The recent RootsTech exhibition and conference in Salt Lake City (we exhibited there) reportedly had over 21,000 people registered. It attracted genealogists from all over the world, including at least 15 from Australia, but by far the largest number of those were from Utah, people who may have had some interest but not be active genealogists.
The Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show in the UK attracts over 13,000 and the New Zealand fair in 2013 had 4000 attendees, though these two events count the sum of each day’s attendance. The real number of different people attending these would be considerably less, maybe about half the quoted attendance or less. These are also low cost or free entry events aimed largely at attracting the general public – who may have some interest, but not be active researchers.
Other major Australasian events like the triennial congresses and past Unlock the Past expos usually have lower numbers (in the hundreds), but these are usually all committed genealogists. For cruise promotion and product sales they are usually more significant than any of the overseas events.
But in one respect our major genealogy cruises are the biggest genealogy events in the world. Where else can you attend (or choose from) up to 60 different sessions? 18-29 is the most you can attend at a major Australian/Zealand event, 15 at RootsTech 2015 and 12 at WDYTYA 2014. In this respect a UTP cruise is
- around 2-3 times as big as a UTP expo, Australasian Congress or New Zealand fair
- around 4-5 times as big as RootsTech or Who Do You Think You Are? Live!
A major reason for this is that our cruises are longer. But another reason is that we are at the “conference venue” day and night for the duration – we can run more sessions during each day (we don’t schedule sessions while the ship is in port).
All these are great events and each has its own strengths and its own character. We attend all we can. The most significant unique benefit of our cruises is the strongest conference program available anywhere – but there are other special benefits:
- no hard choices between multiple parallel sessions you want to attend. Most of our sessions have no competing parallel talk – and at most only two at once. Congress has 4, WDYTYA 8 and RootsTech 16-18 parallel talks/workshops at once!
- Research Help Zone (one on one or small groups with experts) – a number of sessions allocated for this in their own time slot (no competing talks)
- cruise ships have their own comprehensive entertainment/activity program, which is great for non-genie spouses as well as variation from genealogy for conference participants
- no daily travelling to the conference and no extra food, accommodation, entertainment or travelling/parking expenses
- booking any Unlock the Past cruise during 2015 gives automatic entry into a draw for AU$6000 worth of prizes. In addition each cruise has its own prize draw for those booked, usually $1000-$2000 or more in prizes.
In all our major cruises are an unsurpassed genealogy experience – holiday – conference – networking – learning – relaxing (if you want to!) – visiting special places … and a lot of fun.