I was excited when the initial ads came out for the Expo. Firstly, it was in my state, secondly, it was affordable and thirdly, the weather wouldn’t be too hot.
Really, the word expo doesn’t do the 2 days justice as it was really a conference with a trade exhibition. The trade exhibition was well worth a number of visits over the 2 days. I had some useful discussions with a number of vendors and volunteer local and family history groups. Even all the SANFL football clubs were represented as they really value their history.There was a wonderful smorgasbord of speakers to choose from. The hardest part was choosing which talk to attend as there were generally 5 concurrent sessions to choose from. Thankfully, a few were repeated but I still had to miss some topics I really wanted to hear. But that always happens.
I don’t know what is in the water in Queensland but most of my favourite speakers were Queenslanders. I particularly enjoyed Helen Smith’s talk on “Google, the Genealogist’s friend”, Shauna Hick’s talks on “Online newspapers – Trove from Aust and PapersPast from NZ” and “Sporting Ancestors”. Sadly,this one was only scheduled for 30 mins when 50 mins would have been better. It was held in the corners of the Exhibition hall where it was difficult to hear over the noise from the exhibitors. I left another because I couldn’t hear and didn’t even try any on the second day.
Another Queenslander, Eric Kopittke’s lecture on the history of Germany was fascinating but pity it was only scheduled for 30 mins, it was definitely a 50 mins talk. Sadly, I didn’t get to hear Rosemary Kopittke’s talks but I did see her being very busy making sure that the 2 days talks programme went smoothly. Of course, I acknowledge that UTP as organisers had to make the difficult decision as to which talks to make 30 mins and which were in the 50 min slot and that must have been a nightmare.
I found the talk by one of the Archivists from the National Lutheran Archives (which is in Adelaide) really useful. I’ve made my first visit today and what a welcoming and professional group they are. And yes, I found a few interesting things eg my g grandmother’s birth and baptism dates weren’t listed in the Baptismal register beside her name and that of her parents whereas most of the other entries on the page had those details, why?
Although I’ve been using FMP for several years, I still found the presentation by FMP’s F. Brooker to be of great assistance.
and have my photo taken with the other bloggers attending. It was quite daunting meeting a number of my blogging heroes.
All in all, a wonderful 2 day conference which was affordable; most are beyond my pocket. I hope that UTP do it again in a few years as we have so little here in the way of genealogy conferences.
Nearly 3 years ago, I was fortunate in being able to go on one of UTP’s genealogy cruises with a fantastic range of speakers and I highly recommend this way of going on holiday and attending a genealogy conference. Apart from the speakers program on “at sea” days, the chance to socialise with like minded people and enjoy the full benefits of a cruise was simply wonderful.