Who Do You Think You Are? Live! in Birmingham, England – Day 0

The Who Do You Think You Are? Live! conference in Birmingham, England Day #1 will start tomorrow, April 6 at 9:30 AM British Summer Time. So, if tomorrow is Day #1, then today must be day #0, right?

In any case, I arrived in Birmingham about 6:30 this morning after a red-eye flight from New York City. After getting a bit of sleep in an airport hotel, I wandered over to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in the afternoon to see how the set-up for the show is progressing. I managed to sneak in without the required badge needed for pre-show set-up (Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone!) and found the place was a beehive of activity.

I will post a few photos in this article and more photos tomorrow once the show opens. Want to see what an exhibit stand looks like before the show opens? Here is the Ancestry stand as it existed this afternoon as a “work in progress:”


The NEC is an ideal venue to hold conferences. It is huge. In fact, it probably could hold a dozen conferences or more the size of Who Do You Think You Are? Live! simultaneously! It is also easy to access, being near junction 6 of the M42 motorway, and is adjacent to both the Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International railway station.

I suspect this is the last time the MyHeritage stand will be this quiet!


In fact, I am staying in a Birmingham airport hotel. To go to the NEC, all I had to do was walk out the front door of the hotel, cross the street, walk into the airport’s departure entrance, go up the escalator to a monorail, get on the monorail and travel about a minute or so to the NEC. Once there, step out of the monorail and directly into the hallways of the huge exhibition center.

Total time outdoors? About 30 seconds spent in crossing the street from the hotel to the airport. Everything else is under cover. That’s a good way to stay out of the rain. (It rains a lot in England.)

The National Exhibition Center also offers free WiFi to all attendees at all shows. It must be a rather heavy-duty WiFi network as it advertises that WiFi service is capable of 22,000 SIMULTANEOUS connections through smart phones, laptops and mobile devices. We may test that this week!

You can learn more about the NEC at http://www.thenec.co.uk.

The Spitfire is in place!


You can learn more about Who Do You Think You Are? Live! at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com. You might especially want to read the Society of Genealogists Workshop Programme schedule at http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com/workshop-timetable. I also wrote about this year’s show earlier this year at http://goo.gl/Rr0PXQ. Finally you can get see what happened at last year’s event in my articles from last year at http://goo.gl/GhDC1r as well as in a video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z76Sa6wHUh0. Watch closely, there is about a one-second clip of me in that video.

If you can be in Birmingham sometime during the next three days, you will want to attend this event.

We must be in England! Burger King doesn’t offer beer with its meals in the United States:


I’ll be at the NEC when it opens tomorrow at 9:30 and plan to report on the things I see late in the day.




Welcome to Birmingham – you are doing a great job here in promoting the NEC!


Am on my way there now Dick! I am a volunteer for Celia (Heritage) handing out leaflets etc, but will have plenty of time to look around and hear some talks.


I suspect your ‘celebrity’ status may have contributed Dick but I think that if you just walked in as an unauthorised person then this is a genuine security concern. Not knowing all the circumstances of this visit I hope you snook in semi-officially rather than was able to enter un-observed.


    I don’t think “celebrity” had anything to do with it. The security guard obviously had no idea who I am. BUT, I was wearing a MyHeritage shirt and I told them I am working in the MyHeritage stand (which is a true statement). She recognized the name MyHeritage, a major vendor at the show.


Not down to you how the security works there Dick but I am not impressed with a a tee shirt and a matching stand name if thats all it takes to wonder in! I suppose if you weren’t carrying anything and she watched you go to the stand?

Otherwise keep up the good work. Visited last year but unable to visit this unfortunately.


“It rains a lot in England” What a slander! It only rains once a year in England.

It starts on January 1 and finishes on December 31.


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