My day began at 6:15 am. After I showered and dressed, I blended up some green smoothies, put them in water bottles, and Bruce and I left home at 7:22. We drank our breakfast while we drove and arrived at the Radisson at 8:00 am.
I checked in at the registration table, picked up a syllabus chock full of handouts for the conference, noticed the inviting spread of bagels and a variety of cream cheese, thought the green smoothie was supposed to get me to lunch, but caved. I loaded up a cinnamon bagel with strawberry cream cheese.
Just looking around the room for the opening session, it looked like about 75 people in attendance. Twelve long tables each seated six people on one side. This arrangement allowed for laptops on the table tops, water glasses, and the day’s syllabus, very comfortable.
The opening session featured “Developing Advanced Research Plans While Staying on Track in a Modern World,” by J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA. Lowe is a teacher at SLIG and IGHR. He lectured with animation: one hand hung at his side holding his remote, while with the other he waved, leveled, and pointed. Then, he put the waving hand in his pocket and began the pointing and leveling with the remote hand. Even though it was an early hour, he kept me awake. He even entertained us with a video about a “Day in the Life of Technology.” Content? Lowe presented examples of receiving a letter of inquiry, and the planning process he used to attack this research question, from the starting point to how to advance your plan.
For the luncheon, we chose to sit at one of eight tables. Each table featured a host/specialist and topic:
- Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG, “Forensic Genealogy”
- Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, “Effective Marketing through Social Networking”
- Thomas MacEntee, “Technology”
- Sandy Johansen, “Lineage Society Applications: A New Source of Income from Existing Clients”
- Kory L. Meyerink, MLS, AG, FUGA, “Career Opportunities”
- Corey Oiesen, “Your First Year as a Professional”
- Diane L. Giannini, CG, “Business Management”
- J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, “Professional Development and Speaking”
- Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, “Association of Professional Genealogists”
I ended up sitting at the APG table with APG President Kanyatta Berry, Kathleen Hinckley, Laura Prescott, Allison Ryall, Claire Keennan Agthe, Jay Verkler, and others.
During the luncheon, Jay L. Verkler, addressed us. He is a former President and CEO of FamilySearch. Verkler spoke about the future and it’s impact on professional genealogists. He said that as technology changes the way we conduct genealogy research, records will become more readily available, and the need to know how to find the records will decrease. However, there will be a greater need for expert analysis, but we will have a shortage of experts.
He addressed how genealogy TV shows have a strong draw, focusing more on entertainment than accuracy. Verkler also addressed the need to revamp certain genealogy tools such as GEDCOM. He talked about the need for companies to design a way for greater collaboration recreating the whole person, and for training videos and pathways to help people enter the professional genealogy field.
After Verkler’s remarks, we ate grilled chicken Cesaer salads, a sourdough roll, and cheesecake with blueberry topping. Then, APG drew names for several doorprizes: a Fold3 subscription, a year membership to APG, one registration to the APG PMC 2013, Ohana Software, Christine Rose’s book on Bounty Lands, etc. I won a one year subscription to GenealogyBank! I use my subscription a lot, so this was a welcome winning!
After lunch I attended “Virtual Presentations for Professional Genealogists,” by Thomas MacEntee. MacEntee is a genealogy blogging rock star with a crew cut. He’s the creator of Geneabloggers.com, Geneabloggers radio, High-Definition Genealogy, and claims to have the “face made for radio.” He designed his presentation to help us prepare and present genealogy webinars. With lot’s of experience, MacEntee has a firm handle on the details, so comfortable that he braced himself with his hands on the sides of the podium, and rocked side to side while he gave advice for hosting virtual presentations. MacEntee’s lecture informed and answered all our questions. We came out of his class with enough knowledge to create our own webinars!
Then we were treated to cookies and milk. I chose a brownie and chocolate milk. APG really knows how to make us feel comfortable!
Then, I attended “There’s An APP For That: Professional Edition,” by Laura G. Prescott. Prescott is past president of APG. Personable and friendly with a perpetual, genuine smile, Prescott presented (with humor) apps pertinent in a genealogist’s daily life, business life, and just for fun. Her syllabus material included all the apps she addressed along with price and access information. So many apps, there was something for everyone in this lecture.
For the final class of the day I chose, “Are You Really Earning a Living, or Just Funding Your Hobby?” by Kory L. Meyerink, MLS, AG, FUGA. Meyerink talked about setting professional research rates that factor in what the market will bear, what constitutes billable work and your billable and non-billable time, and how to set an hourly rate.
Other classes I could not attend because they were at the same time as the above were:
- “Understanding U.S. Native American Research,” by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA.
- “Media Planning: Using Traditional vs. Digital Media To Build Your Client Base,” by Teresa Koch-Bostic and Melissa A. Johnson.
- “Generating Business by Collaborating with Other Professions,” by Diane L. Giannini, CG.
Obviously, I would have loved to attend each class.
During breaks I spoke with Harold Henderson, Alvie Davidson, Valerie Brown Elkins, Laura Prescott, Carol Ekdahl, Amy Coffin, Michelle Goodrum, and Geneabloggers’ Thomas MacEntee.
Feel like you missed out? Next year APG will host another Professional Management Conference in 2013, right before RootsTech, so put aside some time and money to attend. You’ll be glad you did!