Friday, April 10, 2015

Congress - So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night

Before I resign from my position as an Official Blogger for AFFHO Congress 2015 I must write my last post. It seems apt to use the title of the song that the organising committee farewelled us with on the final day of Congress as the title of this post.

Farewell from the Organising Team

As has been my practice after some events I attend I will use Edward De Bono's PMI scaffold to sort out the random thoughts I have about the event.

My thoughts follow in no particular order (and I may come back and add more as I think of them)


  • Kerrie Gray
  • The organisation was superb - what an energetic and friendly team.
  • Registration went smoothly.
  • The venue was convenient to a range of accommodation.
  • The food was tasty and plentiful (except at the War Memorial)
  • Lunchtime sessions were a great idea.
  • The tiered theatres ensured that all had an opportunity to see the presenters.
  • Having Official Bloggers was a good idea - thanks for the invitation
  • Having a Congress App. (Even better would be a hybrid combining best features of the Rootstech and Congress Apps.)
  • Speakers' Corner.
  • Papers available in soft copy.
  • The Purple Patch People and the Greenshirts.
  • Technology support.
  • Being able to attend sessions for which I didn't register.
  • Having a forum to meet and mingle with fellow enthusiasts.
  • The coffee stand in the foyer.
  • Wifi availability.
  • Your @AFFHO2015 tweeter.
  • Feedback from many that the pre-Congress Hangout on Air was helpful.

  • Sessions on Society Management were absent from the program. As this is a conference for a Federation of Societies this should be a stream in the program.
  • Societies were generally absent from the exhibition space. It would have been nice to have a spot where smaller societies could leave promotional material for interested parties.
  • The notice board was not announced - I found it in a corner on the last day.
  • Two overseas speakers repeated talks from Congress 2015, I was caught.
  • Too many speakers read their papers. (They should have attended Paul Milner's lunchtime session on presentations).
  • Sessions weren't recorded.
  • Several speakers didn't submit papers or offer links where their presentations/papers could be downloaded.
  • Recycled overseas speakers. There are plenty of fish in the ocean, it would be nice to see fresh faces visiting our shores.
  • Too many 'chalk and talk" lecture style session.


  • There was no function in the Exhbition area to force encourage attendees to linger longer. Perhaps the lunchtime sessions drew people away from exhibitors.
  • Wonder if the Interests Register was a success and worth the effort. I had no contacts.
  • Do we really need a conference bag?
  • I disposed of all the advertising material in my Conference Bag. Is there some other way to distribute sponsor bumph?
  • Technology in Royal Theatre wasn't set up to deal with presentations containing hyperlinks.
  • The opening function was at dinner time. As it's a reception with minimal food perhaps it should be scheduled at the cocktail hour.
  • There were no hands-on computer lab sessions.

Thanks to everyone who read my Congress blog posts and to my co-bloggers Shauna and Pauleen. 


Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Thanks Jill, a good and fair synopsis of the Congress. Like you I appreciated the chance to be an official blogger.

Bribie Family History Association said...

Thanks Jill for the round up. Seems like only yesterday that we were appointed official bloggers and now it is all over. At least we have National Family History Month in August to look forward to and if there had been a societies stream, we could have had some great sessions around that.

Tanya Honey said...

I like your format for summing up Congress Jill. A succinct overview and many points I agree with.

Judy Lofthouse said...

Interesting that you also don't need a conference bag. I used it one day and then took in my backpack. A bag adds to packing space when flying home. I would prefer to pick up the information that is relevant to me.

GeniAus said...

I agree Judy. I don't use them and they now end up in the bin because charity shops here don't want them.


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