In just over two weeks, the largest Family History Conference, RootsTech, will be taking place. And let me tell you, it will be a whirlwind!
If you are planning to go to RootsTech, Lace up those boots, get ready to hit the Salt Palace at full tilt and enjoy everything that the conference has to offer. It is an amazing time of learning, buying, researching, buying, networking, buying, researching, sharing and enjoying 4 days immersed in all things genealogy.
Pack you chargers, pack your bank card and most importantly, pack your stamina. Here's the line up of what the week will look like:
The Conference begins with the Innovator Showdown. Ten semi-finalists are competing for top prize. These ten innovators who have worked hard to support, foster and inspire the family history industry will be introduced to the media and to the ambassadors at the Media dinner on Tuesday night. The winners will be announced before a live audience on Friday at 10:30.
If you are going to RootsTech, make sure to wander along Innovation Alley to visit all of the semi-finalists and learn about their offerings to make your family history research easier and more productive.
Wednesday morning is dedicated to current innovators and to future innovators. Classes and labs are on offer including one on the current and future trends in Family History. Genealogy sessions and labs are offered starting on Wednesday afternoon, including my session on Underused Databases for Scottish Research.
But RootsTech doesn't end when the Salt Palace closes at the end of the day! On Wednesday evening, there is the 80s themed Welcome Party to come attend at the Marriott. These evening activities allow for fun and friendship with others who are attending the conference.
Things really start to pick up on Thursday. FamilySearch CEO, Steve Rockwood, will start off the day, followed by Keynote Speakers Drew and Jonathan Scott of the Property Brothers. After the opening General Session, the Expo Hall opens. This is where the need to strap your laces comes in. The Salt Palace is HUGE. HUGE. There will be a lot of walking and the need for time management in order for attendees to get from the classes to the Expo Hall then back to classes and back to the Expo Hall. In addition to vendors and exhibitors, the Expo Hall is a place to catch some free wifi, grab some nourishment, see what is new or improved at the Demo Stage, seek help or advice at either the Coaches Corner or at the Heirloom Show and Tell. Come see what's new along Innovator Alley and watch history come to life at the Discovery Zone.
Genealogist Tami Osmer Mize has once again put together an incredibly useful map of the Expo Hall to allow you a visual of who you want to see and where you can find them.
Friday is a replica of Thursday with a change of players for the morning's General Session. Here we will get to hear from genealogist and tv personality Kenyatta Berry (Genealogy Road Show) followed by LeVar Burton.
The conference culminates on Saturday with Family Discovery Day. This morning's General Session speakers are CeCe Moore and none other than Buddy Valastro. The Expo Hall gets a whole lot busier when LDS families and youth descend to learn as much as they can about family history.
The entire week will fly by. The memories, however, will last forever. You will come away inspired, energized, feeling more connected and more determined to work on your family history. The exhaustion will subside in a few days. The connections will be enduring.