NGS 2014 Conference App is Apptastic!

NGS 2014 Conference

Hi! My name is Rorey and I was in the cell phone stone age until just last year.

Hello Rorey, and welcome to Luddite’s Anonymous!

I can’t really even remember now why I resisted getting a smart phone. I just did. Which means this is the first chance I’ve had to use a conference app. If the app for NGS 2014 is the norm I have seriously been missing out. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, so are you!


Browse by day or by track, this feature allows you to quickly see what sessions are available for your consideration. Since I’m focused on Methodology and Intermediate-Advanced tracks, I was able to drill down to only those sessions meeting my criteria. Be sure to check out the “Actions” and “Resources” tabs for each session as well.

My Schedule

Once you’ve found a session you are interested in, simply use the “Action” tab to bookmark the session into your schedule. You may bookmark multiple sessions to the same time slot allowing you to implement Rorey’s Second Rule for Genealogy Conferences: Always have a Plan B. This feature also allows you to add custom events to the schedule such as those luncheons you paid for or the socials you plan to attend. I’ve added my client meetings as well. I have my entire conference schedule in one handy place.


Have a particular speaker you consider Must-See? Use the Speakers feature to drill down to particular individual presenters you wish to attend no matter what they are talking about. Judy Russell of The Legal Genealogist and Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist come to mind.


Let’s face it, there are prime spots in the exhibit hall and there are not so prime spots in the exhibit hall. It is easy to miss our favorite vendors or vendors we’d like more information from. Some areas of the hall are so busy we aren’t even aware we’ve missed a vendor we meant to visit. See all the available vendors in one handy list along with a description and their booth number.

So far this is the only component of the app that could use some expansion. Keep reading down to the Maps section to see what I’m referring to.

Photo Gallery

Keep your conference photos all in one easy to access place by taking them directly through the conference app. Got excited? Forgot to do this step? No worries, you can upload your photos directly from your own library as well!


The maps feature will keep you oriented as you make your way between the session rooms and luncheons or social venues. You’ll also find a map of Richmond with the conference hotels all marked as well as the Greater Richmond Conference Center.

The Exhibit Hall map is nicely sized but this is really where I could wish for more from this app. The Exhibit Hall map should be interactive. NGS, Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast and VGS are labeled. All other booths are numbered. No problem, most of the exhibitor names are too large to effectively add them. But a pop up window when you tap a booth number or a map link from the exhibitor tab would go a long way towards helping me track down the vendors I want to see.

Marking a vendor as Favorite back at the Exhibitors tab does not mark this vendor out on the map. This lack of interactivity between the Exhibit Hall map and the actual Exhibitors is the only thing I’ve found lacking in the app.


Want to learn more about a particular track or exhibitor? News is the place to go. Here you’ll find expanded blog posts from NGS to get the most of your conference experience and make sure you’re seeing the sessions most relevant to your educational goals.


Connect with conference friends and colleagues, share schedules so you can find each other at sessions. As you meet new people at the conference you wish to exchange contact information with, just use the app. Friend the person through the app then add them directly to your contact information in your device! Be sure to go to your privacy setting to allow the app to add information to your contacts in order for this to work.


Want to know who else is at the conference with you? Looking to see if a colleague is attending or not? Scroll through the list of attendees to add to your Friends tab. Not everyone has uploaded their profile photo. Be sure to add yours. It helps others find you to friend you as well.


This tab will become increasingly important once the show gets started. Be sure to keep your app synced and up to date for the latest news and updates to the conference.

Twitter and Facebook

Keep your social media feed up to date on your conference adventures and see what other folks are tweeting!

Show Documents

Includes a variety of helpful document you may need at the conference: Program, Hotel Shuttle, Room Locations and much more.


This is where your handouts and videos for your sessions will be stored once you’ve downloaded them.

Conference Survey

Don’t forget to fill out the conference survey. If you don’t let them know what you think they can’t change accordingly. Your feedback is essential to conference organizers. The need to know who you are and what you think in order to plan the kinds of events you’d like to attend.

Pre-conference, I’ve most enjoyed the My Schedule, Attendees and Friends tabs.

You can find me on the conference app under Attendees: Rorey Cathcart. Friend me so we can keep in touch and find time to meet.

Happy Hunting and See You at NGS 2014!

Rorey Cathcart

Copyright (c) 5 May 2014

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Citation for this post is: Rorey Cathcart, “Rorey’s NGS 2014 Conference App is Apptastic!” posted 5 May 2014, The Who Hunter

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About the Author ()

Professional genealogist and lecturer. Located in Charleston County, SC. Special research interests in South Carolina, Southern States, Irish Heritage and Migratory Patterns. Researcher for Genealogy Roadshow on PBS seasons two and three.

Comments (5)

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  1. Wendy says:

    Yeah, I’m the last dinosaur on my block to get a smart phone too. The APP was a snap, but you have pointed out a few things I hadn’t noticed before. Agree totally about the shortcomings of the Exhibit Hall feature.

    • Thanks for stopping by Wendy!

      As I continue to cram events into the schedule the only other complaint I’ve discovered is the calendar. It doesn’t start until Wednesday but I have two NGS related events on Tuesday night. I’ve had to add them to Wednesday morning wee hours to have them included.

      Still, it’s been an amazing organizational tool. Now, if I can only keep from misplacing my phone during the conference everything will be golden!

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