It is an unfortunate fact that genealogy institutes only have so many seats for each class. If I have gotten you excited to attend an institute, great! Now, I want to share with you some tips for getting registered and sitting in one of those precious few seats. Have you ever bought concert tickets online? If so, the process is similar. If you have not, here are some tips.
Each institute’s registration process is a little bit different so first you will want to become familiar with their website, locate exactly which page you need to be on to register. You may also want to set up an account ahead of time, if possible, so when it’s time to register, you don’t have to go through the entire process of entering your name, address, phone, and so forth. Once they make public the date of registration, mark that date on your calendar. I enter it into my Google calendar which also syncs with my iPhone calendar, so that on the day of registration I get a reminder before it’s too late. When the day arrives, be sure you are at your computer at least five minutes ahead of the registration time, find the correct page, and log in if possible. Then sit there and wait.
At about one minute till, I start clicking the “refresh” button on my browser. The webpage will not automatically refresh when the site opens for registration, so you’ll need to force your browser to do it for you. [UPDATE: The GRIP registration page has been changed to include a countdown timer to registration. When that expires, the page will automatically refresh for you. On their new system, it is actually to your disadvantage to click the “refresh” button.) Once that magical registration screen appears, get busy filling in the blanks. You’ll want to get through the process as quickly as possible as some of the courses have been known to fill up in a matter of minutes. Some institutes might require you to pay right then and there with a credit card. I know that both IGHR and GRIP allow you to pay by check as long as they receive the payment within 30 days of registration.
After that’s done, take a deep breath. You made it!
Up next, what to expect during the institute week and a few concluding thoughts.