As genealogy conference season kicks off, many are heading out to listen to some great presentations, see the latest software and gadgets and connect with other genealogists. In the last couple of years, we all have found Twitter offers a great way for attendees to connect and for those of us who can’t attend to follow the action.
Now, thanks to a delightful service called Lanyrd, organizers have an affordable way to provide both attendees and at-home watchers with an even more enjoyable experience. Lanyrd provides all the conference information – ranging from sessions, speakers and venues to attendees, handouts and even Twitter hashtags. Lanyrd gives conference organizers and attendees all the advantages of those fancy conference apps without the high costs.
When a conference, seminar or workshop is scheduled, the organizers add the event in the Lanyrd calendar which creates a page for the conference. That page displays everything you need to know about the event including dates, venues, sessions, speakers, links to the conference web site, conference Twitter account and discussion hashtag. Conference organizers can use the Calls tab early on to announce calls for proposals.
Interested people can add themselves as attendees or trackers which will add the conference to their personal Lanyrd profile – and their desktop calendar if they wish. Lanyrd will update them when new information is added to the conference page. Attendees, speakers and trackers are connected to the page via their Twitter profile. This can be used to see which friends will be attending and one click connects you to them via Twitter.
Before you head out to the conference, make sure you have the conference page bookmarked in you browser (netbook, tablet or smartphone) so you can quickly reference it. Use the Venue tab to locate your next session, Attendees to connect with others and the Sessions section to see what’s coming up. The Coverage tab is used to post handouts, slidedecks, links and more.
The speaker page pulls bio information from the person’s Twitter profile, includes their Twitter username and pulls in both past and upcoming presentations from the platform’s database. Use with your Twitter client to contact speakers directly or even ask the presenter a question during Q&A.
If you’re wondering why I’m using a British conference on cloud computing in my examples, it’s because while all the major genealogy conferences have a Lanyrd page, they contain only the basic information. Adding information on sessions, venues and speakers – then promoting the site to registered attendees – would enrich the conference experience for everyone. Best of all Lanyrd is a free platform. The only cost is time and effort. Unlike many of the expensive conference apps, the information isn’t limited to just one device – it’s available to anyone with access to a web browser.
If you would like to see what Lanyrd can do, take a look at the Mobile Cloud Summit page. Below you’ll find links to the upcoming genealogy conferences.