RootsTech 2019 Recap

Amazing. Exhausting.

Thrilling. Tiring.

These are just some of the words I found myself thinking as I was experiencing my “happy place.” In case you don’t know it by this name, it is also called RootsTech. This event was held in Salt Lake City, Utah from February 27 through March 2, 2019.

This was my second year attending RootsTech and my first year serving as an Ambassador. I also helped out for the second year at the Heredis booth in the Expo Hall (will talk about this in a later post). There were definite perks to being an ambassador: closer seats to the Keynote Speakers, free pass to RootsTech, pass to giveaway (see photo below of myself and my giveaway winner, Judith), paid lunches, chances to interview key figures in the genealogy world, among others. Despite all of this, I feel that the fact that I was an “ambassador” did not color or rather skew my view of this years RootsTech.

Since last year was the first year I attended, it is what I have to base this years experience off of. I will say without a doubt, this years RootsTech was above and beyond last year’s experience. (And I had tons of fun and loved last year’s). When I look at the pros and cons of RootsTech, the pros are a definite frontrunner.

Pros:

  • So much help available. Wherever you turned, there was a friendly face wearing a blue shirt asking how they can help you.
  • No waiting in lines to get into classes/talks. This year they eliminated the badge scanning to get into classes thereby making it seamless to get in and out of classes. I think this also helped to make the general mood of the event a happier one. Everyone was calm and relaxed.
  • Wide variety of classes to choose from. Once again I had a hard time just choosing one class that I wanted to take in a particular time slot. Many times I would choose a couple and then wait until the day of to choose.
  • RootsTech app. I can’t rave about this app enough. Even if you were not at RootsTech you must check it out. It will give you a great overview of all the classes there were as well as access to the handouts. A must!
  • Larger rooms for talks = less chance for you not getting a seat. The RootsTech crew knew which classes were going to be the more popular ones so they made sure to give those classes the larger venues. Made for much more happier participants.
  • Later time for Keynotes meant a greater attendance. I remember last year there not being a full house for many of the keynotes since they were at an earlier time. This year the keynotes were at 11am which was a great idea. A packed house for all great speakers. When I saw Martin Luther King III (a complete surprise and previously unannounced) walk onto the stage I was speechless!

Cons (but not really):

  • Family Discovery Day on Saturday means free admittance which means LOTS. OF. PEOPLE. Saturday can be crazy. But as long as you are prepared for it, it really is okay. I personally like seeing all the kids come out with their parents. It is especially neat to see the multi-generations all there. Family history is about FAMILY so this day is important for the growth and future of the field of genealogy.

Overall, RootsTech was exhilarating. I always say that I have a RootsTech hangover afterwards. It is a crash course in All. The. Things. to do with family history but it also puts that fire back in your belly of why you do what you do. Why you are interested in your family’s past? In your family’s story?

It is not just for today. But for the future as well.

Lastly, if you are at all interested in viewing the keynotes, a sampling of the wonderful talks, and/or just get a general feel of what it means to attend RootsTech, I highly encourage you to watch not just this year’s session but you can also watch past year’s as well. Simply click on this link and enjoy! As a gentle reminder, you can still purchase a virtual pass for 18 recorded sessions from RootsTech 2019. Then you can view them at your convenience whenever and wherever you want. Don’t miss this chance!

Be sure to mark your calendars for the TENTH Anniversary of RootsTech! It is definitely an event that you must experience at least once!

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