Sally Brown and I represented the PGS at the annual Florida State Genealogical Society (FSGS) Conference at Sarasota, Florida on 12-13 November 2010. The FSGS is a federation of all of the genealogy societies in Florida, so we are automatically a member, and there are individual as well as society members.
Part of every conference is the opportunity to network with presenters and other attendees. We made contacts with several presenters we will consider inviting to speak at our monthly meetings, and we also talked to several societies about our availability as speakers at their meetings. There are at least three societies that we are invited to speak at each year, and contacting them at this conference goes a long way toward keeping our relationship current.
The principal speaker at the conference was Maureen Taylor (The PhotoDetective). All of her presentations dealt with photographs in one way or another. Her topics were “Discovering Genealogical Clues in Family Photographs,” “Telling Your Family Story: Blogs to Heritage Scrapbooks,” Photographs and Stories From the American Revolution,” and “How to Find Family Photographs On and Off Line.” She is the author of several books about the identification, protection, and use of photographs in genealogy, at least two of which we have in our collection. Maureen also gave personal sessions for those who had questions about specific photographs they brought with them.
Other speakers also made presentations, and some of their topics were as follows:
· Kim Garvey—“Immigration and the Atlantic World Model”
· Michael Neill—“Establishing Your Own Migration Trail”
· Pauline Flewett—“English Parish Chest Records”
· Mark Middleton—“Digital Archiving”
· Pamela Cooper—“Pensions of the Poor”
The above is just a sampling of the presentations. In all there were at total of fifteen breakout sessions in addition the Maureen’s presentations.
Some authors and publishers were at the conference selling their books and we purchased a couple to add to our collection at the Largo Public Library. The titles are
· "You Ought to Write That Down: A Guide to Organizing and Writing Genealogical Narrative" by Paul Drake
· "Preserving Your Family Photographs" by Maureen Taylor
In addition to attending many of the presentations of the conference, we also engaged in some activities to promote the PGS. One of those was participating in the presentation of society banners. This takes place early the first day when each society who brought a banner to the conference participates in a small ceremony of presenting their banner to the crowd and then placing it in display for the duration of the conference. Before the conference ends a medallion is affixed to each displayed banners signifying its presence at the conference. The PGS banner has several of those medallions already.
Another promotional activity we undertook was setting up a display table for our society. The table was identified with our large tri-fold poster with the society logo, and several handouts were displayed as well. The handouts dealt with our Blog and website addresses, copies of our newsletter and journal, lists of books we sell, lists of classes we teach to other organizations, and lists of our CD-Rom classes. We also had registration forms for the society and the annual seminar in February.
In summary, the FSGS conference in my experience has always been a valuable experience, and this year was no exception. I believe that our association with that organization has benefited us, and it has benefited from our support as well.