I called this "Day 0" because I just drove up after work today. I didn't attend any of the Wednesday classes but I did arrive in time for the Prairie Social which was presented by the Illinois State Genealogical Society and sponsored by FamilySearch.org.
The first group of people I saw included Caroline Pointer, Amy Coffin, Lisa Alzo, and Kathryn Doyle. It was good to see some familiar faces - as I meet more and more of my "virtual friends" it makes attending genealogy events sort of like a family reunion. The difference is at this family reunion people WANT to talk about genealogy and don't try to politely excuse themselves the moment they see an opening!
At the Social I also got to meet in person a few more of my blogger/Facebook friends. Susan Clark, Jennifer Holik and I thought we were going to go over to watch Genealogy Jeopardy. As the announcers started explaining the rules it turned out that we were on one of the teams. We were joined, moments before the game started by Linda McCauley - who didn't realize she had just joined our team!! The good news is - we won. We received beautiful picture frames for our astounding wealth of genealogical knowledge...we won't mention that we weren't the only people on the team and the people sitting in the row behind us were the ones who really pulled our team ahead to victory. :-)
After the Jeopardy game I met Tina Lyons and her husband. She is just as much fun in person as I would expect from reading her blog. That's one things I've found as I get to met my blogger friends in person - I feel as if I already know them. Reading what they share in their blogs really gives a good sense of who they are. I'm never disappointed!!
I also got to chat briefly with Audrey Collins who is here from the UK. I think she wins the prize for coming the farthest. I was fun to hear about the various places she's been recently - and it also made me start thinking again about trying to figure out how to go to RootsTech in 2012!
Tomorrow I am all set to learn some cool stuff and hear some great speakers. I have my three-day agenda all outlined in a color-coded spreadsheet that shows just the sessions I have decided to attned. (Hey, I work in accounting, EVERYTHING is a spreadsheet to me!) I have all the handouts for those sessions printed out and in my folder.
Also, just in case something doesn't work out or I have a change of heart, I have the WHOLE schedule printed out with all the sessions that looked interesting highlighted in various colors and then those hand outs available as well. It pays to be flexible.