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RootsTech is the biggest genealogy conference in the world, so it can be a little intimidating. After two virtual years, RootsTech is back with its regular format of in person and online. We’re sharing the best tips you need to know to be prepared for a fun and informative weekend at RootsTech.
We’ve gone to several RootsTech conferences over the years, so we have definitely learned a few things along the way. We wanted to share our knowledge of the what to expect and what to be prepared for. RootsTech is one of the best experiences you can have, so you definitely want to go into it prepared. Even if you’ve been to RootsTech before, it’s been a couple of years since we’ve all gotten to meet in person, so read on to make sure you are totally ready.
What to expect at RootsTech
Lots of people-
RootsTech is the largest genealogy conference in the world, so you definitely need to prepare yourself for crowds. The hallways of the convention center can get very crowded before and after general sessions. Some classes can also be crowded depending on how popular they are. Break times are the busiest times for the expo hall where all the vendors are. If you want to be able to wander without feeling crowded, it might be good to take time during a class session.
For meals, they do have several vendors on site serving things like sandwiches, salads, mexican food, smoothies, etc. Also, the conference center is located in downtown Salt Lake City, so there are plenty of wonderful restaurants within a short walk.
Lots of walking-
The Salt Palace is an ENORMOUS convention center. Your class might be on the opposite end from the main sessions. There is always the potential that where you need to be will be a hike from where you are. The Expo hall is also crazy huge with so much to see and you can spend hours just walking around in there from vendor to vendor. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes so you aren’t miserable the whole day.
There’s no way around it, RootsTech is overwhelming but in the best way possible! There will be so many classes you want to do, so many vendors you want to see, and so many people to talk to. You need to prepare yourself for not being able to do and see everything. Remind yourself that you are only one person and you can’t do it all.
How to prepare for RootsTech
Now that you know what to expect from RootsTech, here are some ways to make sure you are prepared for the whole experience.
Create a Family Search account-
There are a lot of things that you can do through your Family Search account, so having one set up prior to the conference is really helpful. It’s super easy to do and there are a ton of fun things to check out on it.
Take a look at the class schedule and decide which classes you most want to take. Then for each of those classes, pick an alternate class just in case your first choice is full. Most classes have plenty of space, but since most classes are first come first seated you’ll want to be prepared. You don’t have to preregister for classes, but there are some workshops that do require you to preregister.
The more family information you have, the better. You can fill out your family tree on Family Search and that will also help you connect with people at the conference.
Make a list of questions-
You will have the opportunity to be around SO many genealogy experts, so take advantage! Make a list of questions that you have and ask away. You will be shocked at how willing people are to help and WANT to help.
Check out RootsTech FAQ’s-
Make sure you head over to the RootsTech FAQ section, they cover everything you could possibly have a question about, and some things you didn’t even think about. It’s a fantastic resource to give you all the info about the conference from start to finish.
RootsTech Tips and Advice-
Alright, we’ve told you what you can expect and told you how to be prepared, now here are the tips and advice that we think are pretty important.
Go with a Friend-
This is a great experience to share with someone. Going with a friend can make things a little easier from saving you a seat in class, or even dividing and conquering if there are two classes at the same time that you want to attend.
You’ll be on the go a lot at the conference, make sure you bring a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day. Don’t worry if you forget one, they will have bottles of water available on site.
Bring a Sweater-
Like all conferences, the temps can vary throughout the building. I like having a cardigan that I can wear if I’m a little chilly, but that also it’s super cumbersome to carry around if I’m feeling a little warm.
While they have food onsite, I like to have some snacks in my bag just in case I get a little hungry during a class or session. Granola bars, trail mix, mixed nuts and other small snacks are perfect.
How to Take Notes-
Make sure you include whatever you need to jot down notes from your classes. If you prefer a laptop or iPad, make sure you have extra battery chargers and charging cords. If you’re a pen and paper type person, make sure you that you have a sturdy notebook along with extra pens or pencils.
As we mentioned above, make sure you wear comfortable shoes that are good for walking. You’ll need to keep your feet happy if you are going to make it through the whole weekend.
Going to RootsTech
Now that you are fully prepared, you are ready to go to RootsTech. You are going to have such an incredible feeling and might even feel a little emotional when you connect with others about genealogy. We’ve always had the most incredible time at this conference and we know you are going to love it too. We hope to see you there!