Genealogical Open House ideas


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Genealogical Open House ideas

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toukokuu 9, 2008, 10:56pm

I'm heading a committee to for my local genealogical society -we're going to celebrate Family History Month in October by hosting an open house (probably at the library.) Any ideas for what to do during that open house? Ideas for attracting a wider audience or getting more people to join the genealogical society?

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 10, 2008, 5:46pm

Nice idea! I've been involved in several events like this in the Netherlands. Here are some things that worked very well:

* Have a separate lecture room and provide lectures about topics such as immigration from X (a country where a lot of the local people originally came from), using census records, local history, etc.

* Provide internet workshops on internet computers, teaching people how to use the internet for genealogical research.

* Invite other organizations to participate in a fair, for example local museums, historical societies, genealogists willing to share their data, (antique) book dealers with focus on local history. You can even try to get the commercial organizations to sponsor the event a bit, for example in return for a stall or an ad in a booklet that each visitor gets.

* Have some reading tables, for example with books about the meaning of family names, local history, etc.

* Have as many local sources available as possible, preferably in transcribed format.

* Have a photocopier there so people can make copies!

* Ask users to bring their family photos to have them dated. You'll need somebody who knows a lot about old photographs for this. Have a military expert that can recognize uniforms etc.

* Have a scanner there and create a life image database using Flickr ( from pictures visitors bring.

* Sell beginners packages, for example including empty forms, FAQs, quick tips and a list of useful websites. Include a membership form for your society :-) Alternatively, give this package away to new members as a special open house deal.

* Plan to teach a beginners class during the winter and allow people to sign up during the open house. Give a discount for (new) members.

Have fun!

toukokuu 10, 2008, 5:48pm

Great ideas yhoitink! Thank you.

toukokuu 25, 2008, 5:26pm

Our genealogical socirty offers beginners classes free of charge and the more advanced classes have a cost.

Another thing they do for members is offer a slumber party. They keep the society open all night for those who want to research. They charge $25 per person. The limit the number of people and they are asked to bring snacks to share and then they usually have pizza delivered.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 14, 2009, 6:53pm

I was considering joining this group and when I read about the genealogy slumber party I quit considering and clicked on the JOIN button.

Our local society seems like it's asleep all the time. We're in a terrible rut and wonder why we don't seem to attract new or young members any more. I've offered up several fun ideas (I thought they were anyway) but this one sounds like it would be a real ball! Last night I proposed a variation on speed-dating for one of our monthly programs. Instead of looking for a date you'd be looking for a research partner and you'd get to know other members at the same time.

Our speaker next week is a reference librarian from the local library. I plan to hit her up afterwards about having a slumber party at the library. Thanks for a great idea!

huhtikuu 15, 2009, 2:56am

A slumber party as a way to wake up a society that's asleep all the time. In a weird way, it makes sense :-) Welcome to the group pebfarms!

toukokuu 8, 2010, 6:47pm

In my opinion the biggest "grabber" you can have is to show someone themselves, parents or grandparents on the 1930 census. Seriously, it's like you have shown them a magic trick or something.

Have some beginner's packets made up with a family group sheet, pedigree chart, promotional material for your society and the library, an instruction sheet on getting started (you know, 1 ask family about ancestors, 2 find them on the census, 3 start getting birth, death, and marriage certs., etc.), but a small note pad in it and a pencil. If you have time, get some pencils with the name of the organization on them. For people who are really interested, match them up with a mentor who can guide them through the research even after the event is over.

toukokuu 9, 2010, 1:33pm

Slumber Party? AKA lock-in. They are getting to be pretty popular in the genealogy genre. Many times the 'rule' is that you must be inside at the announced lock-in time. Once you leave, no returns back in.

elokuu 14, 2012, 7:13pm

Slumber Party, AKA lock-in.... I LOVE going to them. I always Look for one every October.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 7, 2012, 6:21pm

It's that time of year again. YAY!

I'm going to the lock-in at Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library. I expect (hope) that my local library may have a lock-in next year.