This year's annual conference of the U.S. National Genealogical Society opened as scheduled this morning. The 2005 event is co-sponsored by the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society.
The conference opened this morning under cloudy skies with intermittent rain. It is being held at the Nashville Convention Center, conveniently located in downtown Nashville. Today was "déjà vu" for me as I attended the 1996 NGS conference in the same location in Nashville, co-sponsored by the same local organization. 1996 was a very good conference and the first day of this year's conference was likewise well organized and presented.
The attendance this year is down somewhat from previous years. I am told that about 1,000 people pre-registered and I suspect that a few more tickets were sold today to those who purchased tickets at the door. Last year's conference drew about 1,600 attendees and many NGS conferences in previous years attracted more than 2,000 genealogists. A lot of seminars and presentations were held today. I will not list them all as you can see a complete listing of all the scheduled presentations of this year's conference at http://www.eshow2000.com/ngs/conf_program.cfm. This year's event includes four days of back-to-back seminars, lectures, demonstrations, and the very latest in genealogical research techniques, including the latest on DNA research.
The most embarrassing moment for me today was when I had the opportunity to introduce the guest speaker at the luncheon sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society. At the beginning of most presentations, the person who is doing the introduction usually asks the members of the audience to turn off their cell phones, pocket pagers and other noise-making devices out of respect to the speaker. However, I neglected to do that.
I opened with a few remarks and then proceeded to introduce today's speaker: Laura Prescott. Laura is the Marketing Director of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and I knew that she had a dynamite talk prepared as she and I had discussed it a few times in recent weeks.
Just as I started the introduction, I heard a cell phone ringing. "How rude," I thought to myself. Then I realized the ringing was coming from the cell phone clipped to my belt!
I answered and asked my daughter to call back later.
Laura followed with an excellent talk, despite my botched introduction.
The moral of the story is simple: check your own electronics first.
Descriptions or new products and services introduced at this year's conference, as well as a picture or two, will be posted on the daily edition of this newsletter in the next few days. Stay tuned…