A Few Helpful Hints To Make the Most out of Your Experience at the Conference Enjoyable
From: Jan Meisels Allen (janmallenatt.net)
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2017 14:49:19 -0700 (PDT)

With only  a week to go before the conference I am writing my annual suggestions before your go to the conference, as an 18 year conference attendee. I am offering several suggestions that I have found to be helpful to everyone, including first timers. 


1.Remember to bring your registration confirmation with Bar Code-it will expedite the registration process  You will be able to register starting Saturday  7::00-10:00PM .


Check the conference FAQ  http://www.iajgs2017.org/faq/ virtually any question you may have will have been addressed there.


2..  Be comfortable.  Dress in layers.  It is notoriously difficult to manage room temperature to everyone's liking, especially in a hotel conference area with  hundreds of attendees and other hotel activities.


Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.  Remember that  Orlando will be hot and humid—but bring a travel umbrella just in case. The current ten-day projected forecast is for 90sF in the daytime and  mid 70's (F) in the evening with mostly thunderstorms projected. Before you leave check with  http://www.weather.com/  for the 10-day forecast  (the weather is given both in F and C)   Yes, looking so far out the weather may change, but it is a guide to help you for when you pack.


Leave extra time to take the elevators to the meeting room floor- with a large number of attendees the elevators may not arrive at your floor "immediately".  


3.  Seats in the front of the room are reserved for those with hearing and vision disabilities that have notified the conference of their disability.


Do NOT run for a seat in the front row, especially if you have a book bag on wheels as you may hit someone (I was knocked down at the Chicago conference by just such an incident).   Avoid the temptation to save the seat beside you just to give yourself more room.


4.  If you use a rolling book carrier for your belongings, or use a walker or other walking aide put them aside, out of the aisle so that others can walk safely.


5.  Be considerate of the speakers and other attendees.  Turn off cell phones and beepers during sessions.  Do not talk to others during a program.

Do not open candy or gum wrappers during the session as the crinkling sound disturbs the others sitting near to you.


6.  Look to see if a session is being  audio taped or on LIVE!. http://iajgs2017.org/iajgs-live/

  You can be in two, three or four places at once this way, as the wealth of the conference offerings may make it difficult to choose which of the concurrent sessions to attend.  Remember you can be in multiple places at once by subscribing to LIVE!  http://iajgs2017.org/iajgs-live/


Note: the SIG luncheons are not being recorded due to the noise generated during a meal that interferes with the recording of the session.


7. Admission to luncheons and the banquet requires the meal ticket that was part of the registration material.  You may be refused entrance to a meal without the meal ticket


8.  Familiarize yourself with the conference layout.  Where is the exhibit hall, Resource Center, information desk, hospitality desk,  restrooms etc.?  Do not be afraid to ask a volunteer for assistance. 


You MUST wear your conference badge at all times while in the conference area or security will not permit you to enter.  No exceptions


9.  Even if you are a veteran of the IAJGS conferences, introduce yourself to the people sitting nearby.  What surnames are they searching? What areas of the world?  Always network, network, network.


10. If this is your first conference - it is an experience you will never forget!


11. Bring a USB/thumb drive with you or have them on your laptop/ tablet that contains your family trees (GEDCOM) and other documents you may wish to share with others who are researching the same names and ancestral towns. 


Also have a list of names, ancestral towns, list of questions you may wish to ask.


Look at the rich program in advance and highlight which sessions you want to attend and which speakers you want to listen to -you can download from the conference app (which will be announced soon) - or print it off from website  and plot your personal conference schedule  When you pick up your registration packet you will also get the Daily Planner that includes the full schedule with room assignments.


Remember that we all have multiple areas of interest so we have to prioritize due to the concurrent sessions.  Look at the programs sponsored by the special interest groups (SIGS) for the geographic areas of interest, and don't forget to attend the SHARE FAIR on Sunday afternoon starting at 12:30PM in the Swan Foyer.


12. Look through the conference briefcase.  There  will be fliers from some of the database companies on the Resource Center computers and exhibitors, as well as other items of interest.


13. The Resource Center will have links to subscription databases available at no charge. On  Wednesday only-remember the Resource Room will be open late that day so everyone can take advantage of ProQuest Day-- conference registrants will have access to the ProQuest Historical newspapers and more in the resource room. Other subscription based databases are available  in the resource room throughout the conference. You may NOT use your laptop to access the subscription databases, nor will you be permitted to acquire the passwords or user ids for your personal use on your computer.  This is due to the agreements the conference has made with the various database companies to keep the passwords and user ids from being shared. This is an excellent reason to bring a USB drive to make copies of any records from the subscription databases.


Above all, keep your sense of humor and flexibility!  Sometimes, there are last minute schedule changes outside of the control of the conference co-chairs or a technical glitch with the audiovisual equipment.  The conference co-chairs and conference

committee members will do everything possible to prevent such occurrences, but they do happen.


Enjoy the conference... Looking forward to seeing my friends at the conference and making new ones!


Jan Meisels Allen

President, JGSCV



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