2018 Civil War Conference: Why Host A History Conference?

It’s conference week at Gazette665! Which means yours truly is quite busy preparing for the event this weekend, handling last minute details, and fielding questions. One of the questions I regularly hear is “Why does Gazette665 host a history conference?”

I thought today might be a good time to share a little part of my company vision and answer that question. Grab a cup of tea (extra caffeine for me) and here’s the long-winded answer:

The Idea

While driving home from a Civil War Re-enactment, I talked with my mom, wishing there was some way to give serious researchers a larger platform to share their studies through presentations. Wishing there was an annual, affordable event in Southern California that brought Civil War history presentations to the public history arena. I wanted to build on the idea of Civil War Round Table conferences and work closely with the local round tables to offer another event to the California communities.

2016 Conference Logo

By the time we reached home that evening in 2015, I had list of potential speakers and a list of logistics to figure out to determine if the conference could actually happen. I started making phone calls the next morning. Seven months later, in 2016, Gazette665 hosted 1861: Marching To War. That was the beginning, and each year we learn something new, make improvements, and keep striving to offer a relevant and innovative event.

Goals

A few of my goals for Gazette665’s history conferences:

  • Provide quality historical education to the Southern California community
  • Keep all events classy and affordable (keeping ticket prices at $50 or less)
  • Create a conference that feels like a family reunion (in all the best ways) – an opportunity for historians, researchers, and history buffs to get together to visit, learn, and share.
  • Listen and think about ways to innovate and improve for the next event.
  • Continue reaching to Civil War Round Tables and other historical organizations to promote all types and levels of history education in the local communities.

2017 Conference Logo

Successes

There are two particular successes I like to share…

First, Gazette665 has forged some strong business relationships with Civil War Round Tables, Temecula Valley Genealogy Society, Temecula Valley Historical Society, and a few smaller groups in the last three years. Without the support and assistance of these fine organizations, it would be much more difficult to promote the history conference. I’m grateful to these leaders and members of the historical community for their interest, attendance, and outreach to spread the word about “a Civil War conference in Temecula.” We’re definitely on a good path to continue meeting that goal! (see above)

2017 Conference speakers

Second, the conference keeps growing! Thank you to all the guests for their interest and attendance. We also appreciate all the feedback so we can continue building the event and bringing history that’s interesting to YOU. For the first time ever, the conference team had to discuss “what’s the seating limit in the room.” We haven’t quite reached the limit (there are still a few tickets available), but it was milestone moment to have to think about it.

The Team

Events don’t happen without a team. I’m incredibly grateful for my family and friends’ support (and tolerance) of the history conference and for helping out on event day.

Each year we also work with a wonderful team of speakers who bring their enthusiasm, research, and speaking skills to the podium to help all of us gain a better understanding of history. This year we’re also excited to welcome four historical groups who will be sharing historical displays throughout the afternoon!

To the Gazette665 Conference Team past, present, and future – thank you! It’s a privilege to work with you.

2018 Conference Logo

Looking Ahead

Wait! I can’t tell you that…yet. Well, okay…here’s a teaser:

Immediate ahead (as in this Saturday), Gazette665’s Third Annual Civil War History Conference. And if you’re reading this blog post, want to attend, and don’t have tickets – you literally have hours left before registration closes at midnight on May 30, 2018.

Beyond this Saturday, I can safely tell you that the Fourth Annual Civil War Conference is already in the works. We’ll be releasing the event theme this coming weekend. Several speakers have been confirmed for 2019, and the official speaker list will be released in the autumn.

And we’re thinking about adding another history conference. A different era. It’s just a possibility at this point, and you’ll be among the first know if/when it’s time to move forward officially and publicly with that idea.

See you on Saturday? Don’t Forget To Register!

Your Historian (and Conference Coordinator),

Miss Sarah

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, historian, editor, and historical fiction writer. When sharing history, I try to keep the facts interesting and understandable. History is about real people, real actions, real effects and it should inspire us today.
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