We’re one week gone from the NGS Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina and I think I’m almost recovered from eating all that amazing food. Almost. Our first conference outside of Utah left us thinking, “Why don’t we get out of Utah more often?” It was a breath of fresh air to meet new people, hear about what gives them pain genealogy-wise (or otherwise!), and introduce a new way of record-rescuing through Kindex web software.
How did I not know how beautiful North Carolina is? I did not expect it to be so heavily forested. We stayed in historic Boylan Heights and enjoyed a setting of beautiful homes and architecture. We walked everywhere, from downtown to the amazing restaurants on Glenwood. I definitely want to return with my family and spend more time there.
Our impressions of the conference venue were good. Aside from the sticker shock we always have when pricing for wifi, electricity, etc., Fern (Raleigh Convention Center’s service partner) was very helpful. When I needed various things (boxcutters, screwdrivers, etc.) during the booth setup, they were happy to help. They even accommodated my request to change our skirting color to purple, which was awesome. One of the few negatives was the slow and spotty free wifi. We opted not to purchase direct-line wifi, so I suppose that was a risk. For smaller companies like us, however, I wish reliable internet service was a more financially viable option.
On Saturday we shared the convention center with several graduating classes, including the graduates of Shaw University. Throughout the day, we had the pleasure of overhearing all the music and celebratory noise that comes with graduation ceremonies. Congrats, Shaw Graduates!
Almost everyone we talked to at NGS were highly skilled genealogists, historians, or researchers. Many were linked to a historical or genealogical society. When it came to introducing Kindex, they were curious, engaged, and asked great questions. They were also generous with their feedback, which we appreciated.
We are learning that the challenges surrounding family and historical records are almost universal. Almost every family or society has records that are undiscoverable, inaccessible, and unsearchable. Throughout the week, we demonstrated how anyone can collaborate on a public or private Kindex archive, add metadata, tags, and transcriptions, and provide their family or society members the benefits of a searchable archive.
Throughout the week, several people and societies took advantage of our half price special and purchased Kindex archive subscriptions. We are so appreciative of our new archive owners who signed up. We’re excited for them and look forward to seeing their progress on Kindex.
As exhibitors know, conferences aren’t just about sales. It’s about connections. And we made some great ones last week.
- We made new friends at the Flip-Pal booth next door, hosted by Diane and Russ Barberio. They were a lot of fun to have around during the conference, and even purchased a Kindex archive subscription, which was awesome.
- We reconnected with Wesley Eames, co-founder of AncestorCloud. As a fellow competitor in the 2016 RootsTech Innovator Showdown, Wesley has since gone on to earn big success at AncestorCloud, a community and social network for those seeking help with from professional genealogists. We look forward to chatting with Wesley more in the near future.
- After knowing one another on social media for some time, we finally got to meet David Allen Lambert in person. As Chief Genealogist at NEHGS, we had a fantastic discussion about the various applications of Kindex archives. We look forward to working with David and appreciate his generous insight.
- It was so great meeting so many genealogy and historical society members in one place. We’ve been learning so much from you.
Other highlights include dinner with friends in the Genealogy Business Alliance Facebook group. I enjoyed meeting fellow exhibitors and having a lively discussion about industry changes and best practices for exhibitors and conference sponsors. This group has offered valuable insight based on years of experience in the genealogy industry.
As I was manning the booth solo for this conference, we were privileged to have the assistance of North Carolina local Chris Tucker. Chris is son of Dorothy Tucker at Preserving Your Heritage, who also had a booth at the conference. Thanks for your help, Chris!
In all it was a fun conference, and we’re glad we made the choice to attend our first NGS Conference. It certainly won’t be our last. I will miss people calling me “ma’am”. See you next year, y’all!