Unlock The Past - Beginnings

Unlock The Past is an exciting new venture that began with discussions between Shauna Hicks (Shauna Hicks History Enterprises) and Alan Phillips (Gould Genealogy & History, Archive Digital Books Australasia) in June of this year. 

Shauna HicksIt started as a modest proposal to collaborate in publishing and events marketing, but has grown into a major venture. We now have a team of 23 quality speakers who have a combined portfolio of over 170 topics to offer. We hope to attract widespread sponsorship to support events and speakers.

Our broader aim is to promote history and genealogy widely throughout Australasia. A more particular goal is to increase society memberships and create greater awareness of what societies, libraries and archives can offer (it can’t “all be done on the Internet”). We will be able to give partners and sponsors a reach far beyond what most can achieve on their own. But above all we can bring expertise to researchers in ways never done before.

Some ways this will happen

One of the foundation activities of Unlock the Past is to run regional road shows. This would involve visiting 4 or 5 towns on successive days in a fairly compact region (e.g. northern NSW) with opportunities for day and/or evening meetings. Most of these would be conducted by Shauna Hicks, but may on occasions be run by others. A selection of products would be available for sale.

We also plan to run major national road shows on occasions bringing together a more substantial team of presenters, maybe some from overseas. We would go to capital cities where we have support from the major state genealogy society. The aim is to make it a significant promotional event for them and our sponsors.

We can partner with organisations for their own event – seminar, conference or expo. Groups can supplement their speakers with one or more from the Unlock The Past team, or we can offer a complete seminar program. We can also offer sponsorship and promotion of events our speakers do not attend. 

Carol Baxter speaking at the NSW State Conference. Click image for more photosPerhaps you have seen the genealogy cruises run from North America and Europe/Britain. Perhaps you have been on a cruise before — or just like the idea anyway. Now you can add value by combining a cruise with your interest. We are considering organising a history-genealogy cruise in late 2010/early 2011. This will combine a recreational cruise with special presentations from experts, plus lots of interaction with our experts and others like minded. If your spouse is not into research, he/she can come along for the cruise.

We can bring media assistance to market events beyond your existing membership.

But Unlock the Past will be much more than an events resource. We have lots of things in the pipeline. More of this in our next blog post.

We support societies

A few have asked if we will be competing with societies who run their own events. Nothing is further from our mind. We will not go anywhere we are not invited or don’t have a host partner. Our goal is to add value to your events by offering sponsorship, publicity, media promotion and, if you wish, topics and speakers you may not have known of or been able to afford. We will also be offering a sponsorship pack with information and offers from sponsors to add value to your event. Any events or road shows of our own will only go where we have a local host partner. We expect this work well for our hosts.

I hope this has given you a taste for more. Check for an event coming near you. Watch our web site for developments there. Subscribe to our blog for tips and important notices. Follow us on Twitter for up to the minute happenings and insider notes and comments.

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