Monday, November 3, 2008

The Wholly Genes Conference Cruise summary

Dick Eastman has posted "Wholly Genes Software Conference a Success" on his Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter blog. It provides an excellent overview of the conference and cruise. I counted heads several times, and saw no more than 100 people in the audience for the lectures.

I second his thoughts about the organization and execution by Bob Velke and the Wholly Genes crew - excellent work.

However, it was much more than a software conference. For me, the software part of it was secondary - nice to have and interesting since I'm not a TMG user (yet), but the real take-away gems for me were the genealogy presentations and the round tables and the one-on-ones.

The venues for the speaker presentations were a major problem, IMHO. It is obvious that Dick didn't witness the projection problems on Friday in the Princess Theater during Cyndi Howells' talk. The problems disrupted Cyndi's presentation and the viewers concentration - but Cyndi was a trooper. They had to cobble together a viewing area for several talks in the Palm Dining Room - set up a small screen, put 40-60 chairs in a small area, and there was no separation between speaker and audience. The Club Fusion venue left a lot to be desired as far as seating and seeing the speaker - it's essentially a disco and karaoke bar with lots of TV screens. Several talks had to be moved from the originally scheduled venue, but everyone adapted well. Even with the venue problems, the speakers and program content were excellent.

This Wholly Genes genea-cruiser wants to know:

* Where did all of the speakers hang out when they didn't have talks to give? Did anyone see any of them at the pool or in the casino, or in the lounges? Or even at dinner? I saw Dick Eastman at the ice cream stand - gotcha, Dick!

* How many Roots Television interviews from this cruise will be seen soon? Is that where Megan and Dick were?

* Does David Lambert ever breathe when he talks? How can his brain work faster than his mouth? But it does, obviously!

* Is there anything that Craig Scott doesn't know about military records?

* What did Robert Charles Anderson do on this cruise besides one-on-ones?

* Why weren't the hosted breakfasts and one-on-ones fully subscribed by the attendees? People really missed out if they didn't participate in these.

* Do any of these speakers ever stammer, forget what they are about to say, or speak in less than complete sentences? I didn't notice any glitches like this at all over 20 presentations and 4 round tables. Impressive.

I'm sure I can think of more questions...

1 comment:

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak said...

Hey Randy,

Busted. Keep an eye out for half a dozen videos on featuring speakers from the cruise. And yup, Dick does the interviews!

Take care,