In short, everything continued as planned. Attendees enjoyed cool but sunny California weather and the crowds grew bigger. Workshops were held, the exhibits hall opened, meals were held, and moire than 30 presentations were made. I didn't see a bad presentation.
There were far too many presentations being held at once to be able to attend all of them. However, the ones I did attend were all good. I also chatted with a number of other attendees and heard similar reports: nobody mentioned any presentation they found to be disappointing.
Topics varied from beginners' topics to some rather advanced research guidance. You can see descriptions of each presentation at http://genealogyjamboree.com/2013/Schedule-FriFREE.htm and at http://genealogyjamboree.com/2013/Schedule-Fri.htm.
I always spend time in the exhibits hall and Friday was no exception. The Jamboree's exhibits hall is different from most: it is small and rather crowded. The exhibitors were elbow-to-elbow. The number of vendors was also smaller than normal for a genealogy conference with 1,500 or more attendees, undoubtedly caused by the small room and lack of display space. However, the room was always busy with attendees every time I was there, which is also different from a lot of other conferences I attend. I did talk with a couple of vendors who sell books or software at the conference. They both agreed they were pleased with their opening day sales.
I did not find many new products or services introduced this year, although several vendors did announce incremental improvements or additions to their existing products and services. That is no surprise as most vendors introduce things at other, national conferences.
One of the things I like best at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree is the social aspect. I guess I should call it "comaraderie." Most all genealogy conferences have that but it always feels to me as if the Jamboree has even more of it than the other conferences. Maybe it is caused by the southern California lifestyle. I'm not sure. Whatever the cause, it was in full force all day Friday. I am sure Saturday and Sunday will be the same.
Another thing I admire about the Jamboree is the scheduling: the two biggest days are Saturday and Sunday. Why are they so popular? The answer is obvious: that's when the majority of people can attend! I am always mystified why other conferences hold sessions on weekdays and Saturdays, then are closed on Sundays. Even worse, the conference organizers then wonder why they don't get as many attendees as they would like. Well, DUH!
Here is a major "secret" of the Jamboree's success: they are open on BOTH Saturday and Sunday, days that are convenient for would-be attendees. Yes, the Jamboree is also open Friday and this year even added a Thursday event. However, the emphasis is on Saturday AND Sunday events and presentations. Other societies should pay close attention to the reasons for the success of this conference.
To be continued...