Today was the first day of the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! 2014 expo and most everything seemed to run as expected. I'd guess today's crowd at 3,000 to 4,000 attendees. That's perhaps a bit smaller than last year's opening day. Then again, this year's event started on Thursday while last year the opening day was on a Friday. That may explain what looked like a smaller crowd. Then again, that's only my estimate, not the official attendance numbers.
The exhibit hall also also was slightly larger this year with a bit more space in use on the second floor. Perhaps it was the same number of people but with more space to spread out. Whatever the number, it was an enthusiastic crowd. Everyone I talked with seemed to be enjoying themselves. 94% of visitors to last year's show rated it as good or excellent and I expect there will be similar ratings again this year.
I attended several presentations today, then spent the rest of my time meeting old friends and taking pictures. I can offer a selection of pictures below. I hope these will give you a bit of insight into what the show attendees saw and experienced. As usual, you can click on any image below to view a larger picture.
These first few pictures were taken from the balcony and each shows just one part of the main floor. My camera doesn't have a wide angle lens that is capable of showing the entire main floor. It's huge!
Ancestry.co.uk is a major sponsor of Who Do You Think You Are? Live! and had several booths plus a theater for their many presentations. Above is a picture of the main booth and a picture of the Ancestry.co.uk Academy is below:
FindMyPast also had a very large booth. The parent company, DC Thomson Family History, owns or manages a number of genealogy-related web sites and most of the divisions had booths at Who Do You Think You Are? Live!
As did Genes Reunited:
Perhaps the most ironic picture of the day was seen in a banner of TheGenealogist.co.uk. It reminds us that not all of our ancestors were successful in every endeavor of their lives. This is an example of failure:
DNA is a major theme of the show. Family Tree DNA had a booth and also sponsored the DNA theater. I'll try to get pictures tomorrow.
Britains DNA also had a large booth:
Else Churchill, the Genealogist at the Society of Genealogists, gave an interesting overview of Getting Started in Genealogy with a strong focus on the resources available at the Society of Genealogists.
Military re-enactors are very popular in the U.K. and uniforms from several wars were seen at this year's event:
This expo has always featured a lot of military records and attendees have always been invited to bring in military memorabilia for analysis. However, this year's event has a stronger emphasis on military history than ever.
Every year, I look for "the Hat Lady." Jacqueline Depelle wears some of the most original ladies’ hats I have ever seen. They all have a genealogy theme, listing her ancestors. It is a great way of showing her interests as well as honoring her ancestors.
I'll be back at Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in the morning, carrying both my camera and the note-taking iPad Mini.