google-site-verification: google65e716d80989ba07.html Genealogy Conferences - Who Deserves Your Money? | The Armchair Genealogist

Genealogy Conferences - Who Deserves Your Money?

Last week many of us were laying out for the world our goals and aspirations for 2011 and some of you may have included a conference or two. Did you overlook including a conference in this year's agenda? If a conference is up for consideration than now is the time to decide which one you wish to attend, if you haven’t already made your choice. 

For those of us who have been to a conference, there is no question to the benefits. Its been said before and I will say it again a conference can offer you a great opportunity to learn, get motivated, network and just plain have some fun. However, conferences can be expensive. Therefore, some thoughtful planning and consideration should go into choosing which conference you wish to attend.

Not all conferences are created equal, that is not to say that one is run better or has better speakers. Keep in mind not all of us are searching for the same answers, therefore, it makes sense we don’t all need the same education. Some conferences just may offer more learning that is in line with your research needs. So do your homework.

Things to Consider When Shopping for a Conference

The Cost
There are many factors affecting the cost, the cost of registration, the cost of travel including car expenses, flights, taxis, hotels etc., the further you have to travel the higher the cost of your conference, the closer to home the conference the more chance you can keep the expenses down.
The Location
Besides affecting the cost, and travel time, the location may be advantageous depending what part of the country the conference is being held,  providing you with some valuable regional research opportunities, if your ancestors past that way. Or if you are able to find yourself in the vicinity of the Family History Library for a conference you could really garnish up some valuable research time.  
The Lectures
Take a close look at the lectures that are being offered. Do they cover your area of research?  Are experts in their field offering them? Do they grab your attention? Sound enticing? Does the conference offer enough lectures at your learning level? Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced genealogist you want to be able to fill your day or weekend. You want to feel like you are getting your monies worth.
Some conferences just will not meet with your life, family, jobs and other obligations making it an impossible scheduling option. So as much as it may be the one, it might be best scheduled for another year when it aligns with your life’s schedule.

Below is a list of current genealogy conferences scheduled for 2011 and the beginning of 2012. Many offer RSS feeds to blogs or email sign ups so you can keep abreast of information and details as they are confirmed. Having details delivered to your inbox will give you the opportunity to make an informed decision about which conference will make the best fit for you.

If you have or know of a genealogy conference that is missing from this list please email me at


Dee said...

I definitely plan to attend the Atlanta Family History Expo in November. I attended last year's expo (my first ever genealogy conference) and learned so many new things.

I'd like to attend the NGS Conference in May, but it will depend on finances and whether I can arrange childcare.

Both conferences are close enough I can drive

Lynn Palermo said...

Hi Dee, I attended the NGS Conference in 2009, it was great and hope to return next year. This year I'll be taking in the OGS Conference in Hamilton, since it's very close to home and I have yet to get to that one and it is very focused on my specific needs. I've yet to attend a Family History Expo that would require a major financial investment as they are not currently in my area.

Biff Barnes said...

The Family History Expos are great events. My wife and I presented classes on creating family history books at several in 2010. I had the opportunity to visit several other presenters' classes. The information was excellent. The people who attended were wonderful. Everybody had a good time. We're excited to be participating again this year. I hope to see you at an Expo.

Lynn Palermo said...

Thanks Biff, if I get to an Expo I'll be sure to look you up.

GR8Dame said...

(sigh) I look forward to when I don't have a day job that interferes with everything!

Judy Webster said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this interesting topic. I've mentioned your post in 'Attending Genealogy Conferences' on my Genealogy Leftovers blog.

Alec Tritton said...

In England we tend to have a single "all-in" price for a conference that includes accommodation, meals and refreshments included in the price. In 2013 the Halsted Trust will be holding a genealogy conference Exodus:Movement of the People, the story of Migration, To, From and Within the British Isles. Their website has many fascinating stories concerning historic migration and is well worth a visit. At under $400 for the early bird all-in price - well worth attending!