I attended a great genealogy/history/heritage/archaeology conference this past weekend with more than 15,000 attendees. I have been to the same conference in the past, as well as to other genealogy conferences that attracted 2,000 to 4,000 attendees. All the larger events were held in England. Returning to the United States, I see conferences ranging from a few hundred to perhaps 1,800 attendees, all held by organizers who would like to attract many more people.
When I compare the U.S. events to those held in England, I am struck by the fact that there is not a lot of difference in the amount of effort required of the organizers. Attracting 1,000 attendees appears to require about as much work as attracting 15,000. The conference organizers in England simply do things a bit differently, and the result attracts larger crowds. Indeed, I believe the events held in the United States could grow in size to compete with the British conferences.
Not all U.S. organizers will have the opportunity to travel to England for themselves to learn these differences. Therefore, I thought I would share my observations. Perhaps these remarks might help increase the attendance of your next conference.
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