RootsTech is generating news faster than I can keep up. Time to ketchup.
I loved Tyler S Stahle’s “Survival Guide to RootsTech 2017.” He covers
- The official RootsTech app – Get it. Use it.
- Technology – Bring a portable device. There is free wi-fi and charging stations in the Expo Hall
- Warm clothing – Outside temperatures typically range from 25 to 44 degrees. (Sounds high to me.) Tyler doesn’t mention inside temperatures, but most conference centers run cold, maybe 68 to 70 degrees.
- Walking shoes – This is a big conference in a big building.
- Events – He mentions the Tabernacle Choir/Hammerstein event, the Innovator Showdown, and the Cultural Celebration. I think these are included free in your conference registration. I think the closing event is also included.
To read the complete story, see “A Survival Guide to RootsTech 2017” on the FamilySearch blog.
The Getting Started track this year is not included in your RootsTech registration. The Getting Started classes are only available to Getting Started pass holders. This is different than in past years where the general RootsTech pass would allow access to the Getting Started classes.
The current plan is to have the Getting Started track in room 155, which is in the North extension to the Salt Palace Convention Center. Be forewarned. The 1st floor lobbies of the Salt Place and the North extension are not directly connected. To get to room 155, cut through the Expo Hall, or go up to the 2nd floor, over to the extension, and then back down to the 1st floor.
Believe it or not, I’m not the only ambassador. There are 46 RootsTech 2017 ambassadors who registered to have their social media information shared amongst ambassadors and their readers. Check them out. You’ll find old familiar general-interest writers like DearMYRTLE, Judy Russell, Randy Seaver, and Thomas MacEntee. There are a couple dozen more that I know are terrific. (Apologies for not listing you here.) Other names you are all familiar with are ambassadors but didn’t submit to this list: Dick Eastman, Lisa Louise Cooke, Diane Hadad, etc. There are non-genealogy bloggers (whose readership surpasses all us genealogy bloggers).
Thanks for giving us these links to Innovator Showdown semifinalists! I am really excited about four out of the ten, and would like to be able to weigh in with the judges....is that possible anywhere?
Meredith A. Lane
You won’t have the opportunity to participate in narrowing of the field to five finalists on 8 February 2017. I’ll publish their names. But there is a people’s choice award and my guess is you can participate from home. The 2017 Innovator Showdown will be broadcast live on RootsTech.org at 10:30 am MST on Friday, 10 February 2017. Voting for the people’s choice award will be via text message. I assume the RootsTech broadcast will show the phone numbers so that you can vote from home. (I haven’t asked, so I’m not certain.) Either way, you’ll enjoy watching the competition.
For more information, read “Third Annual 2017 RootsTech Innovator Showdown Boasts $100,000 in Prizes” in the FamilySearch media center.
---The Ancestry Insider
From 8 February 2017 to 11 February (the week of RootsTech) is the Family History Library discovery center grand opening, according to their Facebook page.
The state-of-the-art discovery experience, is free and open to the public. The discovery experience hours will match the Family History Library.
Monday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.,
Tuesday - Friday 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturdays 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Extended hours will be offered Saturday, February 11th in conjunction with RootsTech 2017 Family Discovery Day.
“Our guests, particularly those who are completely new to family history, will be able to enjoy fun, personal discoveries through interactive technological experiences with their family's history,” said Tamra Stansfield, manager of the Family History Library.
For more information, see “Family History Library Discovery Center” in the FamilySearch Wiki.
According to a private RootsTech source, RootsTech will have the video streaming schedule this week. (Since I write on weekends, perhaps it is already online. I’d check RootsTech.org to see.) Unlike previous years, this year all the keynote speakers will be televised live. (Last year, the Bush mother/daughter duo were not broadcast. Was there another one? Doris Kearns Goodwin? My guess is that people who make their living partly by speaking, don’t like to damage their income stream. I think that’s fair. But I digress…) Even some Innovator Summit presentations will be broadcast.
The RootsTech syllabus will not be available for download on RootsTech.org this year. I’m disappointed, but fine with that decision. Some presenters make their living partly by presenting; posting their handouts for anyone to easily find and download seemed inappropriate. Individual class handouts are still freely downloadable; but you must do it through the RootsTech App. One big complaint there: the handouts download with obnoxious names like 641956154d1a58ea4cdc9e636cc562a5_1. How am I supposed to remember that that is the handout for Kelli Bergheimer’s “Getting Started in Genealogy” class? If you want to read the handout in iBooks, or keep notes in Adobe Acrobat, that’s a big issue.
Purchase a printed copy of the entire syllabus for $35 through the registration webpage.
RootsTech will not have printers onsite for printing handouts. You must prepare beforehand by printing desired handouts at home. I have a fancy, network-connected printer that has its own email address. From the RootsTech App I can email handouts directly to my printer. It couldn’t be simpler (for me). Frankly, though, I plan to use the handouts on my iPhone or iPad. It is still a good idea to prepare before the conference. Download desired handouts before you come. Then you don’t fight bandwidth issues as thousands of people start downloading handouts at the start of each class.
Be sure to print or download backup classes as well, in case the classes you want are full.
Toni Carrier, a RootsTech Ambassador from Lowcountry Africana, wrote an article laying out the African American track of classes at RootsTech this year. “This year, for the first time, you can fill your entire time at RootsTech attending sessions on African American genealogy!” she wrote. Read “Great African American Genealogy Lineup at RootsTech 2017” on her blog.