The online Greek Ancestry International Conference that was held over three days last weekend drew hundreds of people each day, the conference organisers told Neos Kosmos on Wednesday.
Conference organizer Carol Kostakos Petranek said thousands more have since viewed conference footage on You Tube with the numbers said to increase over the following weeks.
“This conference introduced Greek genealogy to the entire world. With the Village History Project Initiative, a new Greek Genealogy Guide, new online records released monthly and new initiatives forged by Greek Ancestry, what was once difficult is now do-able. This is our time,” Ms Petranek said.
“The virtual conference allowed us to reach a world-wide population; thus, we planned a diverse agenda with topics relevant to people with differing areas of focus.”
She said the format had also enabled speakers from across the world to take part and this included people of various backgrounds from dedicated individuals to academics and ancestry professionals.
“The live stream and recorded session made this conference available to thousands around the globe. We are finding that more people are watching the recorded sessions as each day passes,” Ms Petranek said.
“People in the chat made new connections; many asked if there were others from their village or shared a surname. Virtual conferences foster these global communications.”
“People learned from the speakers that collaboration and connections are important to help with their research. Many made new contacts through the chat.”
She said for the next conference the organisers would seek to provide specific research strategies for targeted regions in Greece. The speakers would also discuss in greater depth the common obstacles in Greek research and the strategies to overcome them. More time would be given to DNA-related research topics.
The next conference would also take into account the various time differences: “one day US time, another day Australia time, another day Europe time. Although thousands are now watching the videos because they could not participate live due to time differences, it is a different experience to watching live sessions and to be able to participate in the chats,” said Ms Petranek.
Two new initiatives were announced at the conference:
- The Village history Project Initiative to foster interaction and collaboration with others from their ancestral villages. In just two days, six applications were received for projects in Sparta – Attika – Epirus – Leros – Asia Minor; and
- The Greek Genealogy Guide, an online resource with information and links to assist with research in all areas of Greece
Petranek said a series of webinars were planned for the Northern Hemisphere spring.