RGS Survey Results Overview

Over 90 members gave their input to RGS on our June survey. The Board wanted to better understand what our membership needs and is very appreciative of all the feedback we received. Here are some insights to the responses and potential actions to be taken in the coming months.
The majority of our responders have been RGS members for over five years with the vast majority falling in the 65 – 79 age range. We had two under 50, 19 between 50 and 64, and 12 over 79. Since one of our goals already was to increase membership, we will be looking to increase our overall numbers while also trying to appeal to the under 50 age groups.
On a scale of 1-5 for genealogical experience, most of our respondents rated themselves a 3 or 4; however, 62 people thought having a Getting Started in Genealogy special interest group was a good idea. Our first Introduction to Genealogy session is scheduled for October 20th. We hope to have three sessions this 2022-2023 year with it becoming a Special Interest Group in the future.
74% of our survey completers said they have attended an in-person meeting.  People liked the social interaction and the activities we had available at meetings pre-COVID. 62% have attended our Zoom meetings – liking the convenience and our ability to have national speakers. 94% wanted RGS to continue with hybrid meetings – having them both in-person and on Zoom. We realize our knowledge of Zoom technology and meeting presentation was rusty at first and we thank you for your patience. We are investing in equipment and changing our meeting management techniques to make them a great experience regardless of how you participate. Given the fact that 37% of our membership live out of state or a significant distance from Rochester, continuing with the hybrid option will best serve all of our organization. We also hope to bring back some of the meeting activities we used to have. Getting volunteers to help at meetings will better ensure this happens.
Approximately 25% of members disliked our new meeting location at the Irondequoit Library on Titus Avenue. Please understand it is very difficult to find a good size, inexpensive meeting facility. The Irondequoit Library is a new facility offering ample parking (as long as we aren’t competing with the Farmers Market) that’s just five minutes north of our old facility on Clover Street and Highland Ave. A quick, easy, and safe way to go for the majority of our membership is 590N to Titus Avenue, and then it’s a direct route on Titus to Kings Highway. Parking for the library is off Kings Highway and provides plenty of spaces close to the entrance. Please give it a try – we’d love to have more people attend in-person and get that social interaction and sharing ideas back in our meetings.
Almost half of our responders have attended a Technology Interest Group meeting, about a third the DNA Interest Group meeting, and a little over 10% the Writers Interest Group. Regardless of the number of attendees, people found the groups to have value and liked what they learned or what the Special Interest Groups (SIG) provide. The SIG leaders are reviewing the many good comments and ideas for future meetings. You can expect to see changes and/or updates based on your feedback.
73% of people attended a Genealogy in Bloom conference. This is one of the most liked RGS events. We received so many good and varied ideas that it’s too hard to summarize here, but organizers are taking them into account and we hope to have another great GIB this Spring.
We have many good ideas for future meetings and events based on your comments and sharing your ethnicities and locations of interest. Over 80% are trying to break through a brick wall. Our first general meeting of the year will be Breaking Down a Brick Wall and we hope to have workshops in the future for personal help with this. We have a wide range of ethnicities in our membership and would like to identify a way to feature some of these other than the more common German, Irish, and British.
The RGS website is used frequently or sometimes for information or research by 93% of members completing the survey. It’s a rather even split between the website, Hear Ye Hear Ye, email, and social media on how you find out about meetings and events. We will continue to update and improve our new website and marketing efforts based on your feedback.
Your input has been most valuable and we thank you for taking the time to provide us with so many comments and great ideas. We look forward to making some of them happen this year.