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'Who Do You Think You Are' 2011

Published on 3 Mar 2011 17:00 : who do you think you are events : 0 comments : 1642 views

Last weekend the Genes team were very excited to be attending the Who Do You Think You Are show at Olympia this for the very first time. We had all been discussing and planning the event for months and there had been lots of meetings and discussions to make sure everything was just as we wanted. Ryan (our designer) worked really hard making sure the set was going to look as authentic as possible.

The night before the show started, Katie (Product Executive) and Rhoda (head of Genes) were at Olympia watching our set being built. We had picked the theme of an old-fashioned parlour to tie in with how a room might have looked at the time of the 1911 census. We had the purple wallpaper especially made for our set. For those of you that were there, you might have noticed it matches the background of our tree! There were also original copies of newspapers from 1911, which made interesting reading.

One of our colleagues kindly let us use his family tree and we had some genuine old pictures of his relatives on our walls. We’d also found them in our records and had printed off copies of the images and framed those too.

6 of us were there bright and early on Friday morning getting the laptops set up and putting out our leaflets, competition cards, Genes Reunited pencils and our favourite sweets - Werthers Originals! Two of the team - Nikki (Marketing Executive) and Natasha (PR executive) kindly offered to dress up for the occasion. Nikki looked very elegant as the lady of the house and Natasha was our lovely maid. It was like being in a scene from Downton Abbey!

Although we’ve done a few Family History shows before, this is the biggest one we’ve ever attended. It was very exciting, but at the same time we were quite nervous as we had no idea what to expect.

The doors opened at 10am on Friday morning and the day, and the rest of the weekend, just seemed to fly by. We met so many people, both members and non-members, over the 3 days and really enjoyed listening to everyone’s feedback.

Some of our site developers came along and helped over the three days. Developers are the people who do all the backstage work and actually build and maintain the site. Our designer was there too. They all agreed that they found it really helpful speaking to members and listening to their suggestions for the site. We had lots of very positive feedback and some really useful suggestions.

Of course, we weren’t just there for feedback. We were also there to show people all about the site and what it could do for them. We met a few people who’d never heard of us spent time showing them what Genes could do for them. If we couldn’t find a name in our records, we could often find matches with trees on the site. As we explained to people, this could possibly be a distant cousin or other relative. Who knows what else they could uncover by simply sending that person a message.

Some of our visitors came along trying to get some help with their brick walls. We really enjoyed these challenges and mostly we were able to help find relatives in our records they hadn’t been able to find. One member was moved to tears when we showed her the 1911 census image hand-written by her Grandfather.

So it was a busy three days but extremely enjoyable. After all the hard work that went in to the planning we felt the show was a huge success. We look forward to attending more Family History shows in the future and will be back at the Who Do You Think You Are Show next year!