Several representatives of Ancestor Network (professional Irish genealogists and researchers) and Flyleaf Press participated in the ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ Genealogy Trade Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham held from Thursday, 7th April through Saturday, 9th April 2016. These included Dr James Ryan who gave a talk on humorous stories in Irish genealogy, Aiden Feerick and Noel Jenkins who assisted the Society of Genealogists, the Irish Family History Society, the Irish Genealogical Research Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists at their respective stands. John Hamrock attended for two days for business and family history networking.
Dick Eastman, the leading blogger in the world on genealogy, was one of the many high profile professionals at the event.
The trade show was very well attended although some vendors thought there were less visitors than the previous year. The wide and ample space of the exhibition area gives one the impression that there are less people in the aisles. There was a replica World War II Spitfire which drew a lot of attention and also interesting equipment and personnel displays from the Great War. The array of vendors of both software and products was impressive and there were many new faces and some vendors from previous years were not to be seen. UK based genealogical societies were out in force and attracted a large number of visitors to their respective stands. The talks and presentations drew big crowds with leading professionals presenting their specialist genealogical knowledge to the audiences.
We will need to await the official attendance statistics from the event organisor, Immediate Media.
There were several Irish exhibitors at the trade show. These included the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, Ireland Reaching Out (IrelandXO), the North of Ireland Family History Society, the Irish Genealogical Research Society, Eneclann, Irish professionals from Ancestry and Find My Past, and many more.
It looks like while numbers at many other genealogy trade shows are dropping off slightly, RootsTech and ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ seem to be attracting the most attention in the global genealogy market. Perhaps we can see a ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ in Dublin one day. It is a pity there was not one in Dublin for the 1916 Uprising Centenary.