Day 1 of the Atlanta Family History Expo is over and was a great success! With around 1200 registrants, the classes and exhibit hall were bustling with attendees eager to learn from 8am-6pm.
The exhibit hall was scheduled to open at 9am, but the 8am opening session finished early, so by 8:45am, attendees started flooding into the exhibit hall. Each attendee had received a list of exhibitors that was to be signed by each exhibitor and then submitted for a drawing. What a great way to ensure that conference attendees visited every exhibitor! The one drawback was that the exhibitor booths were sometimes mobbed with attendees just wanting their slips initialed — especially during that first hour. So as an exhibitor, I found it difficult to talk to every person who stopped by, and didn’t always have the opportunity to ensure that each person knew what Family Tree DNA was all about. On the other hand, probably every person picked up the Family Tree DNA flyer as they were passing through, so they certainly had reading material for later that night!
Attendees were mostly in the exhibit hall during the 30 minutes between each class. During each 1-hour class session, there were fewer attendees in the exhibit hall and we could catch our breath a bit.
At 11:30am, I gave my presentation “Traditional DNA Testing and Beyond – The Next Revolution in Genealogy” to a standing-room-only audience of approximately 80 people. The room’s projector screen was narrow and tall, rather than a standard wide screen, but the presentation went very well otherwise. A quick survey revealed that about half the audience had already done some form of genetic genealogy testing, the other half had not, and no one had been hearing about genetic genealogy for the first time at this expo (or at least they didn’t want to admit it!) So this certainly shows that genetic genealogy is in the mainstream among genealogists.
The afternoon was just as busy as the morning — I tried getting my lunch out around 2pm, but next thing I knew, it was 3:45pm and I was finally getting a bite of my sandwich During the final class session of the day, I took a few minutes to walk around the exhibit hall and see who else was there. At the Beacon of Bloggers, I met Pat Richley-Erickson of DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog, Amy Coffin of The We Tree Genealogy Blog and Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist. I also visited the Flip-Pal booth and got a demo of their cool mobile scanner.
So all in all, a very good, albeit very busy Day 1 at the Atlanta Family History Expo. Looking forward to Day 2 tomorrow!