Last year I had to come to the decision that I was not going to attend RootsTech 2017. I was pretty bummed about missing it, but I knew that it was more important that I save my vacation time to go on a “real vacation” with my husband. As the announcement of all those great keynote speakers began to roll out I was more than a little sad that I was not going to be in attendance. But I wanted to encourage others to attend so I did what any Ambassador would do… I shared what I could, retweeted, and bit my tongue about being sad about not going. So when my husband asked me what I really wanted for Christmas…. of course I said I wanted to go to RootsTech! And now I’m busy planning my trip to Salt Lake City.
Now you may not be able to swing a trip to Utah the week of February 8th through 11th, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. The keynote sessions are going to all be streamed live this year! You won’t have to miss a single one of the keynotes! Who will be there you say? A few of the speakers include the Cake Boss (Buddy Valastro), LeVar Burton, the Property Brothers (Jonathan and Drew Scott), Kenyatta Berry (of Genealogy Roadshow), and CeCe Moore. The keynote sessions are always really interesting to hear about upcoming news in the genealogy community and new features being developed by FamilySearch.
The conference itself includes “Getting Started” classes which are only available to “Getting Started” pass holders. There is the Innovator Summit with startup companies competing for big prizes. That day’s sessions is geared toward those with businesses and developers of apps that we all get very excited about. The RootsTech presentations begin that same day and there are many tracks that I am looking forward to. In particular there are quite a few Jewish genealogy classes offered throughout the conference. My personal focus this year will be on sessions on DNA and immigration. What about you? Do you have a particular focus on your education this year? Be sure to download the RootsTech app since it is the only way you can get access to all of the wonderful handouts developed by the speakers.
Then there is the RootsTech expo hall! This is where I will spend most of my time at the conference. I will be promoting my work at The In-Depth Genealogist and meeting many of our magazine readers. I love getting to meet new people. Plus it’s great to build relationships with others who have booths there. They help attendees discover helpful solutions, watch demonstrations, and interact with innovative family history technology. Visit the Conference Keeper website to check out their “RootsTech Survival Guide” for a great map and list of all those exhibitors along with their websites. Also if you find yourself in the market to get some new genealogy software you might check their websites during the conference. Many businesses offer special sales during the conference and you don’t have to be in attendance to take advantage! I know that The In-Depth Genealogist will have an awesome sale on the magazine subscription that week… so stay tuned!
In the meantime, check the app for the latest updates. It’s much more up to date than the website!