If you haven’t yet registered for RootsTech 2019, there is still time!
Why am I excited about RootsTech?
1. The Camaraderie – Instead of the eye roll I get at home, I will be surrounded by people who all LOVE genealogy. It’s a chance to meet up with some old friends and the opportunity to make new ones, too.
2. Keynote Speakers – There is a terrific line up of keynote speakers this year AND keynotes are now mid-afternoon and mid-mornings.
3. The Expo Hall – I love, love, love the Expo Hall, which is the size of a football field, filled with all things genealogical. In addition to Innovation Alley and all the products for sale, there are also the mini-learning sessions hosted by a number of vendors. I try to visit all the new-to-me companies with booths, meet some of the Innovation Alley participants and make the rounds of the entire hall. It’s a job, but a fun one!
Now, for the preparations I am already finalizing, even though there is still a month to go:
4. Class Sessions – While I’m still at home, I’ve made a list of all the sessions I’d like to attend each day. I list all that are of interest to me, even if I have 3 in one time slot. I do that for a couple of reasons. First, I do rank them in order of preference. In case a session is cancelled – which sometimes happens due to little things like snowstorms delaying speakers or sudden illness – I already have my other choices on my list.
I have to admit, I use both the RootsTech app PLUS the paper program and even have my paper list with me. If the app happened to crash, I don’t want to lose access to my choices. In this case, paper is a great back up system.
Next, occasionally I attend a session at a conference and find that either the presentation is too basic for my own needs or the talk isn’t what I thought it was going to be.
Lastly, by having my class session choices ready to go, I can figure out where the classrooms are and how much time I need to get from one session to another. I also know where my back up class is being held if I need to switch talks.
5. The Family History Library – I always arrive in Salt Lake City on Sunday evening, which gives me a chance to settle in and get my research stuff organized and ready for Monday morning. I will be in the crowd first thing when the library doors are opened!
I have kept a running list of items to look up in the library since last year’s visit. A few items have become digitized and I’ve either been able to look at them at home or at my local Family History Center. However, there are a number of other things on my list – about 30, to be exact – that I will need help with because I don’t read old German script well and I don’t speak German or Slovak or Danish, Swedish or Norwegian. 🙂
I am very thankful for all the people who work in the Family History Library who so generously share those skills to help others.
I am usually still reviewing that list until Saturday, the day before I head to Salt Lake, making sure that I haven’t forgotten anything and that I have the film numbers and book call numbers added to each item.
I do put the most important items first on the list and if I have to order a film from the Granite Vault, I make my request first thing Monday morning so I will have time to view it on Tuesday or Wednesday.
It’s not time to pack my clothes yet, but I do start keeping an eye on the weather in Salt Lake because I will be walking from the hotel about six blocks up to the convention center and the library. I have some waterproof boots sitting up in my closet, ready for winter weather. Last year, snow was predicted every day I was there, but there was nothing but a few flurries, so my boots stayed in my suitcase. Better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them, as my mother always used to say. 🙂
If you are still undecided about coming to Salt Lake City for RootsTech 2019, there is still time to plan and book your trip. However, don’t wait much longer! You will have a terrific time!