Friday, January 18, 2019

My RootsTech 2019 Top Ten

In just a little over a month, I will be on my way to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend RootsTech 2019.
If you're still not sure why there's been so much talk about this event lately, here's my RootsTech Top 10! 
Not necessarily in order of priority. There's so much I love about this conference!

10-Organizers who are concerned about you and your experience while attending.
  This year a new "Roots Crew" have been added to the many volunteers.
 From directions to first aid, they will be available to see that you have the best experience possible.

9-Information to help you prepare and get the most out of all four days.
Have you seen the series "Roads to RootsTech"? 
Each of these episodes provides insights into the many features of this conference. 
There is so much to do and see!

8-Location! Salt Lake in the winter can be quite a change for those of us who live in mild climates, but it's also home to great restaurants, historical sites, and best of all the world-famous Family History Library. Make sure you plan a day or two before or after RootsTech to spend some time researching there!
Worried about getting around? 
Much is within walking distance of the conference center and its nearby hotels.                                                                                                       
 A free train system called TRAX is available to get you to other places in the city.

7-The RootsTech App
This is a wonderful tool to keep track of classes you want to take, events to go to and a way to stay in touch with other attendees.
If you haven't downloaded it yet, do it now by clicking here for Android users and here for Apple users. The features also give a list of vendors and where they are located in the hall, a list of speakers, and a way to add your classes and events to your schedule.* Reminders of what's next will help you keep to your plan for the day.
Notes can be taken during classes right from the app with sharing to other platforms available. 
Remember to use the app to rate the classes you attend.
     *Be flexible. You may discover a cousin to talk to or a class you hadn't heard of.
 Take some time to rest. 
It's tempting to try to do it all, but take care of yourself and enjoy!

6-The Salt Lake Convention Center
 Also known as the Salt Palace it is right in the middle of downtown Salt Lake City.
A huge facility, it can easily accommodate the thousands who descend during RootsTech. 
Taking some time to walk through and familiarize yourself with how the classrooms are laid out, where the bathrooms are and locate the large rooms where the Keynote addresses are held and the Expo Hall.
You will see that the building is huge and there will be a lot of walking. Make sure to wear shoes and clothing you will be comfortable in. Layers are a great idea as classrooms can vary in temperature throughout the day.
If you are not used to desert living, keep a water bottle with you and stay hydrated.

5-The Expo Hall 
A wonder all unto itself! It is chock full of vendors from many areas of genealogy and family history. The big names in the business such as Ancestry and FamilySearch will be there but there is so much more. DNA, genealogy software and others will feature demonstrations and small classes. 
Looking to do some shopping? Genealogy related apparel, jewelry, books and a host of other items will be available. 
There are also opportunities to speak to and get help from professional genealogists. Be prepared to spend some time walking the aisles and seeing all the wonders of the hall.
Use the app to make a list of those you are most interested in and don't want to miss! 
If you need a bite to eat, a cafe is located in the back of the hall. 

4-The Events
From the opening of the conference to its closing, there are fun things planned to help you enjoy and relax. 
Music, Dance, a preview of the Expo Hall and other events are offered.
There are genealogy groups who schedule a time to get together during the week.
If you are part of a society, graduated from a genealogy study group or class, or know there are people attending you are friends with on social media, check and see if they have determined a time to meet and spend some time together.
You can always plan your own get together! 

3-The Keynote speakers. 
 Beginning with the comedy of Jason  Hewlett, and updates from leaders in the industry, a different keynote speaker has been announced to help set the tone for the day.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to check the website and get to know those who will be speaking. Their stories will touch and inspire you and get you in the right frame of mine to spend the day learning and growing your genealogy skills.

 There are many fabulous instructors teaching on so many different topics it can be hard to choose what to attend. 
Take time to carefully go over the schedule.
Think about what skills you need to sharpen or learn about. 
Get out of your comfort zone and take a class on a topic you wouldn't usually take.
From beginner to advanced, there is something to learn from any class you take.
Make sure you choose a second or third choice in case the class is full when you arrive. Some of the most popular speakers have their classrooms fill quickly.
Enjoy the learning. Take notes if it helps you. 
Do not take photos of the slides. They are copyrighted and holding your device up can be disrupting for others in the class.  
You may see ambassadors or other media taking select photos.
They have asked for and gained permission.
Yes, you may feel overwhelmed at the end of the week, but exhilarated at all you've learned!

1- My number one reason for going to RootsTech? The people!
 No matter where you are there are people talking genealogy!
 Stories and brick walls are shared, new friends made and old friends reunited. 
There's a lot of hugging that goes on! 
 Make sure to introduce yourself to those sitting by you in classes, events standing in line and while eating.
There are stories every year of finding cousins or others who are researching the same areas who just "happened" to sit near each other.
Talk to people as you commute to and from each day.
You can hear research strategies, brick wall problems and success stories talked about on the TRAX, the bus, walking down the street and on the airplane on the way there and back! 
Genealogists are a very special breed of people.
We love to share and in that sharing, we make friends for life! 

Bonus: For members of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Family Discover Day will be held on Saturday, March 2. 
This free event will feature Elder David  A.Bednar and his wife Susan as the Keynote speakers. Open to anyone, not just members of the church, this day is for families to come to learn together and enjoy the demonstrations in the Expo Hall. 
Registration is required.

If you haven't registered yet. it's not too late! Here's the link.
Join us for RootsTech 2019 in Salt Lake City!
You'll be glad you did!

If you can't make it this year, you can still have a RootsTech experience at home!
Live Streaming of some of the sessions will be available for free.
If you are on social media, use #notatrootstech to keep up with all the happenings!

Are you going? I would love to meet you! 
Let me know and we'll plan a time to get together!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,

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