24 October 2014

Follow Friday: The Power of Connect. Explore. Refresh.

If you're on Social Media at all, you've seen me posting a lot about FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies). I unexpectedly had the opportunity to go down to San Antonio in August to help man the booth for FGS's annual conference. All I can say is: what a blast!

Many people don't know you don't have to be in a Society that is a member in order to participate in an FGS conference. An FGS Conference has all the components of a great genealogical gathering: Connecting with colleagues and friends; Exploring new ideas about our research and family history; and Refreshing our minds, hearts and souls with the experience of being with a group of individuals who share our passion.

As an FGS Ambassador, I can say that I take a different view of the 'how's to have the best time at a conference. For me, the Connect-ion comes from sharing my room (or sharing someone else's room) to cut my expenses. Is it a bit of a crap-shoot rooming with someone you haven't met before? Of course it is. But I have to say that every single time I've shared a room, I've created a friendship with someone I might not have otherwise come to know. And my life is so much better for the lovely ladies who've given up a little of their personal comfort to share with me. Rather than going with someone I know, I find that going by myself and sharing with a new roommate provides the opportunity to meet new people and extend my sphere of geneacquaintances even more. There are so many great people out there looking to connect with others who share their passion. No doubt, that's the Connect.

Nope. No fun here. Not at all. FGS2014
(c) 2014 - Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana 
Exploring a new city is always a combination of excitement and caution. Coming from Chicago, I understand the trepidation of traveling alone in a new City. But, there's no reason to just hang in your room! FGS always has a tremendous home crowd willing to help with everything from places to eat to the best places to do a little research. The quality and breadth of the speakers that are part of the conference provides the opportunity to Explore new ways to research, new places to look for resources and the latest technologies to push our families' stories along. 

I was so Refreshed when I got home; my husband told me that it seemed like I'd been on some kind of exotic vacation because I was so relaxed. (Actually, I was just exhausted from all the fun, but don't tell him. Heh.) And, more importantly to me, I had Refresh-ed and invigorated knowledge to jump-start some of my research that had gone stale. A Refresh-ed sense of what I'd like to accomplish in the next few years with my own research and my fledgling business. 

New connections to mentor, collaborate and assist in a wide array of genealogical ways. The exploration of the Genealogical Proof Standard and how to make our family stories come to life. And, refreshed perspective on what it means to participate in a community that is, at its heart, all about family.

You can register for FGS2015/Rootstech, February 11 -14 in Salt Lake City, right HERE. Follow along with the latest updates on the Voice, FGS's blog or on Twitter with the hashtag #FGS2015. Oh, did you hear? Donny Osmond's going to be the keynote speaker!!