The largest genealogy conference in the English-speaking world opened this morning in London. Luckily, I was able to attend. As usual, it was a great event. I thought I would share some of my comments about this year's event as well as some of my pictures.
For details of what was planned for this year's Who Do You Think You Are? Live (WDYTYAL) event, look at my earlier article at http://goo.gl/hCTgI as well as at the conference's web site at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.co.uk/.
I was outside the main entrance a few minutes before the doors opened at 10 AM.
As in previous years, the line of people waiting to get in stretched up the street and around the corner. I went elsewhere and had a cup of coffee. I don't have the patience to stand in long lines.
I returned about 10:30 and found the lines had disappeared. I was able to enter the hall and purchase a ticket within seconds.
As expected, the exhibits hall looked a lot like previous years: it was crowded and noisy with vendors of all sorts. Almost all of this year's vendors were showing products and services for genealogists. Gone were previous year's vendors selling gelato and/or Cadbury sweets. I was disappointed: I loved that gelato! However, I admit they were out of place at a genealogy conference.
I did see one vendor selling sausages, although I have no idea why. Another was selling massage pads for people with backaches and a couple of vendors were peddling questionable, so-called "family" coats of arms. Other than those very few exceptions, all the vendors I saw today were focused on genealogy or history or some closely related topic. I especially enjoyed the re-enactors dressed in military uniforms from various wars.
This morning I felt that attendance was somewhat less than in previous years. By mid-afternoon, I changed my mind. The vendors hall was crowded and noisy for the remainder of the day. Not bad for a Friday! I also noted quite a few U.S. companies were in attendance as exhibitors, more than I had ever seen before. Most of the U.S. vendors I talked with reported that their U.K. business had increased in the past year or more so it seemed natural to attend the event in London. Who says there is a recession in the genealogy business?
I wandered around, taking pictures more or less at random. Here are a few snapshots that I would like to share. For some of these pictures, you can double-click on the picture to see a larger image.
Pointing at a picture of himself at a recent military exercise.
Here's a familiar face, Janet Hovorka, also known as "the Chart Chick," co-owner of Family Chartmasters, generated a lot of interest with these charts. If you see Janet, ask her about the success she had a few days ago in England researching one of her ancestors. She was ecstatic!
This is only part of the line at the Society of Genealogists' "Ask the Experts" area. I couldn't get everyone in the picture without a wide angle lens, which I didn't have with me. Each of these people is waiting patiently to consult with an expert about some topic.
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