HomeThoughts and MusingsGenealogy Seminar Organization: Not For the Faint of Heart

Phew. If you haven’t seen a post in a while, it’s because my brain is mush. You see, I hold the very lofty-sounding title of Seminar Chairperson. And the first seminar under my watch is tomorrow. Prior to this experience, I would never have capitalized Seminar Chairperson, but now having done this, I think I deserve capitals, maybe even postnomials (depending how it goes tomorrow).

  • I never knew just how important coffee is, and how many variables could be involved with it (do we have enough? There’s no access to water, how do we get it? We can’t plug the coffee makers all in the same outlet without tripping the breaker, what do we do?)
  • Just how many possible colors of table covers could there be? Party City is a dizzying place. My Crayola 64 pack had less variety. Sometimes having options is a bad thing.
  • Registration is NOT linear. It isn’t even a bell curve. It looks more like a skateboard ramp – flat on the approach, and one wicked curve at the end  that will knock you on your butt if you’re not careful,
  • It’s amazing how fast any phrase beginning with “Who would be willing to…,” can clear a room at a committee meeting,

All jokes aside, I greatly appreciate all of the help and guidance I’ve received along the way as I’ve felt my way through this first outing. If it weren’t for the people helping out, giving of their own time and experience, none of it would work. Tomorrow – Saturday – will likely be the most successful, well-attended seminar in 5 or 6 years, and I’m glad I could be a part of it. I will also be glad when it’s Sunday.

When you’re asked to take charge in whatever genealogical organization, in whatever role, I hope you will consider it. I’m not going to say that it’s less work than you think. It’s not.  I’m not going to say that it probably won’t take much time. It will. I’m not going to say that the role is a perfect fit for your personality and interests. It probably won’t be. But if someone as passionate as you, someone who has ideas like you, someone who wants to promote genealogy like you do – if someone like that doesn’t take responsibility, who will?

At the next event you attend, be sure to thank the person handing you your folder, the person at the door, the person running frantically into the room with a last-minute table to accommodate late arrivals. They deserve it.





Genealogy Seminar Organization: Not For the Faint of Heart — 2 Comments

  1. Great post, Chris. Good luck tomorrow!! I’m attending in spirit and hoping it all goes smoothly.

  2. Congratulations, Chris! It went off really well. Now you can rest up for the fall (and find ways to make it easier, I hope.)