With the attention of the genealogical community focused, understandably so, on the release of the 1940 U.S. Census in just a matter of days, I’d like to write about an equally important event to be held in southern Ohio a few weeks later.
The National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference will be held this year in Cincinnati, Ohio from May 9-12, 2012. I have the privilege of speaking at this year’s conference – “Michigan Roots: Genealogy Research in the Wolverine State” on Friday, May 11 at 11:00a.
In today’s one-click world of Tweets, Likes, and Pins, with instant communication and information sharing, there is still something to be said for attending a national conference, such as NGS or FGS. There is a certain energy and excitement in the air at these events, a hybrid collection of subject experts, content providers, vendors, local societies, booksellers, and attendees, plus new product announcements and content releases, all set against the backdrop of the host city. I’ve experienced this phenomenon recently at NGS 2010 in Salt Lake City and at FGS 2011 in Springfield, IL, and am already looking forward to RootsTech 2013 in Salt Lake City. I expect NGS 2012 in Cincinnati to have that same vibe.
Conferences like these offer attendees limitless possibilities. Myself, I look forward to reconnecting with colleagues and friends, making new friendships, and of course, spending some serious money in the exhibit hall. Let’s not forget about studying the new technological gadget, exploring the latest time-saving solution, and the opportunity to discuss product with the content providers themselves, including Ancestry, FamilySearch, Fold3, and others; as a librarian that works with these products on a daily basis, this opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation is priceless.
One other benefit of these conferences is the opportunity to dive into the local cuisine. As my Michigan and Ft. Wayne friends will attest, I take it as a personal challenge to find the “best” example of the food the host city is known for: the Philly cheese steak, a deep dish Chicago-style pizza, or the horseshoe in Springfield, Illinois. A big fan of chili, I’m particularly excited about the culinary possibilities in Cincinnati; I’m open to suggestions and recommendations!
With a number of the national-level conferences being held recently in the Great Lakes region, including Cincinnati, Springfield (IL), and Ft. Wayne (IN), plus the superb Ohio Genealogical Society Conference held annually, Midwest-based researchers are incredibly fortunate to have these fantastic events so close to home. I encourage everyone to look at their calendars and try to find some time in May to spend with an enthusiastic gathering of family history researchers at the “Gateway to the Western Frontier.”
I hope to see you in Cincinnati in May!