I have been to RootsTech in Salt Lake City several times, but I am particularly excited about the London RootsTech conference. Why? Because of some of the sessions and speakers.
David Rencher from FamilySearch is talking on Irish Estate Land and Property Records. I heard him speak in Sydney a couple of months ago and he is a good speaker, and I learnt some little known facts from him. Myko Clelland from Findmypast is also a good speaker and I have highlighted several of his talks (Beyond the British Census, To have and to Hold: Understanding British Marriage Records and Scottish Genealogy: Beyond the Basics) in my list of sessions that interest me. And there are several speakers I am aware of but have not heard speak. This will be a fantastic opportunity to do so.
|David Rencher in Sydney|
While there is always a certain amount of content relating to the British Isles at the Salt Lake City conferences, there will be far more at the London conference, which is important for me as I have no US ancestry: all my ancestors are from England, Ireland or Scotland (and my husband also has Isle of Man and Jersey). I have looked at the list of sessions and in every time slot there are multiple ones that interest me in each of them. Topics covered that interest me include workhouse records, rural ancestors, Irish genealogy, parish records and nonconformist records to name just a few. And of course, there are many sessions on DNA.
One other thing I noticed was that there were lots of sessions on scanning photos, negatives and film and various other sessions relating to photos and doing short video interviews. I think some of those will be very interesting.
I have been told that many British people attending family history shows are primarily interested in the exhibitors, and consider the talks as a side attraction and only attend one or two of them. If so, that is a pity as they are missing out on opportunities to hear fantastic lectures. At family history conferences here in Australia it is definitely the lectures that are the key attraction. Not to say that exhibitors are not of interest, but the talks are the main reason for attending. And unlike the old Who Do You Think You Are? Live, all these lectures are included in the one price at RootsTech. You do not have to pay any extra.
|Expo Hall at RootsTech in Salt Lake City|
So perhaps the strategy is to consider RootsTech as a conference, not just a family history show.
And as well as the formal lectures, there will be other sessions in the Exhibition Hall. The demo theatre will have an interesting program, though it has not yet been published, and many of the major vendors will have scheduled sessions at their booths.
But it's not just commercial companies that you will find in the Exhibition Hall. Many local family history societies are booking a stand as they are eligible for a very special rate for the show.
If I have managed to spark your interest, or if you had already decided you were going, keep an eye on this blog for a chance to win a free 3-day pass to RootsTech London 2019. If you have already purchased a ticket and you win my competition, you will get a full refund of your purchase money, so go ahead and register now, while early bird pricing is still in force.