RootsTech 2020: Prepare Before You Leave Home!

If you haven’t yet registered for RootsTech 2019, there is still time!

Here are a few reasons why you should attend and how to be prepared for the four-day packed-full-of-genealogy-learning sessions.

1. The Camaraderie – Instead of the eye roll family members and friends might give, you 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 with David Hume Kennerly on Friday and Emmitt Smith on Saturday.

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 the multitude of vendors and all the products for sale, there are also mini-class sessions hosted by a number of vendors. There is almost as much to learn in the Expo Hall as there is in the class sessions.

Tips to Enhance Your Conference Experience:

4. Class Sessions – Make a list of all the sessions you’d like to attend each day. List all that are of interest to you, even if you have more than one in each time slot. There are a couple of reasons to do that. First, 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 – you will already have your second, third, etc. choices on your list.

I have to admit, in the past, I’ve used both the RootsTech app (scroll to the bottom of the page and use the link in the bottm left corner to download) PLUS the paper program and even have my paper list with me. If the app happened to crash, I didn’t want to lose access to my choices. In this case, paper is a great back up system.

Occasionally you will attend a session at a conference and find that either the presentation is too basic or the talk isn’t what you I thought it was going to be. Your pre-planning will mean that you won’t be struggling to pick a replacement session at the last minute.

Lastly, by having class session choices ready to go, you can figure out where the classrooms are and how much time you need to get from one session to another. You will  also know where your back up choices are being held if you decide to attend a different session.

5. A couple of weeks before the conference, start watching the local weather reports. I’ve been at RootsTech when the weather was so warm, a sweater wasn’t needed in the afternoon, but have also been there when it was so cold, even my Canadian friend said it was freezing! Pack accordingly.

6. Take a bit of time each day to enjoy Salt Lake City. This is a repeat of one of the Family History Library tips, but it is just as relevant to the RootsTech 2020 conference. Tours of Temple Square are available and you might be able to listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practicing.  The  City Creek Center shopping mall is very close to Temple Square. It is fun to walk through and you can get some retail therapy if you need it.

Bonus Tip:  Time to Leave – All good things must come to an end. Before you know it, it will be time to head home, hopefully with lots of new research treasures. I have always timed my flights to be the last one out for the day so I have as much time as possible in Salt Lake City. Although airport transportation is often available via my hotel, I tend to pay the small amount for a shuttle, again so I can spend every last possible minute in the library. It is also possible to take the TRAX light rail system out to the airport. Consider your options and make your decision BEFORE you leave home.

To summarize all this into one tip: Plan ahead before you leave home and you will have a most enjoyable visit to a fabulous library and a top notch genealogy conference!

If you are still undecided about coming to Salt Lake City for RootsTech 2020, there is still time to plan and book your trip. However, don’t wait much longer! You will have a terrific time!

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