Is it just my imagination or are the days getting shorter between now and FGS/RootsTech 2015? How is that packing list coming along? How about that research plan for the FHL? If you need the inside scoop be sure to read Paula Stuart Warren’s list that she shared last Tuesday All Packed. Why? Because she is a seasoned genealogy conference traveler (and presenter) and she has some items you might not have thought of. I published my list last Sunday but over the course of the week, I thought of a few more.
- Batteries (better to have the extras than be searching them out in SLC)
- SD card (have you checked your smartphone – how much space do you have for additional photos? Do you need a SD card or an extra one? Why not clean up the space on your smartphone so you are ready to add images and photos next week).
- Ear plugs (have you ever had the pleasure of listening to your neighbor’s television, phone call, snoring or argument into the wee hours of the night? I have – and I always have earplugs with me when I travel).
- Ziploc bags (or whatever your brand of choice is) – whether they are small (snack size for snacks, flash drives and batteries), medium (lotions and liquids) or large (your dirty laundry) these bags come in handy – bring some.
- Vitamins and Advil (again your choice of headache pills) – you need to be caught up on your sleep and ready to go as it will be a busy week. I bring those vitamins and have a few Advil – recirculated air, lots of concentration, rushing around, and microfilm sessions can all contribute to those travel headaches.
- PLEASE LEAVE AT HOME – any strong (or even slight) smelling scent – it could be your perfume, moisturizer, hand sanitizer, shampoo or body wash. With lots of people in enclosed spaces, it is not the time to be wearing those strong scents – the rest of us thank you in advance (certain bases in fragrance give me a headache and I am sure they do for others as well).
Have you checked out the RootsTech and FGS mobile apps and/or the links to the agenda/schedule that both RootsTech and FGS have online? Why not take some time to check out all the activities (either online or on your smartphone) and start playing with your schedule. It appears there are about 15 sessions each hour (that’s both good and bad – so many choices, and no doubt there will be lots of scrambling!). Do make a point to read the description of the sessions you are interested in as sometimes those clever titles don’t match the actual material to be covered.
What genealogy projects are you working on this year? What do you need to learn more about to help you work smarter not harder? What sessions have you heard before? Are there speakers that are on your must hear list? Are there sessions that are being recorded (perhaps if it comes down to two must attend sessions scheduled at the same time, you should attend the session not being recorded). Are you attending with geneafriends? Why not split up and then fill each other in on the important points of the sessions each of you attended (perhaps over lunch or dinner). The best way to remember and what you learn is to share it with others (it requires you to think about and explain what you learned!).
Focus on your personal time clock. Are you a morning person? Then definitely schedule some morning sessions. If you know you don’t fire on all cylinders until the afternoon, look for afternoon sessions. Be sure to give yourself plenty of breaks – do not schedule yourself back to back unless you enjoy feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated. When do you plan to visit the Exhibit Hall? How much time have you scheduled for research at the Family History Library? Are you attending any of the luncheons or special events?
Whatever you do realize that there are only so many hours in the day and you want to look back on FGS/RootsTech 2015 as an enjoyable experience. Divide up your conference pie to include sessions, visiting the exhibit hall, networking/visiting with geneafriends, meals, research, breaks, and a little exercise (Temple Square is a great flat walking part of Salt Lake City). I will be at FGS/RootsTech – attending sessions, presenting a session, volunteering at the FGS Society Showcase, checking out the Exhibit Hall, meeting up with Jill Ball and the Aussie contingent for dinner one night and celebrating the conclusion of the event at Pat Richley Erickson’s home (thanks to both of these geneafriends for setting up these extra curricular activities!). I am taking the time to visit with other genealogists I have met online and to meet other Guild of One-Name Study members – some of whom are coming from the UK and Australia. It will be a huge week - I am catching up on my sleep this week so I am ready to hit the ground running. See you there!