Disclaimer: I am a RootsTech 2018 ambassador and have received complimentary registration.
RootsTech 2018 will soon be here! With only six weeks to go, it is time for me to begin getting my ducks all in a row.
First of all, if you haven’t registered yet, but are thinking about it, I find that 4-6 weeks before a flight, prices tend to be good. If you need to fly to Salt Lake City, now is the time to be checking out the fares.
If you are still on the fence, here’s an update of RootsTech 2018 news:
Photo + Story Competition: The deadline for this contest has been extended to this Friday, 19 January 2018.
All you have to do is share the story behind your photo to have the opportunity for others to see it AND win some great prizes. You do NOT have to be registered for RootsTech to enter.
There is a really interesting group of keynote speakers lined up this year. Brandon Stanton, will present on Thursday, March 1, followed by Scott Hamilton on Friday, March 2 and Henry Louis Gates Jr. on Saturday, March 3. Also on March 3 will be Natalia Lafourcade.
What will this year’s daily schedule look like?
Wednesday, 28 February – Steve Rockwood will keynote on the new Opening Day of RootsTech. Also on Wednesday will be the Innovation Showcase, featuring the Top Family History Innovations of 2018. If that wasn’t enough, I am excited that the Expo Hall Preview Night will open on Wednesday night from 6:00-8:00 p.m. for a sneak peek. I learn as much in the Expo Hall as I do in the class sessions, so I love this new program.
Class sessions open at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
Thursday, 1 March – The Opening Event: Celebrating the Greatest Generation
Friday, 2 March – Sessions all day, plus the Expo Hall exhibits to visit
Saturday, 3 March – Closing Event: My Family. Mi Herencia featuring Luz de las Naciones with a cast of over 1000!
Four days of RootsTech offers the opportunity to choose from over 200 class sessions.
So, what exactly do I begin doing six weeks before the conference? Well, I’ve registered and have hotel and flight reservations made. What I need to hone in on are the various class sessions for each day. I always, always tentatively choose 2-3 sessions offered in each time slot. I know I can only be in one place at a time, but occasionally a speaker is unable to present (travel issues, illness) or a session might be filled before I got to the room (it happened to me once last year) and sometimes the talk isn’t what I envisioned. There have also been a few times where I really, really wanted to hear two speakers so I sat in the back and left one in the middle to hear the other half of the session with a second speaker. ALWAYS have a back up plan ready.
What else do I need to do?
I always build in time at the Family History Library. I keep a running list of items to search whenever the next opportunity to visit the FHL comes up. However, many items are appearing as digitized files which can be read at home. I definitely don’t want to waste valuable time in the library reading stuff I can do in my home. I check the research items on my list with the current FHL catalog to verify that no digital images are yet available for those items. If they are, that item is crossed off the SLC list. The only exception to that rule is if I need help reading something (in Swedish, Danish, etc.) then I save the digital image on my flash drive and bring it with me.
Speaking of flash drives, I make sure that any and everything I digitally need is saved on that drive. My travel thumb drive is 128GB, so I never worry about running out of space saving images. (I save them as well as emailing them to myself from the library. Better to have two image sources than none!)
As the conference gets closer, I will share my “last minute” tips. If you are on the fence about attending RootsTech, I highly recommend that you seriously consider it. It’s not only a lot of fun, the Family History Library is a great research opportunity.