Massachusetts Genealogical Council
MGC 2020 Seminar Pivots Virtual in Only Three Weeks!
We had an in-person conference scheduled for the first weekend in April this year. Three and a half weeks beforehand, the governor closed the state universities to outsiders. We were scheduled to have two days of three tracks each at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.
We had three weeks to pivot to a virtual conference. Fortunately, our Program Director and her committee did just that. We figured out the technical issues, renegotiated our speaker contracts, found volunteers to help record the presentations, and put on the first post-COVID virtual genealogy conference in America.
Let us tell you, it takes a community to bring about a change as big as that. MGC is profoundly grateful to the support we received. We're grateful that our featured speaker, Michael Leclerc, CG, made a video to train our speakers about how to present in a virtual world with no audience. A crew of volunteers used Zoom to record sessions. We worked full time on graphics, the webpage, and refunding in-person costs while providing registration for the new conference. We had the joy of launching our virtual conference on-time with as much content as we could move virtual.
We put this video together to enter the National Genealogical Society's SLAM! showcase for society projects. It was a challenge to get everything into just 5 minutes.
Our Next Seminar: MGC 2022
One of the biggest changes seen in genealogy over the past two decades is the emphasis genealogists now put on getting a good genealogical education--and on updating that education every year. We are eager to provide a fun learning experience with topnotch speakers on a myriad of important topics.
Stay tuned for
Announcing Our New Education Effort,
Putting on the first post-COVID virtual conference took some work, but we don't want our virtual efforts to stop there. We want to provide education year-round to our members, and to the members of our member societies. We have so much we want to talk about, such as how important records are, where you can find them, and how you can access them.
It took some brainstorming, but we finally figured out how to offer content without conflicting with the planned programs of our member societies. We hit upon having our programs during the fifth week of the longer months. This gives us about four opportunities a year to provide content at a time without other scheduled events.
Then we hit on an acronym that stands for us and at the same time supports genealogy education efforts. We took the initial letters from the phrase "MGC: Open Records & Education."
We developed this video as our entry in the National Genealogical Society's SLAM! challenge for local societies. It's only 4 minutes and 26 seconds. It highlights our decision-making for the M:O.R.E. programs.
Our Program Director, Susan O'Connor, coordinates myriad details to bring us one big rocking conference. She couldn't do it without her team. The MGC 2018 team stands below with featured speaker Thomas Jones, PhD, CG, FASG, giving fist pumps after a successful conference. Thank you, everyone!