The exhibit hall at a conference is place for learning and sharing. Knowing that it is sometimes risky to purchase historical and genealogical books, maps, and other related products sight unseen. The conference exhibit hall is a perfect place to learn about product before you spend your hard earned money. In this post, I’m sharing a proposed strategy for “Browse Before You Buy” that you can do before you travel to the FGS conference in San Antonio (or any other conference for that matter).
1. Construct your wish list of books and/or products.
2. Visit the Directory of Exhibitors on the FGS website. Be sure to make note of the booth location in the exhibit hall.
3. At the conference visit the vendor’s booth so that you can see the item in the “flesh.” This is the perfect place for you to discuss the product with the vendor and to see a demonstration, if applicable.
4. Special things to consider if the item on your wish list is a book
A) There may be more than one vendor that carries the book, so you may have an opportunity to shop for the best deal.
B) Shopping in the vendor hall can be exciting and more than once I’ve purchased a book that was not on my wish list only to find I already had a copy a home. To avoid this pitfall you may wish to have a means of viewing the contents of your library shelves at home. There are a couple of ways to do that—1) have access to an electronic file (Excel, Word, etc.) of your library inventory, or 2) take advantage of an online product called Library Thing that allows you to construct your own library catalog complete with collections and tags
5. When you visit the online Directory of Exhibitors, make notes relating to name and booth number of any other exhibitor that catches your fancy.
6. Make sure you schedule some time to spend in the exhibit hall. It is an opportunity not to be missed.
Looking forward to seeing you in San Antonio!
© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.