Back of the Room Sales


Some genealogical speakers bring products to sell when they speak. There are a few challenges. They have to sort out local sales taxes and things like that. But it can prove a lucrative revenue stream especially if the products are your own. One speaker who does this is Dr. Penny Christiansen, a colleague at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Penny has written umpteen books on genealogy topics, published by Heritage Productions in Toronto.

Books are not the only products offered by speakers. I have seen CD-ROMS, DVDs, and even T-Shirts!

I am thinking of having a T-shirt made that says, “I’m smarter than Ken Aitken” and something to link it to my outfit, Family History Education Services. I’ll give one away spontaneously to a deserving soul (or undeserving soul) during my workshop and sell the others at the Back of the Room. Its such a great idea I think you should give away “I’m smarter than Ken Aitken” T-shirts too.
The challenge is to find a way to spend time with those attending the event who want to talk, and those who want to buy. We need to be with both– but usually are not cloned. What’s the solution? Here is how one speaker solved the problem with volunteers.

Wear with pride your new, lime green T-shirt proclaiming, “I’m smarter than Ken Aitken” . Your comments are welcome!


One response to “Back of the Room Sales

  1. but…but…but…who would be qualified to wear it?

    I guess we could start a cult worshiping Ken Aitken, fearless leader of the genie-educators. Do you have a mantra? A manifesto?

    I have to tell this story somewhere…I saw a picture of a great T-shirt today in a genealogy presentation – actually it was a FamilyTreeMaker interest group. The fellow was demonstrating importing pictures into the program and attaching them to a person in the database. With this long-dead old battle-ax ancestor up on the FTM data screen, he attached a picture (from a file on his computer) of a buxom blonde beauty with a cutoff T-shirt that read “I Wish These Were Brains” across her chest. Half the class gasped, the other half laughed uproariously. I of course laughed…it really brightened up the morning. And got our attention – cheaply, but it worked.

    Cheers — Randy

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