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ThinkGenealogy Innovator Award #5

Tuesday, 23 Feb 2010 | by Mark Tucker

The winner of the next ThinkGenealogy Innovator award has been doing some exciting things in the area of genealogy conferences.  That might not be an area that we normally associate with innovation, but that is precisely what Family History Expos, Inc. has been doing.

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Before Family History Expos (formerly My Ancestors Found) started doing conferences in 2005, the two main options were attending a national conference or one sponsored by a local or regional genealogical society.  Over the last few years, FHExpos has organized conferences in an increasing number of locations including, Utah, California, Colorado, and Arizona.  This year they will also host conferences in Missouri and Georgia.

Their model is to find interesting presenters that are willing to share their family history knowledge in exchange for admission to the conference.  This keeps the price of the 2-day conference to around $70 dollars which is a bargain for the approximately 1000 attendees that register for each conference.  In addition to two full days of presentations with multiple sessions each hour, there is a top-notched exhibit hall that is free to the public.

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Arizona Family History Expo 2010 – Day 1 Review

Saturday, 23 Jan 2010 | by Mark Tucker

I could spend an hour writing about all the stuff at the expo today.  There is that much that happened. Only a few things are stopping me: 1) I am exhausted from a full day that started with the 8am keynote & ending with the banquet that ended at almost 9pm and 2) I need to get some rest as my next presentation is at 8am tomorrow.

This has been an interesting expo in the fact that I have seen it from a number of new perspectives that I hadn’t from the last time the expo was here.  The Scouting Heritage booth has allowed me to see things from a vendor’s perspective as I have had to split my time between presenting, attending presentations, blogger, helping at the Ask to Experts booth, and greeting people at the booth.  As a Blogger of Honor, I have spent time blogger and tweeting to help others get a feel for the conference.

The keynote was insightful.  Tim Sullivan from Ancestry.com talked about computerized genealogy predictions made 25 years about by Andereck and Pence in their book, Computer Genealogy:

“The marriage of technology and genealogical method is ripe & most promising…”

The predictions then went on to outline what is the reality of online genealogy today.

The first class I attended was by Lisa Louise Cooke about using Google for genealogy.  I only watched the first 10 minutes but was able to get a flavor for the fun, personable way the Lisa presents.  There were so many people in the class and more were coming in, so I let someone else have my seat.  I then attended the last part of a class on how to use your mobile phone for genealogy. Curtis Tirrell works for AppTime the company that makes MobileTree.

I spent much of the rest of the day in the Scouting Heritage booth that I setup.  My presentation on doing professional quality research was well attended and received great comments.  This was the first time that my inlaws got to see me present which was fun.

The remaining part of the day was spent in the booth talking with a friend from Woodbadge training.  It was great to speak with him again.

The highlight of the day had to be the banquet.  I sat at the best table.  We had a great time talking about blogging.  There was a live recording of the Genealogy Gems podcast that will be out on the site in a few weeks.  It was an absolutely great time! I was exhausted by the end of the day, but what a wonderful way to get exhausted.

AZ FHExpo – Friday Morning Photos

Friday, 22 Jan 2010 | by Mark Tucker

Here are photos from the first morning of the Arizona Family History Expo 2010:

Keynote:

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Booths:

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Mobile Genealogy class:

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Document Scanning with Ancestry.com:

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Genealogy Bloggers:

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Sons of the American Revolution:

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There were many other booths I stopped by, but I forgot to take pictures.

Scouting Heritage Booth at AZ Family History Expo

Thursday, 21 Jan 2010 | by Mark Tucker

Scouting Heritage Booth

It is a wet and windy Thursday night in Mesa, Arizona.  I was able to get the Scouting Heritage booth setup at the Family History Expo.  A big thanks to all those who helped this idea become reality.

The Story

About a month ago I got the idea of doing a Scouting booth at the Arizona Family History Expo.  After all, it is Scouting’s 100th anniversary and I couldn’t think of a better group of people to share it with than those attending the expo.

The first contact I tried to make with the Boy Scouts was the Grand Canyon Council.  I mistakenly thought that there was already a group at council that would be interested in such an event and would already have the resources to make it happen. Now it was already the first week in January. 

I next tried the Mesa District since the expo falls within their boundaries and it would be easier to get local volunteers.  The timing must have been bad as they couldn’t offer any assistance.

I was about to give up on the whole idea, but couldn’t let it go.  I live in North Phoenix which is 40 minutes from where the expo would be held.  I decided to contact the Thunderbird district executive, Carol Chacon, to see if there was anything she could do.

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Behind the Scenes at AZ FHExpo

Thursday, 21 Jan 2010 | by Mark Tucker

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Here is a photo of Holly Hansen, President of Family History Expos, Inc. directing the volunteers as they stuff bags.  She doesn’t know I took this.

There was quite the assembly line putting the bags together:

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Thank you to all the volunteers that make this happen.

See you at the expo tomorrow!

Mesa FHExpo 2010 Contest Winner

Monday, 11 Jan 2010 | by Mark Tucker

 

I would like to thank those who entered the contest to win free entrance to the Arizona Family History Expo on January 22-23, 2010 at the Mesa Convention Center.  I enjoyed all the contest entries.  Thank you for all the great photos!

I put the numbers 1-7 on slips of paper and mixed them up in the official Land O Lakes whipped butter container.  The two numbers drawn from the container were entries 4 & 5 both submitted by Nancy Hill.

Join me in offering Nancy congratulations!  I know you and your companion will have a wonderful experience.

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