Virtual Conference Shows German Genealogy Has Phoenix-like Resilience

I’m going to share a conflict-of-interest immediately: I was the co-chair for the International German Genealogy Partnership’s (IGGP) conference held earlier this year.

By James M. Beidler

It’s fashionable when describing conferences with rotating locations to use a description along the lines of “the center of the German genealogy world shift to …”—but with the pandemic presenting the only feasible option of a virtual conference, the center of the German genealogy world (at least for the 800-plus attendees) encompassed the entire globe, drawing participants from Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia, and Brazil.

Building on the theme of “Researching Together Worldwide / Weltweit Gemeinsam Forschen,” which had been crafted by the original in-person conference host committee from the Hamilton County (Ohio) Genealogical Society, the virtual conference team turned to technology partner Playback Now to evaluate and match the online conference needs with Whova’s platform. The IGGP’s event, held over eight days, became the first to successfully mimic all aspects of an in-person genealogy conference for a virtual audience.

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