Monday, May 7, 2012

NGS 2012 - Getting Ready for Cincinnati

Tomorrow I'll be heading to Cincinnati for the National Genealogical Society's 2012 Family History Conference. It's just a two-hour drive from my house but I haven't spent much time in Cincinnati. Most of my experience with the Queen City has been driving through it to go somewhere else and I haven't even done that many times.

Last week I made plans to have lunch on Tuesday with an old friend who lives in Cincinnati. She recommended we meet at Rock Bottom at Fountain Square. According to GoogleMaps, Fountain Square is a short .3 miles (6-minute walk) from the Duke Energy Convention Center and two main conference hotels. The square is home to several other restaurants, the Tyler Davidson Fountain and a Graeter's Ice Cream shop. So, there are nearby food choices beyond the hotel restaurants and the conference center lunches. Great!

from GoogleMaps - click the map for a better view
If you are going to the conference and have a smart phone or tablet, you definitely want to download the NGS app. It gives you quick access to the schedule, exhibitor and speaker information, conference news and the #NGS2012 Twitter feed. It also allows you to create your own schedule by selecting the sessions you plan to attend. The room number is included for each session so there is no need to carry around the printed program. Check out the details on the conference blog.

Speaking of mobility, FamilySearch and NGS are sponsoring free WiFi in the conference center for attendees! If you've ever been to a conference without WiFi and where cell service was weak to unusable in the conference center (like it was for AT&T users last year in Charleston), you know how fantastic this is. Information about access to the network will be included with registration materials. There is also free WiFi available at Fountain Square.

I've been through the conference program several times and have most time slots narrowed down to one session. I'm one of those people who has to do that in advance or I'd end up standing in the hallway spinning in circles between every session. That doesn't mean I won't change something on the fly, I probably will, but I need to have a plan. (FYI, the conference app allows you to select more than one session for a time slot. If you're still wavering on some, you can have all of your possibilities marked for easy reference.) The handouts for my selected sessions (and a few maybes) are loaded to my tablet so I can refer to them if needed during a presentation.

Whether you are going to NGS 2012 or not, you can keep up with the latest news and happenings by following blogs and social media. The NGS Conference blog has a list of 2012 Official Blogs on the upper right hand side of their home page. There seems to be a good number of bloggers who didn't register for that designation so also check out the list at GeneaBloggers. Many attendees will be posting to Facebook and Google+ throughout the conference but Twitter will likely be the place to get the most up-to-the-minute information from NGS. Just follow the #ngs2012 hashtag. If you haven't used Twitter, this would be a great time to start. Set up an account and follow the NGS hashtag this week to get a feel for what you've been missing. Don't forget to review the official NGS Conference Social Media Policy before you start posting.

Oh and one more thing. If you are flying into "Cincinnati" for NGS, welcome to Kentucky. (The airport is in Kentucky. You knew that, right?)


  1. Linda,
    As a Cincinnatian, I've been on more than one flight where I've seen a few horrified looks when they found out they were flying to Kentucky. I've never been on a flight where they haven't said something like Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, but sometimes they only hear Kentucky. I can't wait to meet all of you. And Linda -- that is an excellent choice for lunch.

    1. Kathy,
      I'm looking forward to meeting you as well!