The expo that grew
Australia has never had a national history & genealogy expo or fair - until less than two weeks ago. The British Isles, north America and New Zealand have all had major national exhibitions - events targeting the wider public, rather than just the committed researchers as conferences do. Australia has had regional and even state expos/fairs, but nothing on a national scale. Unlock the Past ran four state expos (SA, NSW, Vic and Qld) and three regional expos (Coffs Harbour, Cairns and Mount Gambier) between 2010 and 2012.
Last year we (Unlock the Past) felt that 2016 was the right time for another major history/genealogy event in Adelaide, six years after our first expo here and four years after the Australasian (genealogy) Congress in Adelaide. This was confirmed after consulting with others, and so another state expo was planned - for October 2016 in Adelaide.
The expo that grew
By early 2016 we had expressions of interest from Ancestry, VicGUM and Ryerson index and other prospective exhibitors from interstate. Also indication that interstate visitors would come. From there the planned state expo morphed into a national expo, the first ever held in Australia. Here is a summary of what was initially planned and what it finally became.
- initial expectation as a state expo - 40-50 (with perhaps 5-6 from interstate)
- final numbers as a national expo - nearly 100 (including over 20 from interstate or overseas)
- plus about 35 others who sent information for a free brochures table
- initial expectation as a state expo - 25 (with perhaps 6-8 from interstate)
- final numbers as a national expo - 46 (including 17 from interstate and 5 from overseas)
- initial expectation as a state expo - 40 in 2-3 theatres
- final numbers as a state expo - 92 in 5 theatres
- initial expectation as a state expo - about 20 prizes from about 10 donors totalling $2000 in value
- final numbers as a national expo - 101 prizes from 37 donors totalling $10,000 in value
attendees (different people) - including exhibitors and helpers
- initial target as a state expo - 300-500 (we hoped for more, but based planning on this number)
- final numbers as a national expo - 700 (22% of those pre-booked were from outside SA)