The U.S. National Genealogical Society is about to hold their annual "Conference in the States" on June 1 through 4, 2005. This year's event will be held in the Nashville Convention Center, conveniently located in the downtown area. The conference will feature four days of back-to-back seminars, lectures, demonstrations, and the very latest in genealogical research techniques, including the latest on DNA research.
This year's event is being co-sponsored by a local host society, the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society. The annual NGS event is always one of the premier conferences in North America. I attended the NGS conference in Nashville held in 1996, co-sponsored by the same local organization. I remember that the 1996 conference was well organized and quite enjoyable. With the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society involved again, I suspect that this year's event will be at least as good as the 1996 conference.
This year's conference is also being combined with GENTECH, the GENealogy TECHnology conference. The last separate GENTECH conference was held in January of 2004. The result should be a blend of high-tech seminars and exhibits along with many traditional presentations.
This year's event will include roughly 120 presentations made by many of the "big names" in U.S. genealogy. Most of the time, there will be four to seven simultaneous sessions being conducted in the following tracks: Basics, Board of Certification of Genealogists (BCG), Computers, Ethnic & Religious, GENTECH, Land, Librarians' Programs, Methodology, Military, Regional, and State and Local Government Records. You can see a complete listing of all the presentations at http://www.eshow2000.com/ngs/conf_program.cfm.
I spend much of my time at NGS conferences in the Exhibits Hall, mostly because the NGS event is always a showcase for new genealogy products and services. This year more than 100 exhibitors will have booths there. A complete list of the scheduled exhibitors can be found at http://www.eshow2000.com/ngs/exhibitor_list.cfm.
The NGS conferences also feature numerous luncheons and a Friday evening banquet. The luncheons this year will feature presentations by the following:
- African American Historical and Genealogical Society Luncheon: "African Americans: Collecting and Preserving Our History" --Carolyn Corpening Collins Rowe
- National Institute of Genealogical Research Alumni Association Luncheon: "A Day in the Life of a NARA Archivist" --Constance Potter
- New England Historic Genealogical Society Luncheon: "Quality Research in a Pop Genealogy World" Laura G. Prescott
- Association of Professional Genealogists Luncheon: "Was Your Ancestor a Wine-Drinking, a Beer Drinking, or a Schnapps-Drinking German?" --George Schweitzer
- Genealogical Society of Utah Luncheon: "More Data FASTER! When Will You Have the STUFF I Need?" --David Rencher, AG, FUGA
- National Genealogical Society GENTECH Luncheon: "How the Internet Made Me an Expert" --Cyndi Howells
- Board for Certification of Genealogists Luncheon: "Gaining in Middle Age, or 'Once You're Over the Hill, You begin to Pick Up Speed'" --David McDonald, CG
- International Society for British Genealogy and Family History Luncheon: "What Were Our Ancestors REALLY Like?" --Paul Milner
- Genealogical Speakers Guild Luncheon: "You Only THOUGHT Speaking Was Frustrating: Make it Fun and Fulfilling Instead" --Richard S. Wilson
- FGS Luncheon: "A Boy Named Sue" --Jana Sloan Broglin
- Palatines to America Luncheon: "Locating Your Ancestors' Village of Origin" --James M. Beidler
- Regional In-Depth Genealogical Studies Alliance Luncheon: "Microfilm, Manuscripts, and Mayhem: Joys and Trials of an Archives Junkie" --Charles Sherrill, MLS
The Friday evening banquet will feature Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FNGS, FASG, speaking on "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Podium: The Misadventures of a Genealogical Lecturer!"
Registration fees are a bit high, as you would expect at a four-day event of this caliber: NGS members pay $210 for admission to all four days while non-members pay $245. If you are only able to attend one day, admission is $95 per day.
The official conference hotels are the Renaissance Nashville Hotel and the Sheraton Nashville Downtown. Both are within a short walk of the convention center. As I write these words, both hotels have some rooms available although that may change at any moment as genealogists make reservations. You can find more about the conference hotels at http://www.eshow2000.com/ngs/hotel.cfm. To find all the hotels within a few blocks of the 2005 NGS conference, click here.
Keep in mind that the convention is being held at 601 Commerce Street, adjacent to the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, which is shown on that map.
My description of the 2005 NGS "Conference in the States" is a brief overview, but there is much more: special receptions, a Librarians' Day before the official opening of the conference, and more. You can read all about this year's conference at http://www.eshow2000.com/ngs/.
If you can be in Nashville in the first few days of June, I know that you will enjoy this conference. See you there!