Once you take the plunge and start investigating your family history, it quickly becomes apparent that there are some universal keys to success.  Education One of the first keys is to invest in ongoing education.  I often recommend to my listeners on my Genealogy Gems Podcast at www.genealogygems.com  (available for free in iTunes) that they invest at least 25% of their time honing their research skills.  Being a better researcher means your research time becomes higher quality.  New Technologies Another key is to stay up to date on new technologies.  Newly digitized records are being uploaded to the Internet daily.  And it sometimes seems like new genealogy sites are popping up nearly as often.  Staying at the forefront of the newest innovations can pay off big dividends!  Not sure about that statement?  Just think about how long it took to locate a census record or passenger list 15 years ago! Connection And finally, connecting with other researchers is often a golden key to genealogical success.  Facebook has a vibrant genealogical “friend” community, and Google+ is right on it’s heels.  Nearly every good family history researcher has a story to tell about making a personal connection that broke down a brick wall or brought a long lost photograph back into the family fold. Where to Find the Keys One way to hit all three of these success keys in one fell swoop is by attending a genealogy conference.  At these events scattered across the country, genealogists are learning new skills, getting up to speed on the latest technologies and connecting with others who are as passionate about family history as they are. If you’ve never attended a genealogy conference you might feel a bit timid in taking the plunge.  To break the ice, let me introduce you to the people and events you can attend in Salt Lake City on my Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel.  There you will find a video playlist called “Interviews with Genealogy Experts.”  Watch now: Interviews with Genealogy Experts Many of these videos were shot at major events held in Salt Lake City, and will introduce you to the sights and sounds.  Mark you calendars for upcoming 2012 genealogy conferences in Salt Lake City: RootsTech  and Family History Expos Read more from Lisa Louise Cooke at www.genealogygems.com.