Just One Week

Yes, just one week until I’ll be at my first genealogy conference, FGS 2011. I suspect the week (two days of travel and four days of conference is nearly a week, anyway) will be overwhelming, both educationally (and this is besides the fact that during the conference it’ll also be the first few days of the BU certificate program) and people-wise (ah, the life of an introvert), but that’s why I took an extra day off after returning, right? Hmm. I hope one day is enough.

As far I can recall, I’ve never been to any kind of conference, and I haven’t known for very long that I could attend this one, so I’m trying to prepare as best I can. I’ve been to a couple of Stampin’ Up! conventions, and I imagine there are a few similarities, but this is still very new territory. Biggest question: What to wear? I’m guessing it’s probably business casual, and I have very little that fits that bill, since I pretty much wear jeans to work every day. As long as it’s warm enough I’ll be okay with some nice capris I bought for those SU! conventions, but then I have to figure out shoes. I’m all about sandals from about April to October, but I don’t have any that really qualify as “nice.” Ah, well, I still have a few days to figure it out.

More than wearing the right clothes, though, I fear being intimidated by all the folks who have so much more experience with genealogy than I do. Will I even be able to keep up with conversations, let alone participate in them? But hey, I’m going to be there to learn, so as long as that happens, it’s all good.

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7 Comments

  1. Sheri Fenley said,

    August 31, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Kristie,
    I wasn’t all that long ago I felt the same way. But I am here to tell you that genealogists are some of the most friendliest people you’ll ever meet. It’s hard when there are large groups of people and everyone are strangers. But someone has to make the first move for a conversation to begin so why not let it be you!

    Have fun – and as far as clothes and shoes? COMFORT is the most important thing to consider.

  2. August 31, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    Hi Kristie – Don’t worry too much about the details, it’ll all work out fine. FGS last year was my first genealogy conference and one of the first things I learned was that genealogists are a pretty friendly & welcoming group. And that goes double for genealogy bloggers. I look forward to meeting you in Springfield.

  3. August 31, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Hi Kristie, Yay you for signing up for your first conference. This will be my 2nd national conference and I learn something new each year. I find the easiest way to meet and get to know new people is to go to the lecture early and start up a conversation. I often see the same person who was in a previous lecture and I start a convo based on that. If you are worried about your level of knowledge, first of all, don’t be. Second of all, if you want to waylay that angst, then try to focus on the speakers and who you like or didn’t like, who would you listen to again. And then don’t forget to blog about your experience!

  4. Amy Coffin said,

    August 31, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Kristie honey, you’re going to fit in fine. Be sure to attend the blogger meet-up. All throughout the conference you’ll see the crazy bloggers and their beads. It’s one big group of friends and you’re a part of it. See you there!

  5. Kristie Strum said,

    August 31, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    Thanks for all the lovely comments! I should probably clarify that my mom (also a first-timer) is coming to the conference too, so I won’t be totally alone. She also has the advantage of being an extrovert. I’m not shy by any means, and I do like meeting new people, I’m just really bad at it. But I’ll do my best!

    I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone I can; maybe I’m more embarrassed that I’m really behind with my blog reading and I’m not great (yet) about actually commenting. But I’m working on it, for sure.

    Tonight I accomplished item #1 for preparing for the conference by casting on the first of a pair of socks to knit on the bus to and from Springfield. My priorities are sometimes a little different…

  6. Susan Clark said,

    September 1, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    There are quite a bunch of us novice conference types attending. And given how many of us spend our free time gazing at computer screens or microfilm I suspect several of us feel socially inept at times (hand raised here!).

    You’ve got me wishing I could knit. Having something to do with my hands beyond playing with beads (do I have to wear them?) would help keep me focused and relaxed.

    Looking forward to meeting you both. I’ll be the middle aged woman with the deer in the headlights look – and apparently, beads.

  7. Tina Lyons said,

    September 5, 2011 at 6:41 AM

    Look forward to meeting you in a few days. Last year was my first conference and it was so much fun. Once you are there you will forget about your worries and have a blast.


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