Who would have guessed that Hollywood would be part of this year's Jamboree theme in Burbank, California? This year, we are "Lights, Camera, ANCESTORS! Spotlight on Family History."
The event's regular attendees expect social media guru Thomas MacEntee's bling, and the geneabloggers' New Orleans-style beads and ribbons, but having the American Idol Top 10 in our hotel - in addition to auditions for another popular music show - is a great way to add life to a genealogy conference.
Sitting at the unofficial bloggers table with a famous geneablogger, Daniel Horowitz and Mark Olsen pulled up the American Idol 2012 website for a photo of the finalists.
We played name that celebrity and watched as famous young teens rushed through a sea of genealogists. It's obvious that there are two distinct groups here. Young hip celebs and genealogists, some of whom make an attempt at cool.
Schelly, Daniel, Mark and Tara are here - the booth is ready to go and we also have some claim to fame as we pose for a photo with one of the Top 10 (photo at left). We've also met this year's runner-up Jessica Sanchez and third-place winner Joshua Ledet.
However, the true celebrity at this year’s event - Thomas MacEntee - drew even more screams, cheers and "oh, it's Thomas!" than the Idols. Genealogists still need to keep their priorities in order!
The exhibit hall was already hopping as the first day at Burbank began with the pre-conference Family History Writer’s Day. Schelly taught a great session on writing with clarity, which is now on YouTube here.
We are looking forward to the genealogists and perhaps the celebrities to visit our booth and presentations. Look for us in the center of the exhibit hall.
We’ve watched the crowds and the celebrities, noticing a trend - families. The entire Leland Meitzler clan is here this week. Leland, his wife Patty, son Dale and wife Tara and their three children. The youngest is Nicholas. He's three months old and Jamboree is already his eighth genealogy conference! Other attendees are traveling with their spouses, partners and other family members. Even the Idols are here with family members (see photo above).
Family, no matter how life turns out - celebrity or not, we all return to our families. This conference is about our family history and we’re happy to bring family stories to life and save special events for the future.