1. Will the on-site conference still happen given COVID-19 concerns?

Conference Committee Chair Janet A. Alpert, FNGS, said, “We are acutely aware that we have to build contingency plans for any eventuality. Though we hope COVID-19 will not be a factor in the spring of 2021, we are already preparing options to insure the health and safety of registrants, sponsors, exhibitors, and staff. We’re confident that we will have a strong and enriching program for everyone interested in family history research.” Please continue to check the NGS conference website for additional updates.

2. What is the proper attire for the conference?

Most attendees dress in casual or business attire during the day and in business clothing for social events. Wear good walking shoes and bring layers; air-conditioning is difficult to regulate in large facilities, and lecture rooms can be warm or chilly.

3. Are conference sessions being taped this year?

Yes. Lectures will be audio recorded for speakers who granted permission to record. Sessions not being taped are identified in the conference program with a pen that indicates “note taking.” Audio recordings will be sold on-site during the conference and afterward.

4. I am a complete beginner. Are NGS conferences suitable for me?

Absolutely. Beginners revitalize our field. NGS welcomes and encourages genealogists of all levels to attend NGS conferences. Each speaker targets lectures to a certain level of research expertise, from beginner to advance. The Program Brochure will indicate the experience level for each lecture. Beginners will also learn from lectures targeted to more advanced audiences. In addition, beginners will benefit by visiting the exhibit hall, which features genealogical software, DNA providers, books, research aids, genealogical and historical societies, and much more.

5. I do more than Richmond research. Will this conference benefit me?

Yes. NGS Family History Conferences are geared toward all researchers, wherever their interests lie. NGS holds conferences in different parts of the country to enable our members throughout the United States to attend. Each year the main focus is on a certain geographical area and research in that area. All NGS conferences contain sessions on varied topics, including: heritage, methodologies, immigration, record groups, repositories, and technology including social media and DNA.

6. Where are the sessions and events being held?

The sessions and events will be held in the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The exhibit hall, lectures, registration, and luncheons will also be available at the conference center. The VGS Host Society Event and the NGS Banquet will be across the street at the Marriott. Please see the Program Brochure, which will be released by winter of 2020, for specific details.

7. What does my conference registration include?

The full conference registration includes admission to all sessions and lectures. Single-day registrations include admission to all sessions and lectures on that particular day. Social events, tours, workshops and the Focus On Societies event require an additional fee and must be purchased during pre-registration.

8. Will there be a Librarians’ Day at the Richmond conference?

While there will not be a “day” for librarians at the Richmond conference, there will be a Reference Services track of lectures for attendees who provide genealogy services in a library, archive, or other repository.

9. Do I have to pay for a conference registration if I only want to attend a workshop?

Yes and no. Conference registration is not required for the BCG Education Fund Workshop, Focus on Societies, or the tours, which are pre-conference events. However, each does require registration for the particular event.

10. I only want to attend a luncheon or dinner at the conference. Do I have to register for the conference?

No. You may select the “Meals Only” registration option and pay to attend the social event(s) you choose.

11. Can I attend a luncheon without paying if I don’t eat? What if I just stand in the back of the lunch room to listen to the lecture?

No, you may not attend without purchasing a luncheon ticket or stand in the back of the room. Luncheons are “meal events.” People who purchase tickets are not only paying for the meal, they are also paying to hear the luncheon speaker’s presentation.

12. Can I purchase luncheon and dinner tickets on-site?

Unfortunately, not. All meal tickets must be purchased prior to 30 April 2021 because NGS must give a meal count to the caterer in advance.

13. I have registered for the conference and need to make changes. How can I do that?

Once registration opens, you can add meals or workshops to your existing registration prior to 30 April 2021. Log on at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org, click on Store>My Account>Select View next to 2021 Conference>Select View Again>Select Add Sessions. If you are asked to select a registration type, choose Meals Only. You may print a copy of your Agenda, add workshops and meal events, or add events to your calendar. For cancellations and questions, please email our conference registrar,  Courtney Holmes.

14. My session/social event is sold out. Do you have a wait list?

Please contact Courtney Holmes to be placed on a wait list.

15. How do I get from the hotels to the convention center?

The official conference hotel, the Richmond Marriott, and the Hilton Richmond Downtown are across the street from the convention center. The Omni, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, and Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond are less than a mile away. Shuttles will provide transportation between these hotels and the convention center, Tuesday through Saturday during the conference.

16. How do I know which sessions are sponsored?

Sponsored lectures are noted with the company name on the left side of the session box in the program schedule. These sessions may include information about the company’s products.

Questions? Contact NGS Registrar Courtney Holmes at [email protected]