When you first visit Who Do You Think You Are? Live it can seem rather daunting. Walk in and you’re surrounded by hubbub: exhibitors chat to visitors about their latest web developments and new publications; microphoned experts address their theatre audiences on research techniques or DNA testing; and, more likely than not, someone in a WWI uniform or Victorian bonnet wanders past on their way for a coffee or the loo.
Fear not, you’ll soon acclimatise. But it pays to do some basic planning beforehand. Here are 5 tips to make the most of your day:
(1) Cherrypick your workshops: Start planning your day by deciding on a few workshops to attend. Some are free, offered on a first-come first-served basis, and others are ticketed (£2 in advance, £3 on the day). If you have the One Day Advanced ticket to the show then you have three workshops in hand, included within the ticket price – be sure to use them. Just getting started with your family history? Then take a look at the sessions in the Education Zone, new this year. Otherwise it’s a question of thinking what you’re seeking to get out of the day – you might want to immerse yourself in the military history of your ancestors, figure out what to do next where your research trail has gone cold, or put a question to a WDYTYA celebrity from the TV series. So, dip in and choose a few workshops, and your timetable for the day will start to take shape.
(2) Bring a nutty problem with you: Make the most of the Society of Genealogist volunteers in the ‘Ask the Experts’ section. They’ll give you up to 20 minutes of free advice on how you might progress your research or solve a mystery. You’ll need to prepare in advance – bring copies of your notes, certificates and other documents – and be as specific as you can be about what you’re trying to find out. You can’t book ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions in advance, so when you arrive on the day you might first whizz over to grab a slot between your workshop times. They’re experienced hands at the SoG, they like a challenge!