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Mesa Family History Expo - It's All in the Family

Posted by Renee Friday, December 5, 2008

One of the best parts about being members of the Family History community is the people. We meet hundreds of people at conferences and classes, and everyone – attendees, speakers, and exhibitors alike – form a sort of extended family, anchored on common ground: we all share this almost instinctive passion for finding our roots and preserving the past.

For example, it was when we attended our first conference as an exhibitor last winter that we met Dusty and Sasha from
Genetree. Boy, if you ever want to have a great conversation and feel welcome, just go visit Dusty and Sasha; they’ll make you feel like family from the moment you meet them.

Now, with the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, we want to take a minute to catch our breath and tell you about our recent conference – the Family History Expo in Mesa Arizona last month.

We had a great time in Mesa. There were about 1000 attendees at the conference, and about a quarter of them stopped by our booth to talk about Family Photoloom, pick up a brochure, or sign up for a Free Trial account.

The first day of the Mesa Conference was a banner day for us – November 14th marked the official launch of Family Photoloom subscription service. Our first customer was Mary, from Ward Nevada! Posting a confirmation email on the wall is not quite as satisfying as framing a first dollar, but we are excited that Family Photoloom is finally up and running. Maybe we can do a cash withdrawal for one crisp dollar bill to frame.

At the Mesa Conference, Scott gave a one-hour class that provided a thorough walk-through of Family Photoloom. And Lisa Louise Cooke from Genealogy GEMS interviewed Scott - we think she did a great job helping him get the message out about Family Photoloom - thanks Lisa!

The weather for the conference was super! We were amazed that they actually planned activities outside in November – something we would never do up back home in the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. On the first day of the conference, we noticed a large group seated outside chatting. It didn’t even occur to us until the speaker began his address that they had been waiting for a class to begin!

Downtown Mesa is lovely, and the streets are filled with wonderful life-sized sculptures of familiar scenes. However, we did have a lot of trouble finding a place eat in the evening – apparently they roll up the sidewalks at about 7:00 pm on Saturday night – we were later told that after dark all the action is in a neighboring college town. We did find a great taco stand where they cooked carne asada outside and the air smelled like heaven. Very affordable and very good. But we’ll be smarter for the next Mesa conference, January 22-23, 2010.

On the last day of the show, we connected with three companies that we’d especially like to tell you about, because they each have the potential to enhance your Photoloom experience.

First, Echo Media. (Update 7/27/09: Echo Media has changed it's web location, and is now known as Securing Memories) We met up with Echo Media for the first time at a previous Family History conference, and we’ll soon have them up and running as a Photoloom affiliate. They play a vital role – Echo Media can scan negatives, slides, and photos from any format; especially useful for folks who don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to scan images on their own. All the images come back digitizede and enhanced. If you use them to digitize your media, they will upload your images to your Photoloom account at no extra charge!

We also met Ken, Debra, and Kay from AGES-online. AGES-online is all about online-genealogy. They provide a web-service that lets you do all your genealogy recording online. Why do that? Accessibility and collaboration. These are the SAME benefits we offer to Family Photoloom site members through ONLINE picture sharing. Also because Family Photoloom uses only enough information from your genealogy to organize your pictures and tell your family history – AGES-online is a perfect match, giving you extensive genealogy capabilities.

Finally, LDSJournal really caught our eyes: you couldn’t miss them – they had a gigantic billboard on a truck driving around outside. Scott met with Nick, the founder, and talked about the LDSJournal service, a free service that is designed to help you record your personal history. LDSJournal is similar to Photoloom in that journals are generally kept private, available only to the individual; Photoloom keeps your content private, available only to invited guests. Both are used to record family history.

As I said in the beginning, the people are the best part of being a member of the Family History community. It was great to connect with Diane from Family Tree Magazine and catch up with Dear Myrtle. Our friend Sasha from Genetree even brought cake to celebrate Genetree’s first anniversary. And Dusty? Well, he wasn’t able to attend this time. He stayed home to share a little personal family history in the making, with his new baby, daughter Izzy. Congratulations, Dusty. We hope to see you in St. George this February.

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1 Responses to Mesa Family History Expo - It's All in the Family

  1. DustyR Says:
  2. Thank you so much for blogging about GeneTree. We had so much fun with you at that show in Provo, Utah.

    It looks like photoloom is growing!