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Help, Which Genealogy Conference Should I Choose?



I’ve been thinking a lot about my next genealogy conference. Which one do I want to attend in 2012? I usually only choose one large conference each year. Let’s face it they can be expensive, and I live in Canada, so pretty much any conference I attend involves an airline ticket, hotel room and a block time away from my family.

Most conferences require you to register in advance, especially if you want the early bird prices, or a hotel room to lay your tired body at the end of a hectic day. You can’t procrastinate or your choices will dwindle. Therefore, I started thinking about which conference I wish to attend next year. It’s hard to decide because some conferences are earlier then others and therefore it becomes difficult to compare them when you don’t have all the information in front of you. Past experiences, and what others are saying about their conferences influence my decisions. You can find a list of current genealogy conferences here at the Armchair Genealogist, and it is being updated as more 2012 dates are released. 

I wrote a post this past year Genealogy Conferences - Who Deserves Your Money? I took my own advice and considered time, location, timing and lectures. I  narrowed it down to two choices. 

From those four components time, location, timing and lectures I created a list of pros and cons of my top two choices for 2012. 

My first choice is:
RootsTech– Feb 2-4th – Salt Lake City Utah
            Pros
            -          Salt Lake City Utah- never been
-          I could do some research at the family history library
-          My husband would be interested in joining me because he could ski
-          It’s in February, and really what else is there to do in February
-          Conference price is currently $129.00 and rooms are $89.00 both great prices
-          The premise of this conference, really excites me, not your average genealogy conference
-          Lectures presently available, and there are many I would be excited to sit in on.
-          This conference is innovative, as a blogger I feel it’s the place to be.
Cons
 - It’s in Salt Lake City and requires an approximately a $500.00 airline ticket
 - It’s February, the weather is sketchy, hate to be snowed in at an airport.
 -  Not your traditional conference, may still feel the bug to attend a more traditional conference
 - I have to decide very soon if I want to get the best possible prices.
 -  Total price would exceed $1000.00 –yikes!
(Looks like the only cons holding me back are all price tag related)

My second option is the:
National Genealogy Conference – May 9th-12th Cincinnati, Ohio

            Pros
-          Been before and know this is a great conference, and value for the money
               I could drive to this conference would take me 5-6 hours 
-         Assuming the registration cost is comparable to Rootstech, hotel rooms slightly more expensive but no flight is required, this choice would be slightly more economical.
-         Wide range of topics, a more traditional conference
-          I’ve only passed through Cincinnati on my way to Florida, great opportunity to see the city.
-          Ohio in May should be beautiful

           Cons
            -      No registration cost is available at this time, 
            -      Hotel rooms are $120.00, $30.00 higher at night than SLC.
            -      It is during May, which is always a busy time for me
            -      My 25th Wedding Anniversary is May 8th, may be not the best timing.
-          The Ontario Genealogical Conference is 3 weeks later, much smaller conference, however very specific to my research needs.
-          I have been to NGS conference before should spend my money on something new?
-          No list of lectures presently available, to excite and sway me.

Have I missed an important point in my decision-making? If you could only pick just one genealogy conference, which one would it be? 
What’s your opinion?  Help me decide? Have you decided?  Let me know in Comments.

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