Friday, February 19, 2021

Get your fix of GenFlix

I’ve had a sneak peek at the website for RootsTech Connect, and it’s very impressive.  Just as Netflix lets you binge watch your favourite series like The Crown or Line of Duty (which I am currently watching and highly recommend), RootsTech Connect will let you binge on Genealogy.

So far over 300,000 people from more than 200 countries and territories have registered. And 89% of those have never been to a RootsTech conference before. There will be over 1000 classes and Tips & Tricks sessions. And in case you were wondering,  I am one of those speakers, and will be giving two sessions 10 things you are probably doing wrong with your research and Managing scanned and digital photos.

A lot of people have been asking when the schedule for the conference will become available. But, except for the main stage, there is no schedule.  There are four main sections to the conference:

The Main Stage will have keynotes, sponsor sessions and discovery content (stories, fashion, dance, language, food and much more), and it will run 24 hours a day, with Keynote speakers come from all around the globe, a truly “follow the sun” model. The contents from the first day will be repeated on the second day with the sessions in a different order (to be cater for the fact that there will be people in different time zones), and afterwards the content will be available on demand for a year. The timetable for the main stage is available here.

The Expo Hall (or Exhibition Hall, if you prefer) will have virtual booths for the 20 sponsors and 72 exhibitors. Booths will have product demos, and you will be able to chat to the exhibitors. You will also be able to see the latest innovations at the Innovators Portal, which will be accessed via the Expo Hall. There will also be a Demo Theatre here, which will be familiar to those who have attended a RootsTech in person.

Sessions and Guide Me is where you will find the classes, given by presenters from 51 countries. You can join a chat room about a class, or download a class syllabus (handout) here. You can select classes to be added to your playlist that you can watch at your leisure. There are also guided streams, in case you find it all too overwhelming and don’t know where to start. The full list of talks is available here.

Connect lets you communicate with speakers, other attendees, exhibitors, newly found cousins and more. It will be accessed via a Connect button on the bottom right hand side of your screen. The Ask Us at the top of the chat is where you can ask FamilySearch staff questions about the conference. This is also where you will be able to make contact with your Relatives at RootsTech.

** This is the only section that will only be available while the RootsTech Connect conference is actually live.

And all of this (except Connect) will be available on-demand for a whole year.

So, now for some practicalities.

If you have already registered for the conference you need to know that registration was only so the organizers could send you information about the conference. You should have received one of those communications recently.

You will be able to access the content without having to log in to that account. But you will get more from the conference if you log into your FamilySearch account. By logging in, you will get access to playlist and chat, along with the chance to connect with any of your relatives who are also at RootsTech. These connections will be made based on the FamilySearch Family Tree. If you haven’t got a FamilySearch account they are free and can be set up from If you haven’t added a tree the get cracking!

If you haven't registered yet, don't worry. Just go there on the day and login with your FamilySearch account.

Now, the final and most important part. When does it start.  Well, it the talks all kick off at 9pm Wednesday 24th Feb in Salt Lake City time. That’s 3pm on Thursday 25th of February in Sydney. (If you need help converting to a different time zone check out

BUT … the Expo Hall opens four hours earlier: that’s 10am on Thursday in Sydney time.

This is going to be a fantastic fully virtual event.

See this episode of Road to RootsTech to get a peak at the site yourself