24 October 2023

Are Genealogy Seminars Falling by the Wayside?

The Michigan Genealogical Council (MGC) is holding its Fall Family History Seminar on November 4, 2023. We have an excellent speaker, Michael Strauss, and the seminar is being offered in person and virtually.

Unfortunately, our attendance is down dramatically from previous years. It has led the MGC board to question what can be done in the future to make holding a seminar successful. No one wants to go to all the work and have a seminar lose money whether it is at the national, state, or local level. 

A recent planning session was held, and we discussed what could be the reason for this decline. More discussions need to be held, but I thought I would ask my readers what their thoughts are on this issue.

Is it the cost of attendance? We have an early bird price of $50. 

Is the genealogy seminar attendees market tapped out? 

Is our audience aging out? Do we need to entice a younger audience? How does one do that?

What could be offered to make you want to attend a conference or seminar? 

Why don't you attend a conference or seminar?

Is there too much competition from other webinars and seminars? The pandemic led to genealogical organizations pivoting to virtual and there is a plethora of options that are now available to genealogists. How do we get a piece of that pie?

What questions am I not asking?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue. I don't think MGC is the only one dealing with this issue. If I am wrong, let me know. Please leave a comment. I will share responses in a future post as well as what MGC discusses.


  1. I'm a totally obsessed genealogist who works on the family tree every day. I've loved all the online webinars/seminars/conferences that have appeared since the pandemic started. However, even I feel like I've been saturated by the abundance of online learning opportunities and have become much more selective in those I choose to attend, not only paid programs, but even the free ones. I appreciate that they are out there, but I am an advanced researcher and only register for those who offer unique to me topics.

  2. Thank you for your reply. I am hearing from others about the choices available and having to pick and choose. Good luck with your research.