Monday, January 29, 2018

Looking forward to RootsTech again!

Previously I wrote about why I was looking forward to attending RootsTech in February 2017. Well, it's nearly time for this year's RootsTech conference, and I'm awaiting it just as eagerly.

Me with CeCe Moore
LeVar Burton with FamilySearch's Thom King
So what is it I am looking forward to?  Well, all the reasons that I gave in that earlier blog post still apply. Meeting up with old friends and making new ones is always a highlight.  Another is the keynote speakers. Often I hadn't heard of them before I heard them speak, but I have enjoyed them so much. As well as David Pogue, A.J. Jacobs and Tan Le, who I wrote about in my previous blog, last year had some standout keynote speakers.  Cece Moore gave a fantastic and inspirational talk on DNA and there was a very interesting talk by the Property Brothers (who I'd never heard of before), but no one who was there will ever forget the keynote session given by LeVar Burton.  My blog about it can be read here.

This year's keynotes include Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton, Brando Stanton from "Humans of New York", Henry Louis Gate Jr (who I have heard of – I've watched some episodes of "Finding Your Roots") and singer/songwriter Natalie Lafourcade.

Lunch with friends - Jan Gow from New Zealand and
Audrey Collins from the UK

While I am there I will, of course, visit the Family History Library. I wonder whether I'll notice many changes.  As I understand it, as microfilms are being digitised, they are being removed from open access.  As many of those that have already been digitised are only available in a FHL or associate library I'll have plenty to look at.

Last year I got to spend time looking at the (then) new Family Discovery Experience.

Me at the Family Discovery Experience last year
(Photo by Jill Ball)

I always enjoy looking around at the Expo Hall (and they say it will be bigger than ever this year), seeing the new developments in Innovation Alley and the social events are always interesting. And of course, there are all the other speakers. There will be 13 different DNA sessions, as well as lectures on British, Scottish and Irish research, genealogical software, photos and so much more.

The Aussie contingent at RootsTech 2017

If you haven't registered, why not think about it? If you register before 30 January, US time, you can get a 4-day pass for only $199 - a saving of $80 off the regular price of $279.  You can register here.

Disclaimer: As a Rootstech Ambassador I receive complimentary admission to the event, invitations to some extra events and dinners and a free registration to give to one of my readers. I bear the cost of my return airfares from Australia and pay for my accommodation and meals.