Thank you, David Rencher & Paul Nauta, RootsTech 2017

RootsTech 2017 Is Almost Here!

I am packed and ready to go!

However, I want to share a quick story and a big thank you to two people, David Rencher and Paul Nauta.

A few weeks ago, I wrote to Paul Nauta, who handles public relations for FamilySearch and RootsTech, sharing my concern and disappointment that last year’s conference didn’t have much in the way of sessions for intermediate/advanced researchers. There were some, but not many, offerings. The agenda this year seemed even more disappointing because I could count those non-beginner sessions being offered in 2017 on one hand and have fingers left over.

It is important to attract new devotees in the younger generations to family history research and RootsTech is a terrific experience. However, for those who live out of state – or out of the country – it is not a cheap proposition to attend. I am next door in Arizona and it costs me hundreds of dollars to spend six days in Salt Lake City and attend RootsTech.

I commented that more experienced researchers like me might not regularly attend future RootsTech conferences because of the cost IF there weren’t more consistent offerings geared towards us. With the top quality speakers sharing their knowledge and experiences, it seemed to me that it would be quite easy to set up an advanced track of sessions so that many (or, ideally, all) of the time slots would have one of these presentations slotted in.

As I mentioned, it’s been several weeks. Paul Nauta read my comments and shared them with David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch.

In response to my original comments, today the RootsTech app was updated with a “Seasoned Genealogy Topics,” icon. Sessions that are being offered in 2017 that would be appropriate for experienced researchers have been added to that category so attendees will be able to easily identify them. With so many of the sessions appropriate for beginners, it’s actually a lot of work to siphon out the ones that would interest intermediate and beyond researchers.

Here is a screen shot of the app page taken from my iPad:


Bottom Link = Seasoned Genealogy Topics

Tap on that link and a new screen opens:


Check days using the black icons and then scroll to review sessions.

Voilà! A list of the seasoned track sessions appears for each day.

What is even more exciting is that Mr. Rencher stated that “we have noted your feedback for 2018 and will work to ensure that there is a solid track for those with genealogy research experience.”

I am over the moon about this and am already excited about RootsTech 2018. 🙂

Again, thank you, David Rencher and Paul Nauta. I shared my concerns and a dream for future RootsTech conferences and you both listened. If I see you during the conference, I will be sure to say hello and thank you in person.

9 thoughts on “Thank you, David Rencher & Paul Nauta, RootsTech 2017”

  1. That is great Linda. I have only attended Rootstech once and even I had a hard time deciding which courses to take this year. It is time consuming to read through all the courses to see what would interest me and learn something new. I was pleased to see that some of the courses I picked are on the schedule Seasoned Genealogy Topics. I am happy to hear that they listened to you. Thanks from all of us.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to send in this request. I am sure it is one a lot of us share. I am so pleased they responded in such a way. I’m going to go check out the “seasoned” track on the app right now.

  3. Yay! It’s amazing what can be accomplished if one only asks. Thank you, Linda. I’m going to have to make a point of going to RootsTech 2018. I went in 2015 and haven’t been back since because of the cost. Like you, I didn’t feel there were enough advanced classes to make it worthwhile. Next year promises to be amazing thanks to you.

  4. I’m so happy you wrote to them and that they responded with this! This was my biggest complaint over the past couple of years – you’re our hero, Linda!!!

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