Today was the first day of a two day family history and heritage expo held in Glasgow, Scotland. I had the good fortune of being able to attend and must say that I enjoyed the event immensely.
Who Do You Think You Are? Live has been a very successful annual expo held in London for the past several years. Today’s event in Glasgow marks the first time the event has been held outside of London and I was interested to see how the new event compares to the well-established events held in London. In short, today’s first day of the Expo was about what I expected: significantly smaller than the past London events but with a crowd that was just as enthusiastic as the London crowds.
The day started with a heavy overcast with occasional rain showers. In other words, it was a typical Scottish day. The weather wasn’t a problem for me as I am staying in a hotel adjacent to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, usually abbreviated to “SECC.” I only had to take a dozen or so steps to walk from the hotel to the Conference Centre. Inside, everything seemed bright and cheery.
Doors opened at 9:30 AM and I was inside the doors about 9:31 AM. The only thing happening at that time was the exhibits hall. The various presentations did not start until later.
Comment: Why do conferences in the U.S. start so early in the morning? Many of the U.S. presentations start at 8 AM or so. As a non-morning person, I believe the Brits and the Scots start at a much more civilized time of day. I am usually awake by 9:30.
While the crowd immediately surged into the exhibits hall and started visiting almost all the vendors there, I was especially impressed by the early morning activity at the DNA booths. The booths of both FamilyTreeDNA and ScotlandsDNA were mobbed immediately while the rest of the booths in the exhibits hall had good attendance but nothing I would describe as “mobbed.” This was a crowd interested in DNA!
As the day wore on, the crowd did spread out a bit. The DNA booths did remain busy all day but not at the peak they had at 9:30 AM. I saw a lot of other vendors’ booths that also were busy most of the day. I talked with several vendors shortly after the exhibits hall closed in the afternoon and most reported they were very happy with the interest shown and especially with the sales of the first day.
The Keynote Workshop featured Marie Dougan as she outlined different developments in technology for use in genealogy research. She talked about genealogy web sites available, DNA services, scanning, digital cameras, and also about genealogy software for desktop, laptop, and mobile devices alike. She even briefly described the use of Google Glass. Marie also is scheduled to give another Keynote Workshop tomorrow although I understand the focus will be a bit different than today’s.
Feedback from the Marie’s audience that I heard later was all positive. It was obvious that this crowd either knew about technology or else wanted to learn more about technical subjects.
You can find a lot of information about the other presentations and workshops offered by going to http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/ and clicking on EXPLORE THE SHOW.
One of the most popular offerings at the Glasgow Expo as well as at past Who Do You Think You Are? Live events is the “Ask the Experts” section where genealogy experts offer advice about where and how to find information that attendees seek. You can see more in the pictures below.
All in all, I would say today’s event was a success. I will be back tomorrow for the second and final day of Who Do You Think You Are? Live Scotland.
Here are a few of the many pictures I took today. These should provide a bit of insight into the event for those who could not be there in person. These are thumbnail images. If you click on any of the following pictures, most of them will expand into much larger and more detailed images: