In a month I will be flying to Birmingham. My second visit of this English city. Last time I was there (April 2017) I attended Who Do You Think You Are Live, my first big international genealogy event. This time I will be there to attend THE Genealogy Show (TGS), a brand new event organised by Kirsty Gray and her amazing crew.
What do I expect from this second trip to Birmingham? For starters, I think I will not see the city centre. Again. The airport is very close to the NEC, the exhibition centre where TGS is held. Most likely, I will spend three days on merely the same spot. Unless I am invited by some genie friends to join them for dinner in the city. This is already one of the good things of an event like TGS, it gives me the opportunity to meet fellow genealogists, colleagues, friends, or whatever I may call them. Of course, I also get the chance to meet new people and I am really looking forward to that too.
If we decide not to go into the city for dinner but to stay close to the NEC, I do not really mind. There are a couple of really nice hotels, restaurants and bars on the premises. That is one of the advantages of this venue. Not only the airport is close, also the other facilities are in walking distance.
The idea is to spend three full days at TGS (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). However, on Thursday the show is not open yet. It will be a day to help the crew with all last-minute tasks that pop up. And it gives me some extra time to meet people, or to prepare my presentation.
The following two days are packed with interesting presentations. Some of the international presenters are giving a talk in Europe for the first time. A wonderful opportunity to see, hear and meet them. All talks are on the TGS website. Let me name a few of the genealogists that give a presentation on Friday 7th June: Judy Russell and Blaine Bettinger from the United States, Audrey Collins and Nathan Dylan Goodwin from the United Kingdom, Jill Ball from Australia, Lianne Kruger from Canada and Sophie Boudarel from France. Oh, and it will be my turn… I will be speaking about genealogy in the Netherlands. It will be my first time to give a talk at an international genealogy event!
Saturday 8th June is the same; again many interesting presentations. Some names: Lisa Louise Cooke and Valerie Elkins from the United States, Sylvia Valentine and Jonny Perl from the United Kingdom, Daniel Smith-Ramos from Belgium, Yvette Hoitink from the Netherlands, Liv Birgit Christensen from Norway and Ruth Blair from Canada. It will be difficult to make a good selection.
Not only will I be listening to several of these talks, I will reserve enough time to walk around in the expo hall. More than fifty companies, societies and organisations are demonstrating and selling their products or services. There is a constantly growing list of exhibitors on the TGS website.
One thing is clear: it will be a wonderful experience. I am all set: flights are booked, hotel reservations are made. The only thing I have to do now, is to wait for another four weeks. A huge challenge if you are looking forward to this great event!