Monday, March 18, 2013

#RootsTech 2013 #Genealogy Conference

The Ancestry Insidere is an official RootsTech bloggerRootsTech 2013 begins Thursday. the 21st of March and runs through Saturday, the 23rd. It is being held in Salt Lake City, Utah in the Salt Palace conference center across the street to the south of the world famous Family History Library.

RootsTech is a large (about 4,000 attendees this year), vibrant, young conference. The Expo Hall has over 200 vendors. If you can go, you really should. I checked late last week and could still get a hotel room along Salt Lake’s Trax, a light commuter rail within the free fare zone.

RootsTech has two target audiences:

  • The main target is genealogists that use technology. Yup; that’s pretty much everybody. Classes run all three days, 21-23 March 2013. All tracks for all target audiences are open to registrants. Registration is either $219 or $179; it’s hard to tell from the website (which never seems to be up-to-date this year). Single day passes cost $89.
  • The Getting Started track was added this year for beginners. There is a special price point and unique classes offered. Four or more topics are available per hour. Some are hands-on workshops. This Getting Started track costs $39 or $49 (it’s hard to tell from the website) for all three days or $19 for a single day.

Well, now that I think about it, there are four target audiences.

  • This year the Story@Home conference is being held as an extra RootsTech track. It is for story tellers. Again, that includes all of us. There are two or three choices offered each class period. Registration is $89.
  • The Developer Track, is a one day event just for software engineers. There are about five choices per class period. There are both regular sessions and Unconference sessions. The cost is $89.

The conference is held in the North addition to the Salt Palace Convention Center, which has a definite downside. Most staircases are long and elevators are inadequate for the number of motorized wheelchairs typically present at a genealogy conference. Buyer beware.

After further contemplation, there seems to be seven target audiences. The last three are free and are expected to draw another two thousand attendees. They are targeted to members of FamilySearch sponsor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

  • Family history consultants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The consultant track consists of two classes. It requires separate registration from RootsTech. This is a one day event, but is repeated Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. See to register.
  • Priesthood leaders and Church members. Classes are taught by general authorities and leaders of the Church starting with Elder Allan F. Packer of the Seventies at 9:45 Saturday morning in Hall 2 at the North end of the Salt Palace Convention Center. For more information visit
  • Young Men and Young Women of the Church. On Saturday, 23 March, classes, activities, and a devotional will be available for youth, ages 11-18 to attend with parents or youth leaders. Classes will be held for merit badge, Personal Progress, and other fun activities. A youth devotional will be held at 6:00 pm with Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president. The devotional will be in the Conference Center Theater. For more information, visit

If you come, watch for me. My wife made me a shirt that makes me a little more identifiable. See you all there!


  1. "The main target is genealogists that use technology."

    As a related issue, you might find the current kerfuffle at to be of interest...

    It appears that the technology caboose can occasionally push the genealogy train at ACOM.

  2. I, as a developer, am disappointed that they made the Developer Track a one-day session. The many sessions that one day that I would want to see overlap, and would force me to miss many. I would much sooner see them spread over the 3 days.

    I very much enjoyed RootsTech 2012 and could not make 2013 - but did not try so hard to make arrangements to do so because of the above change. I would like to attend in 2014 but do hope other developers speak up about this and that the developer sessions be changed back to be spread to all three days next year.


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