Well, we had our Redlands Family History Center Novemberfest today. We had a great time and received lots of good ideas from wonderful speakers. Although I spent a lot of the time running around making sure everything was going well, I did get to sit on a few presentations.
Whenever you have a chance, I would recommend sitting in on presentations that include topics that do not necessarily pertain to your research. Why? Many times, techniques and websites mentioned provide you with ideas that you wouldn't ordinarily have thought of.
I know someone who is eager to go to every genealogy seminar and workshop she can. She is a great example of a lifelong learner. Once she wanted to come to a research class where I was speaking on LDS ancestors. However, she has no LDS ancestors. I recommended she come to it anyway because I would be talking about techniques and websites that could be used for all types of research. She did come to the presentation and was able to use some of the ideas I gave for her non-LDS family research.
Today I listened in on a talk by Barbara Renick on Eastern European research. Even though this is not the type of research I do, I learned a lot just listening to Barbara talk about Polish research and resources available. Some of those techniques that she spoke of I was able to liken to my own research and pick up some new ideas. Once in a while, as genealogists, we need to think outside of the (research) box and one great way to do this is learning about topics that we are not as familiar with.
I always feel bad for people who choose to skip presentations at a workshop. They may complain that there is nothing they want to hear or they know everything about a particular topic. I highly recommend that you check out topics that are not necessarily your cup of tea because you may learn something unexpected or you may find a speaker that you would like to hear more from.
By the way, Barbara is just one of the great speakers we had today. I would highly recommend her website Zroots, http://www.zroots.com/, it has a great links page.