Thoughts on Networking at FGS
Written by Jennifer Holik
Last week I attended the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference in Ft. Wayne, IN. It was an excellent conference filled with friends, lectures, vendors, and lots of networking opportunities! When most people think of a conference, they think lectures and workshops. Which ones should I attend and how will those help me with my
personal research, society obligations, or business? While lectures and workshops are a very important component of conferences, we must not forget the networking component.
I arrived at the conference on Tuesday afternoon and spent dinner with the FamilySearch team at their Blogger Dinner. I saw old friends and made new ones and spoke with representatives from FamilySearch. On Wednesday I attended a couple sessions in the morning and spent the rest of the day chatting with people and writing. Thursday and Friday I attended one or two lectures and the APG luncheon where the great John Colletta spoke and had everyone in stitches with his PowerPoint presentation.
What did I do the rest of the time? I networked in the vendor hall! Yes, I spent countless hours meeting new people, firming up relationships with others, and working with new groups to start grassroots projects. I came home with two new volunteer projects to head up, a contact on the east coast who does Italian research in Italy, new friends and plenty of inspiration and ideas for my writing, research, volunteer positions, and business.
The next time you attend a day-long seminar or several day conference, don’t forget to take time to network and meet new people. You never know when you will meet someone who will help change your research or your life!
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