The Who Do You Think You Are? Live! event is probably the largest family history gathering in the world. It typically attracts 12,000 to 15,000 attendees each year. It is always held at the Olympia Centre in London, England. The 2014 event will be held this week: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 20 to 22 February, 2014
Past conferences have typically been held on Friday through Sunday. However, the show's organizers changed this year's event: it will be held Thursday through Saturday.
The format of the 2014 event will remain similar to past events: more than 150 free workshops, free services which can identify and date military memorabilia and old photographs, and the chance to spend time with a genealogy expert plus Eric Knowles on standby to look at your family heirlooms. All in all, this should again be a great event.
The WDYTYA? Celebrity Theatre is the place to see celebrities from the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are? television series as they take to the stage in the convention center. They will be talking about their experiences of filming the show and their feelings about the journey to uncover their ancestors. This year's celebrities will include personality, Natasha Kaplinsky, former Eastenders actor Larry Lamb, and TV historian Dan Snow.
DNA has been a major focus of the past few Who Do You Think You Are? Live conferences and this year's event promises to be the same, except bigger. FamilyTreeDNA is one of the sponsors of the event and will be talking about Family Finder to determine your biogeographical ancestry, as well as about a number of other DNA topics. Of course, they will also be offering test kits. You can have a DNA sample taken at the show and the results will be mailed to you within a few weeks.
The Society of Genealogists' Family History Show started in 1993 at the Royal Horticultural Halls. 22 years later, they have combined forces with the Who Do You Think You Are? television show and now co-sponsor the event. You will see SoG members manning booths all over the hall, offering assistance in many different areas. If you need advice about a genealogy problem in the U.K., make sure you sign up for a consultation session with one of the Society's experts. The Society is also sponsoring a number of workshops, covering a wide variety of topics. Some of these workshops fill up early so you might want to make your reservations as soon as possible.
Ancestry.co.uk is the main sponsor and they always have big displays, manned by a lot of employees, and usually make major announcements at the show. I must admit I have no idea what they will be announcing this year, if anything, but I certainly will be checking out their multiple booths in order to find out.
A Keynote Workshop will talk place each day at 1.15pm in the Celebrity Theatre. Meet key members of IWM’s (Imperial War Museums) Lives of the First World War team and find out more about this global project to explore, reveal and record the contributions of over 8 million men and women from across Britain and the Commonwealth who served in uniform or worked on the home front. Details may be found at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/keynote-workshop.
The venue will remain the same: at the Olympia Centre in West Kensington, part of greater London. The Olympia Centre itself has quite a history, having opened in 1886. It is a huge venue and is easily reachable by rail. The nearest railway station is next door: Kensington (Olympia) station, which serves as both a London Overground station and, on weekends, a District Line station on the London Underground.
More information about Who Do You Think You Are? Live! 2014 is available at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com.
See you there?