I had the honour of being a speaker at this year's Jamboree - the annual conference of the Southern California Genealogy Society in Burbank California. In addition to speaking, I had a booth in the Exhibit Hall.
Ahead of the genealogy conference was the Genetic Genealogy Conference. I arrived at the hotel on Thursday, June 8th. Thanks to flight delays, it was nearing the end of the day of talks and workshops. Which was fine. It allowed me time to hit the patio and catch up with some genealogy peeps over drinks.
I was up early on Friday morning to get set up in the Exhibit Hall. It is always fascinating to watch a room full of tables and chairs become transformed into what will become a hub of activity, and in many ways, the heart of any genealogy conference.
The doors were to be opened at noon to the attendees (and the public in general). But until that point, Amber was on alert and made sure to guard against anyone other than exhibitors from entering.
A few of us were chatting waiting for the day to begin in earnest when all of a sudden the doors opened and the buzz began. I love the hum of the hall. People excited to see what is new, what is on sale and who is able to provide advice on their research.
I was on to speak at 8:30 Saturday morning. I love speaking about Scottish genealogy and giving people ideas of new places to look for their Scottish ancestors. It is such a fun and energizing experience. The talk was about brick wall busters and it was video recorded. There were lots of questions after the talk and I was glad there wasn't another speaker trying to get set up. A large number of the audience met me in the Expo Hall to keep our conversations going. It was a great experience.
My next talk was on researching in Scottish archives and libraries. While most of these resources are off line, they are some of the richest resources for genealogical research. Traveling to Scotland and seeing the records available for researching, I can tell you that your Scottish ancestors are waiting on the shelves for you to find them.
Again there was a great deal of interest and another large group in the Exhibit Hall seeking additional information.
On Sunday, my talk on Underused Databases for Scottish Research was live-streamed. Kind of like presenting to a live audience and a webinar audience simultaneously. Perhaps the most fun was me telling the audience that unless their ringtone played bagpipes, I didn't want to hear it. And then a bagpipe playing ring tone went off!
This was my first time at Jamboree and I am already looking forward to going again next year. The event was smaller and more intimate than RootsTech. This made it much more intimate and provided lots of opportunity to engage with the people who attended the conference. Connecting with others and sharing ideas is one of the best parts of any genealogy conference.