This is the last prompt for the FGS Ambassadors and it is a hard one. It is about packing for the FGS conference. The hard part is you never know exactly what to bring and you always think of something you should have brought once you get there.
It also depends on whether you are driving or flying. Obviously if you are flying you can’t bring as much as if you are packing your car. Personally I like to travel light.
The first thing that anyone who has ever attended a conference will tell you to pack is a comfortable pair of shoes and a wrap or sweater because the lecture rooms can sometimes be cold. I will add to that a refillable water bottle because you will need to stay hydrated and they usually provide water stations in the hall or lecture room where you can fill up your bottle.
A lot of people bring their IPads and computers to take notes but I have a hard time balancing them on my knee and typing at the same time, not as coordinated as some people. So I bring my notebook and pencil. They also come in handy when I’m researching. I can stand in the stacks and take notes using these tools.
The syllabus material will usually be put online before we leave for the conference so I go in and print off the handouts for the lectures I’m going to attend. I print on a single page and then use the back of it for notes for that particular lecture. This way I have both of them together.
I bring my little netbook as I find it easier to type on than my IPod. Yes, I said IPod as I don’t have an IPad. Facebook, Hotmail and Old Reader can be accessed on both devices but if I need to type up notes or a blog post the keyboard on the netbook easier to use. RootsMagic To-Go is my genealogy program of choice when travelling. The memory stick can be put into the netbook and my family tree is at my fingertips.
Business cards are always a must. I keep a small pile in behind my name tag so that they are easy to pull out when I meet someone new. Exchanging business cards is a good way to share contact information. Even if you don’t have a genealogy business you should get some cards made up with your contact information.
A list of exhibitors that are of interest is also made up. Usually I print out the map of the exhibit hall ahead of time and go in and circle where they are located so that it is easier to find them.
It can be a good idea to print off some small labels with your name and email address on them. These can be useful when you are entering draws. You can just peel one off and put it on the ballot. This is also great if there is a large crowd because it can be done quickly.
My research to-do-list is something that will be included in my suitcase. I have been working on it for several months. Will I be able to get it all done? Well that depends on my allocated research time. The list has been prioritized so that the things that are most important to my research will be done first. PERSI is available on Ancestry and when an article of interest is located I cut and paste the source information into my research plan. Easy and less chance of transcription errors.
Don’t forget to include the cables and chargers for your electrical devices when you pack. You don’t want something to run out of power just when you need it most.
Good luck with your packing and see you in a month!
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