For years, I have hosted dinners shortly after the closing of many of the larger genealogy conferences. I always invite the readers of this newsletter and their guests. I am delighted to announce that there will be another such dinner on February 12, 2011, immediately after the end of the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City.
These EOGN (Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter) dinners are for those who have no other dinner plans on a Saturday evening after the conference has ended. Each dinner is (very) informal, usually noisy, and is a place to relax amongst friends after the hubbub of the conference. In this case, the word "friends" might mean long-time friends or perhaps new friends you meet at the conference or even at the Saturday evening dinner. After all, genealogists are a friendly group! Everyone is invited.
Past dinners have attracted anywhere from 25 to 75 people and have always been great affairs, in my opinion. Most dinners have been held at local restaurants and have been "Dutch Treat" affairs with everyone ordering from the restaurant's menu. These informal dinners worked well for years, but lately they have become problematic as the number of would-be attendees has increased, I have had difficulty finding restaurants capable of handling groups of this size on a Saturday evening.
Did you ever call a restaurant and ask for a reservation for 75 on a Saturday evening? I have done that several times. I have also been refused a few times by restaurants that could not handle a crowd of that size.
I wrote about these problems after the last EOGN dinner in my article, EOGN Dinner in Knoxville and a Change in Plans for Future Dinners, at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2010/08/eogn-dinner-in-knoxville-and-a-change-in-plans-for-future-dinners.html. In that article, I proposed that future EOGN dinners might require a different format.
I believe I have found a solution. The manager at the site I found for the next EOGN dinner says she will be able to handle at least 100 attendees, possibly more.
If you have ever attended any of the previous EOGN dinners, I hope you enjoyed it. If you have not been able to attend a past EOGN dinner, ask anyone who has. Hopefully, we can repeat the experience this time and perhaps even exceed past years' experiences.
I am not yet prepared to announce details of the next dinner – simply because not all the plans are in place at this time. I am still negotiating details concerning menu, the exact time of the dinner, and a number of other details. However, I can say that the location is within walking distance, even within wheelchair distance, of the RootsTech convention center.
We will have several meals to choose from. The selections seem to be good ones. I am still talking with the banquet manager but expect to have some variety of beef and chicken and/or seafood. Vegetarian meals will also be available. A nearby cash bar will handle your drink orders.
Perhaps the biggest announcement is that we will have fun and games this year! Yes, organized games designed especially for genealogists. We will also have door prizes. Not one or two, but a number of door prizes. Stay tuned for further announcements.
Reservations WILL be required. Once the details are in place, I will announce the process of making your reservation. It will be similar to the system I used in August for the EOGN dinner in Knoxville, Tennessee. That process seemed to work well, so I will repeat it.
Payment will be required in advance at the time you make the reservation. I don't yet have a final price for dinner since that depends on the menu items that have not yet been selected. However, I expect the price to be around $40 per person. You will know the exact price before being invited to make a reservation.
Reservations should become available in the next few weeks. I will announce the process in this newsletter at least seven days in advance of the opening of reservations.
I hope you will enjoy the new plans for an EOGN dinner. Stay tuned for details!