Monday, June 13, 2016

Saturday With Myrt

 Several months ago, the board of the Grand Strand Genealogy Club met to decide what to do with funds left to the club by long time member Larry Kelly, who had recently passed away.
We had been talking about having a workshop for some time. A meeting that would pull in people from the community to help our club grow and a program that would be a learning opportunity for all attending. 
The decision was made to explore a Virtual Presentation from a well known Genealogist. We chose DearMYRTLE.
Our club is small with no dues required to join. We are funded solely from the willingness of members to add money to our Gene Jar, which we pass around at our monthly meetings. Our speakers are usually members of the club -we have lots of talent in our club-or local experts on varying subjects. Payment is a free lunch! 
This was the biggest event the club had ever planned, and DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ worked with us every step of the way to make it happen.
Videos on how to have a Virtual Presentation were sent to watch and a list of technical equipment was provided. Russ met with us a couple of days before to make sure our connections were working, and all was set up for the big day.

Waiting for the presentation to start.

Using a Google Hangout, we were able to have Myrt and Russ live to present "7 Habits of Highly Effective Genealogists". Through our webcam and microphone, they could see and hear club members and respond to their questions. A new feature of their Virtual Presentations is the ability to use a smart phone to type in questions that will appear on the screen. This is done via a link provided at the time of the presentation.

Myrt speaking to attendees in Myrtle Beach from Utah

Myrt was able to ask questions of our group, see hands raise and reactions to the topics she was presenting. Through the power of technology, Myrt in Utah, Russ in New Jersey and our club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina could come together for an enjoyable morning of learning and fun. 

Myrt asking questions to attendees

What are the benefits of this type of meeting for your club or society? First, the ability to hear from a top speaker in the field of genealogy, and 2nd the lower cost due to not having to pay for travel, food, and housing for a presenter.
Because we are a small club with little money to spend on monthly programs, this was perfect for us. 
Did it fulfill our goals? Yes. We had several people come who were not members but expressed a desire to join. Our attendees came away enriched having learned from the 7 Habits Myrt and Russ discussed. 
In fact, they enjoyed it so much that after the presentation was over and we had finished the lunch provided, we continued to talk about genealogy and the things learned that morning for another couple of hours. 
Want to see how it worked for us? Watch the YouTube recording of DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ presenting "7 Habits of Highly Effective Genealogists" to the Grand Strand Genealogy Club.

Virtual Presentations? Well worth the time and effort. When asked if we wanted to do this again in the future, a resounding "YES!" was the answer.

Has your club or society taken advantage of a Virtual Presentation? I'd love to hear your experiences. 

Are we kin? Need help with your research? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. Looks like a very fun and successful event Cheri!!

    1. It really was. Part of that success was the help from Pat and Russ. They helped us every step of the way. My fellow board members worked hard to make this day the wonderful event it was! Thanks, Michelle!

  2. Happy to learn it turned out so well! Technology is amazing and so helpful to smaller groups. Thanks for explaining how you did it. Great advice for others to take advantage of - course, it helps to have Pat and Russ to work their Google+ Hangout magic! Congrats Cheri.

    1. Couldn't have done it without Pat and Russ and my fellow board members. Hope my post helps another group somewhere take advantage of this type of event. Thanks, Tessa!

  3. Fantastic. I heard you discussing this on Mondays with MYRT last week, glad it went well. Planning is everything.

    1. It helped that we were given help every step of the way. Planning IS everything! Thanks, Anna!