The NGS has distributed a short informational release with statistics pertaining to this year's event:
-- Attendance was 2,270 at NGS 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina.As a first-time NGS speaker, I found the experience excellent, and my DNA talk was well-received. A highlight of the week was staffing the MyHeritage.com booth, which provided an opportunity to meet with so many attendees and discuss matters of mutual interest.
-- More than 1,500 purchased full conference registrations, with more than 100 attending on daily registrations. Conference attendance included speakers, vendors, booth staff and volunteers from the South Carolina Genealogical Society (SCGS) and its local chapters.
--Ancestry sponsored a Saturday "Ancestry Day" program which brought in 575 people to the venue.
-- More than 2,000 meals were served at the convention center and social events sponsored by the SCGS.
-- Mark your calendars for the NGS 2012 Family History Conference (9-12 May 2012; Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, Ohio). The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati is the conference hotel; conference registration will open 1 December.
On a personal note, it was enlightening to speak with numerous individuals who, while not Jewish today, know about their Jewish ancestry. Quite a few had only recently discovered that connection and needed guidance on where to go for more information.
If you haven't already visited Charleston, consider it for a vacation. It is a quaint town, with major Civil War history, Jewish history, very friendly people and fantastic food!
The only criticism pertained to the conference center's spotty internet connection and non-existent ATT cellphone signal. Other than that - and the $3.50 charge for a small bottle of water (there's nothing like a thirsty captive audience!) - things went swimmingly.
I'm looking forward to next year's edition.