that I predicted a bit more than a week ago happened as expected.
My personal highlight was meeting Jorge Camuñas and Charles Fourquet, founders of the Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York. I have been exchanging e-mails and online message board discussions with these two gentlemen for probably ten years or so. I watched the messages float by as together they launched the Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York in the "early days" by using these online discussion boards. Even though we had exchanged hundreds of messages, I had never met the two face-to-face until this weekend. We shook hands for the first time, and I instantly felt as if we were all old friends. Indeed, we are. It is an interesting commentary on the times in which we live when we feel that people we have never met in person are our close friends.
I suspect there will be another Family History Fair in New York City next October. It is too early right now to obtain details. However, I'd suggest that you occasionally check http://www.nycarchivists.org/fhf.html to see if details have been posted there.
To all the people involved in this year's event, I'd like to say this: "Thank you for making this a first-class event. I had a good time, and it looked to me as if most everyone else there enjoyed it as well. I look forward to attending next year's event."