Much to my surprise we have managed to spend more time out of the hotel than at previous conferences, albeit mostly in local restaurants talking to and eating with our conference colleagues. Despite the conference being in France and with its obvious language differences, the pre-conference activity has been very much the same as other conferences. We have gathered together in the hotel lobby and talked to our colleagues about genealogy and the expectations from the conference. My morning was taken up with attending the International Association Board meeting and considering issues such as the future conferences in Boston, Salt Lake City and Israel. So the Bastille Day celebrations were mostly missed by me but I understand many of the conference attendees did get out and about and see the day’s events.
This afternoon, Saturday 14 July, we registered for the conference and received our conference documentation and the very nice conference bag. There was the chance to see the final list of attendees and who had come from the UK. In all there are about 40 delegates from the UK at the conference out of over 700 attendees, it would be nice to have seen more here from the UK. So far we have either bumped into or seen half the UK attendees. I hope that they really enjoy the event and get some really useful research ideas from it. Sunday will be extremely busy for me, with several genealogy management events to attend and one that I will be running on developing Jewish Geneaolgy Societies in Europe. The events and consequences of the last World War still play a major part in Jewish genealogy and historical studies in Europe and I hope that the sessions will show us whether or not there is a way forward for Jewish genealogy on the ground, especially in the eastern part of continental Europe.
Some of the UK attendees will be staffing a table at the SIGs and BOF (Special Interest Groups and Birds of a Feather) Fair on Sunday afternoon, answering queries about UK research and how JGSGB can help. We have brought a large number of our JGSGB genealogy guides with us and hope to sell them at the fair and over the week. These are really useful guides to doing research in the UK, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The guides can also be purchased online at www.jgsgb.org.uk/catalog/shop.
So now it is off to sleep to be ready for a very long and active day.