After most major genealogy conferences, I host a dinner for newsletter readers. This is a tradition started years ago with an informal "pick up" dinner at a local restaurant. The dinners have since grown into far bigger events, now held in hotel banquet rooms. Last Saturday evening, a few hours after RootsTech 2012 ended, the largest ever such dinner was held at the Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown in Salt Lake City. 112 genealogists gathered for dinner.
These events are always completely informal with no presentations or speeches, except for a few welcoming remarks by myself. I also awarded doorprizes to several attendees.
This year I did ask for a show of hands to see where everyone was from. Only a few people were from Utah and a rather large number were from the east coast. There were about ten Canadians present, several from England, one from the Netherlands, two from Israel, one from New Zealand, and one person from Australia.
I was especially honored to see New Zealander Jan Gow in attendance. Jan and I are shown in this picture. Jan recently received a royal commendation for her genealogy work.
The noise level in the room was a constant buzz as genealogists compared notes and swapped stories. I judge the success of these dinners by the noise level. This year, I was pleased.
The last event of the evening was the awarding of door prizes, including two Plus Edition subscriptions to this newsletter. In addition, two lifetime licenses to Behold, a genealogy program for Windows, were donated by the program's author, Louis Kessler. A Flip-Pal battery-powered scanner was donated by Couragent. Finally, the grand prize of the evening was an Apple iPad2, donated by myself.
Photos are included in this article. You can click on any image to see a larger picture.
All in all, I enjoyed the evening immensely. I think about 111 others did as well.
In fact, I was so pleased that I have already reserved the same room for next year, following the close of RootsTech 2013.