Connections are the best way to get the most out of RootsTech 2019 (February 27–March 2, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah). Talk to your neighbor, introduce yourself to people in the lunch line, engage vendors. Ask questions.
Of course, connections to your past make the conference worth the price of admission as well as walking the length of the Salt Palace convention center several times over. You’ll stay motivated for months.
Disclosure: As a RootsTech Ambassador, I receive perks at RootsTech, such as VIP seating during keynote addresses. I do NOT receive a commission on passes sold.
RootsTech can be a whirlwind. The best way to avoid being overwhelmed is to make yourself a flexible plan. To get the most out of RootsTech, map out what you want to see and learn, how to negotiate the Salt Palace, when and how to register. (See also RootsTech 2019: What’s New, Improved, and as Good as Ever.) The bad news: You can’t do it all, so you’ll have to prioritize.
One of the easiest ways to orient yourself is to download the RootsTech App. It has information on sessions, speakers, exhibitors, and even a downloadable map of the convention all. The app is also a terrific way to keep track of the Sessions you want to attend. Just “star” a session and it’s added to your “My Schedule.”
You can also refer to the RootsTech Survival Guide which organizers will publish on the RootsTech.org blog as of Feb 1, 2019.
Dress (& Lug Things with You) Appropriately
Yes, the conference published a guide on what to wear at RootsTech. In my view, comfortable shoes tops the list. Salt Lake City can be quite cold at the end of February, so you’ll need a warm coat. (Keep in mind, in the past, coat check lines have been crazy long on Saturday afternoon.)
If you’re going to bring a laptop, a wheeled bag will save your back many times over!
The size of the convention center can be a challenge if you have a physical disability. Consider renting an electric scooter. (You can make arrangements here.)
GeneaBloggers—people who blog about family history and genealogy-related content—provide a wealth of information about RootsTech. Use your favorite search engine to find all sorts of information, reviews, first-hand reports, and advice.
How to Get the Most out of RootsTech when you can’t be there in person
Realistically, not everyone can be in Salt Lake City during RootsTech. Bummer that that is, you can still get in on parts of the conference.
Watch Live Streamed Events and Sessions
During the conference, select speakers will be streamed live on the RootsTech home page. (See detailed schedule at RootsTech.org/salt-lake/live-stream-schedule.)
Join in Conversations Online
You can find information, reactions, and insight about RootsTech from others on social media. Use the hashtags #NotAtRootsTech (for people that aren’t in the Salt Palace convention center) and #RootsTech for general RootsTech posts and threads.
New this year: For those who are unable to travel to Salt Lake City, RootsTech 2019 is offering a virtual pass. Though it can’t offer you quite the same excitement as exploring the exhibit halls, sitting in the general session, and chatting with your neighbor, for $129 you can
- Watch 18 available sessions (listed on RootsTech’s Virtual Pass webpage) multiple times, pausing and rewinding at will.
- Access the sessions whenever you like for an entire year.
- Save money that you would have spent on transportation, food, and lodging.
While you in Salt Lake City, plan to spend a day or two at the incredible Family History Library (FHL), so it’s not too early to start your research plan. (See Linda Stufflebean’s article about Preparing for your visit to the FHL.)