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.


  • 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!

RootsTech 2019 – All the Things!

In less than two weeks I will be in route to the mecca of all things genealogy. Also known as Salt Lake City, Utah and RootsTech 2019. This will be my second time traveling to this fine city. My first time was last year for RootsTech 2018. That was also the first time I had traveled alone in over 15 years. It was quite the experience.

I am looking forward to having the same wonderful time as I did last year. Have you checked out the schedule yet? If you are going to RootsTech and haven’t downloaded the RootsTech app yet, go do that now! It is a plethora of information all in the palm of your hand. Even if you are not planning to attend RootsTech this year, I still encourage you to check out this app. It gives you a great overview of the event plus you can download the flyers that are available to all (whether or not you are an attendee).

To make it as simple as possible for you, the RootsTech team has put together a series of YouTube videos that do a great job of describing the event and how best to prepare for it. Plus, they have put together a survival guide that is a must read.

Here are the must-check-out links to make RootsTech 2019 the best one yet!

Lastly, don’t forget to vote for your favorite video submission for the RootsTech FilmFest ’19 contest. The winner will receive a trip to their ancestral homeland!! Take some time and watch these 2-5 minute videos. They will inspire you and compel you to dig deeper in uncovering those family stories that are just waiting for you! Please NOTE: Today (2/14) is the LAST day to vote.

Check out all the videos here and VOTE!

Everybody Loves Raymond Star Coming to RootsTech 2019!

Another RootsTech 2019 Keynote Speaker has been announced and it is a good one! Patricia Heaton! She is the Emmy-award winning actress from such hits as Everybody Loves Raymond and most recently, The Middle.

Want to know what to expect when Ms. Heaton gives her talk on Thursday, February 28th? I recently learned that Patricia lost her mom suddenly when she was 12. Her mom was 46 and had a brain aneurysm. She describes this devastating loss as something that made her more independent and gave her the spirit of perseverance in her tough career as an actress. I can relate to this since I too lost a parent at a young age. I look forward to her talking more about this aspect of her life as well as being a mom to four sons now young adults.

What I always enjoy about the RootsTech keynotes is that they provide another side to a celebrity. RootsTech affords them a chance to talk about their personal lives a bit more than they usually would. The theme of RootsTech is Connect. Belong. This causes the speaker to talk at a deeper level to the audience. We then feel connected to them in a way we initially would have thought was impossible. Especially when they are so famous and I am so famously not. I am excited to hear Ms. Heaton’s talk and discover more of our mutual connections.

Still not registered for RootsTech? There is still a chance! Register Here!

Not able to attend RootsTech? You will be able to catch all the keynote speakers plus select classes from the comfort of your home! Check out the streaming schedule here. No pre-registration required. Free!

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