Saturday, June 13, 2009

Family History Expo First Impressions

I’m happy to report that my friends and I made it to Loveland, Colorado just ahead of a thunderstorm Thursday evening. This Embassy Suites opened 2 months ago so it’s beautiful and very impressive. I was wide awake this morning at 3:00 am, hoping it was time to hit the Exhibit Hall. We enjoyed a delicious complimentary breakfast buffet at 6:00 am and Registration opened at 7:00 am. Bernie Gracy delivered a very enthusiastic and informative talk in his Keynote Address on “Location Based Genealogy.”
Holly Hansen, President of FHExpo, tells me 500 people are in attendance. That just blows me away—especially since I’m fortunate to be one of them. Those 500 weren’t all in attendance in time to attend Bernie’s keynote address, but at the close of that session, nearly 300 left the room and descended upon the Exhibit Hall. I felt like a kid in a candy store and didn't know which direction to walk first. I visited the Family Search booth, then wandered over to Janet Hovorka of Generation Maps. I had no idea the products that her company produces are so magnificent! I was really impressed. I nearly raced from booth to booth, looking at all the goodies, the magazines, handouts, CD’s, magazines, maps, software, etc. I was happy to meet so many of my Facebook friends: Laurie and Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic (in the photo at left), Gaylon Findley of Ancestral Quest, Allison Stacy of Family Tree Magazine, Dean Richardson of Genlighten, and Jean Wilcox Hibben, who provided the entertainment at the Banquet Friday night.
I'll post reflections of Saturday's activities on Sunday, but want to share some photos with you.

At the top is Dr. Arlene Eakle who was so pleasantly welcoming fellow genealogists to her Genealogy Institute booth. In the photo above is Jean Wilcox Hibben with her husband as they presented a musical selection in the Exhibit Hall. At left is Janet Hovorka, working on a project at Generation Maps.

Here is Family History Expos President Holly Hansen visiting with two attendees at this conference.
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