The Who Do You Think You Are LIVE! event attracts 14,000+ genealogists each year to the Olympia Centre in London. Now there is a possibility of a show being held in Scotland in 2014. However, your help is needed.
The following was written by Dr. Bruce Durie:
2014 will be an important year on the Genealogy and Family History calendar It will be the next Year of Homecoming in Scotland, with a year-long series of celebrations, from Hogmanay to Hogmanay, bigger and even better than the Year of Homecoming 2009.
The shape of HS2014 is starting to emerge (www.ancestralscotland.com/newsarticles/2010_04-06/3305677). As part of this, there will be a number of large Signature Events. One of these, we hope, will be a Who Do You Think You Are LIVE! at the SECC in Glasgow.
Those who have attended WDYTYA LIVE! at Olympia in London will know that it is the world’s largest Family History event, attracting around 15,000 visitors. It offers an unparalleled opportunity for anyone in the Family History business – local and national societies, commercial organisations, professional bodies and the public sector – to display their wares, show what they can do, garner new members and present themselves to the wider world. The summary of the 2012 event, and plans for 2013 at Olympia, can be seen at www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/
The possibility of a version of the successful format in Scotland brings an added dimension – 2014 is the year many of the huge Scottish diaspora will visit Scotland again, so there will be an expanded international audience. It will also be an opportunity for those who have not exhibited at or attended the Olympia events, possibly for reasons of cost and distance. This applies not only to Scottish bodies and local societies, but given the considerable Scots-Irish links that exist, also to Irish organisations and anyone interested in Irish genealogy.
The idea of bringing WDYTYA LIVE! to Scotland has the backing of VisitScotland and EventScotland – the two main public sector organisations involved in 2014 – and SECC, where the event would be held. (www.secc.co.uk/)
However, it is by no means definite that such an event will take place. It will, at the end of the day, be a commercial decision of the owners/organisers of WDYTYA LIVE! (BBC Magazines/Immediate Media), who are actively exploring the possibility. It would help greatly in making the case of your organisation would give some thought to the possibility.
Dates have yet to be determined, but it will depend on a number of factors including coherence with other HS2014 events, availability of main sponsors and so on.
What could your organisation do?
Experience from Olympia shows that the bodies who benefit most from WDYTYA LIVE! are those who engage most fully with it. Please consider the following possibilities:
Everyone involved in HS2014 in Scotland would like to help make this happen. It would be good to have an expression of interest, at least in principle, which I will be happy to send on to the Organisers as they build their case for a 2014 event in Glasgow. Please feed back any comments or questions to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to Caitlin Phentnoi at Immediate Media, the WDYTYA organisers (Caitlin.Phetnoi@immediate.co.uk).
- take a stand – the most straightforward level of involvement;
- offer Talks into the Workshop programme – attendees from the general public greatly value the themed Talks, Ask The Expert sessions, Celebrity Lectures and other events;
- consider holding your AGM, Annual Meeting or Special Conference as a satellite meeting to the show – a chance to bring your membership together at a showcase event;
- pass on this letter to anyone else you feel might be interested.
Best regards, and hoping to see you in Scotland in 2014
Dr. Bruce Durie BSc PhD FLS FSAScot FHEA FIGRS FCollT OLJ
Chair, Ancestral Tourism Steering Group
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