|Dick Eastman and Sarah Williams at last year's show.|
Many of the regulars are in their usual places, notably the big stands in the middle section of the hall, such as FamilySearch, Ancestry and Findmypast. Some other regular attenders with smaller stands have their favourite places, too, like Bob Blatchford with his Family and Local History Handbook now a familiar fixture on his corner pitch close to Findmypast and Deceased Online, another show regular. The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain are also back in their usual corner spot, strategically sited next to Pizza Express and and a staircase to the upper gallery and the restrooms - maximum foot traffic guaranteed.
|Paul Gorry giving advice for the National Archives of Ireland|
The ever-popular Military Pavilion is again on the upper Gallery Level, along with the Photography Gallery, the SoG 'Ask the Experts' area and four of the studios or theatres where lectures are held. There is also a cafe bar on this level with some seating, generally less crowded than the ones downstairs, and the Ancestry Members' Lounge. The gallery is also a good place to look down on the main hall and get your bearings.
|Ian Tester, Captain of the Titanic (2012)|
I think that most of this year's progamme is very good, not that I will get to hear any of Friday or Saturday's offerings because they are both working days for me; The National Archives has a presence at the show again, for the first time in a few years, and there will be staff at the show on all three days. There will be a dedicated theatre, with two lectures a day, and two more sessions each day as part of the main programme. My colleagues and I will also be on hand for advice sessions in the Ask the Experts area, and the rest of the time you will find us on a variety of stands. I haven't seen the whole schedule yet. but I know that I will be spending time with Findmypast, FamilySearch and the Genealogist. See you there?
People who are travelling some distance for the show often take some extra time while they are in London to do some research, and the Thursday before WDYTYA Live has become one of the busiest days of the year for me, back at the day job at The National Archives. Last year there was a capacity crowd for the Thursday afternoon lecture and the reading rooms were full of family historians. This year we are trying something a little different, a series of Focus on... short sessions throughout the day.
Once WDYTYA Live is over, it will be less than four weeks to Rootstech, a very different kind of event, now in its third year, but already the biggest genealogy event in North America. This is another event I am looking forward to, but more of that later.