2017 Auckland Family History Expo - report back

 Many thanks to the Exhibitors, speakers, volunteers and attendees who came to this year’s Expo in the Fickling Convention Centre, Three Kings.

Many many thanks to  my co-committee members Marie Hickey (Auckland Libraries), Jan Gow, Don Gallagher, Chris Bayley, David Bryant, Rex Wood, Dorothy Walker and Bryn Smith from the Genealogical Computing Group.

We had three international speakers this year, Chris Paton (Scots/Irish), Dirk Weissleder (German/European) and Helen Smith (Australian, British, DNA), as well as many local speakers.  We had about 30 lectures across the 2.5 days,  12 workshops, a Beginners' Table and 25 exhibitors: Ancestry, Auckland Council Libraries, Auckland War Memorial Museum,   Beehive Books/HOG Tours, Chinese genealogy researchers, Families in British India (FIBIS), FamilySearch, FamNet/Jazz Software, Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS), Kippenberger Research Library - National Army Museum - Waiouru, Indian genealogy / West Research Centre, My Heritage, New Zealand Fencible Society Inc, New Zealand Micrographics/Recollect,   New Zealand Military Historical Society, New Zealand Society of Genealogists Head Office  and Interest Groups: English, European, Irish, Maori, Pacific Island, Scottish; Unlock the Past/ Gould Genealogy, Wales – New Zealand Family History Society.

We had awesome financial sponsors: Auckland Council Libraries, Genealogical Computing Group, MyHeritage, Ancestry, The Genealogist and LivingDNA, who also donated prizes for our raffles. Many exhibitors also donated prizes for raffles too. Altogether we had more than 75 raffle prizes totally over $9000!

110 people attended the opening night on Friday night where we shared some yummy canapes and heard from Chris Paton on “Genealogy without borders”, and heard from LivingDNA about their offer (a mixture of video call from the UK, recorded video, and explanation from Michelle Patient), and then we had a panel discussion with our three speakers Chris, Dirk and Helen, about the future of family history.

Saturday and Sunday were very busy and we know for certain we had over 750 people attend across the two days – however, we suspect the actual number was a fair bit higher, as not everyone would have taken name labels or bags (which was our method of trying to calculate attendance). We got a lot of complete beginners again this year, so hopefully we have infected them with our enthusiasm, and they have now become addicted!

It had been posted on the Auckland Research Centres' Facebook page, as the Auckland Libraries new website was about to be launched. Please feel free to like the Research Centre’s Facebook page to be kept informed of what events and new resources we have in!

All going well, we hope to hold the next Auckland Family History Expo again next year – weekend Friday 10 to Sunday 12 August 2018. If it goes ahead, once again, we plan for it to be free, and for the exhibitors to pay minimal costs so it will be affordable for everyone to attend.

Watch this space!

Happy hunting


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