A week today sees the start of Who Do You Think You Are? Live at Olympia, London (and it is still not too late to get a great deal on tickets), three days of intensive genealogy goodness.
I still have some more preparations to do for my visit and the organisers are busy putting the finishing touches to the show. If you have already got your copy of the showguide you will know that there were a few holes in the schedules when the showguide went to press.
To help fill those gaps BBC Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine have provided a page on their website with all the latest news about the show. I have bookmarked the page and will keep checking back to find out if there are any more changes.
There don’t appear to be any major changes but there are some changes in the timings and speakers, plus a few gaps in the schedules have been filled in, especially in the WDYTYA Theatre where there will be talks on “New Zealand Genealogy Online” and “Caribbean Genealogy”.
It is just under three weeks now until Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 at Olympia, London and the organisers have announced another celebrity guest. Eric Knowles is a familiar face from British television and an expert in antiques, but unlike the other celebrity guests he isn’t being interviewed or giving a talk.
Eric will be at the show on Friday and Sunday and “will help date any family treasures important to your family history”, although visitors are restricted to one item per person and he will not be providing valuations of the items (why would you want to sell that family heirloom anyway?).
Heirloom or otherwise I don’t think I have any antiques knocking about the house that need dating (and I will resist comments about other members of the household), but I am sure there are other visitors that will have family heirlooms that need identifying.
This could be a great opportunity to find out if that pocket watch is old enough to have been owned by your 2x great-grandfather or could that plate really have been passed down through six generations?
With just four weeks to go the organisers have announced the third celebrity guest for Who Do You Think You? Live at Olympia, London.
Popular TV chef Ainsley Harriott will be returning to the stage on Sunday 27th February 2011 at 10am and again at 11am, to discuss his appearance on the television series Who Do You Think You Are?
He joins fellow celebrities Monty Don (on Friday) and Hugh Quarshie (on Saturday) in talking about his experiences on the television series, and Tony Robinson who will be talking about life in 1911 (not from personal experience!) as part of the Ancestry.co.uk Academy on Friday.
I saw Ainsley Harriott a couple of years ago when he was previously a guest, and as you would expect he was throughly entertaining and I would heartily recommend making time to see his interview.
I had said before that I wasn’t going to bother with the celebrity talks this year, but on reflection they are a big part of the show and usually quite entertaining, so I might see if I can get a ticket if they don’t clash with anything else.
Five weeks today sees the start of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 at Olympia, London, and it is about time that I got myself organised. I have already ordered my tickets (although there are still plenty of discount codes about on the internet if you haven’t) and I don’t really need to worry about travel arrangements.
Really all I need to think about is making the most of my time whilst I am there, so which talks do I want to attend? What questions do I want to ask? Which products to I want to try/buy? And what am I going to have for lunch? (OK so maybe that last one is not actually that important)
Next week a copy of the show guide is being given away with the upcoming edition of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, but if you can’t wait until then the show website has copies of the floor plan (for use in conjunction with the list of exhibitors) and the timetables of talks and workshops (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). This weekend I will try to print off the timetables and decide who I want to see this year (I don’t think I will bother with the celebrities this year, they always over run and are always packed to bursting point).
This weekend I need to decide whether to create a couple of t-shirts (or three) to advertise my blog and some business cards for a bit of networking here and there. Also I need to scrape some of the mud off my walking boots, I don’t want to be trailing mud around Olympia as I wander from stand to stand.
The latest celebrity guest for Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 was announced yesterday. Hugh Quarshie is scheduled to be attending the show at Olympia, London on Saturday 26th February, but for me there is a far more important visitor the following day.
Preliminary workshop timetables have also been released on the show’s website and hidden away on the timetable for Sunday 27th February at 12:oopm is the description of a talk by Lisa Cook entitled “How to make Google work harder for your family history!”
The talk is described as follows: “Discover innovative ways to work smarter and find more family history golden nuggets than you thought possible with the power of Google. Create a Genealogy Research Homepage. Learn quick and easy ways to follow the best genealogy Podcasts and Blogs. Make Google Your own personal genealogy research assistant with Google Alerts. We’ll make Google search the web for you 24 hours a day and provide tips for how to get Google to deliver the best results to your email inbox.”
Although her name is spelt wrong this sounded very much like US genealogy podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke of the Genealogy Gems Podcast. As a long time listener of the Genealogy Gems Podcast it look forward to seeing Lisa over here in London and to seeing one her presentations in person. The latest edition of the Genealogy Gems e-Newsletter arrived in my inbox today and the list of upcoming appearances confirmed that she will be attending Who Do You Think You Are? Live.
I am sure we will hear more about Lisa’s upcoming visit in a future episode of the podcast, but let me just say thank you Lisa for coming over to see us in England and sharing some your Gems with us.
Today I have finally got around to buying my tickets for Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011. Taking advantage of one of the many special offer codes that have been available from various organisations I have booked tickets for all three days; Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th February 2011.
It is a bit early for buying train tickets yet, besides I haven’t decided whether I am going to travel up to London everyday or stay at a hotel in the city (working for a hotel company has its benefits).
Now all I need to do (apart from making a decision on whether to book a hotel) is sit back and wait to see what else the organisers announce and possibly book some workshop tickets when they become available. Hopefully they will publish a copy of the show guide in advance like they did last year so I have some ideas about who I want to see and decide what questions I need to ask.
Perhaps I should start thinking about getting some business cards printed and possibly a t-shirt or two printed with my blog URL on it and maybe some postcards as well. Nothing like a bit of self-promotion!
I don’t worry a great deal about the number of visitors my blog gets, I don’t go out of my way to market the blog, but I do keep an eye on my stats, just to make sure that people are still reading my blog and I am not wasting my time.
Last year I encountered an increase in visitors when Who Do You Think You Are? was being broadcast on BBC One last year, and this year was much the same. When I wrote about each episode my number of visitors jumped. I haven’t done the maths, but I would say the number of visitors probably doubled, which for my little blog is not a huge number, but still quite pleasing.
I certainly wasn’t expecting what happened yesterday, which turned out to be the best day ever for the number of visitors to my blog. I knew something was up when I checked my stats in the morning and saw that the number of visitors before about 7.30am was more than the usual pre-WDYTYA? daily totals. The numbers continued to rise throughout they day, and as you can see from the graph below the total ended around four or five times the average.
The reason for this was BBC buzz, which had automatically found my blog posts about WDYTYA? and was displaying links to them alongside the programme information on the BBC website. It appears to be a new feature, and it apparently likes my blog posts.
If I was a professional blogger I would have done something to take advantage of all this new traffic, and I might have done if I wasn’t at work, but it has been a real eye-opener, and makes me think about what I could achieve in terms of visitors if I really put my mind to it.