The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2006 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.
One of the time-honored traditions at national genealogical conferences has been the audio tapes of the sessions. Those unable to attend in person often later ordered audio tapes of the presentations. While not as good as attending "in person," the audio tapes added a lot of value to those unable to attend the live events. Sadly, the practice is disappearing. The reason apparently is because of dropping sales of the tapes.
For years, most of the tapes at the U.S. National Genealogical Society (NGS) and Federation of Genealogical Societies' (FGS) conferences have been recorded by AudioTapes.com. Yet a search of the company's web site at http://www.audiotapes.com shows no genealogy conference tapes recorded after May 22, 2004. The company is not offering audio tapes recorded at more recent genealogy conferences. To my knowledge, no other recording company has stepped up to make the recordings.
The National Genealogical Society has a blog about the upcoming national conference to be held in June in Chicago. At http://ngs2006.blogspot.com/2006/03/announcement-taping-of-conference.html, that blog states:
The National Genealogical Society (NGS) will not be using a taping company to tape sessions at this year's Chicago conference (June 7-10, 2006). As most of you know, they have done this in previous years and the tapes were offered for sale to attendees at the show and also to the public to purchase after the event.
NGS has made this decision due to lack of demand for conference tapes and cost considerations.
It looks like the NGS announcement is a "sign of the times." Apparently, very few future genealogy conferences will be recorded.