Thursday, October 12, 2017

Time to start thinking about RootsTech 2018

Next year will be my fourth RootsTech Conference.  The fact that I have attended so many times, given the expense of flying there from Australia, will give you some idea of how worthwhile I think the RootsTech Conferences are. In fact here is my post anticipating the last conference explaining why I was looking forward to attending RootsTech 2017. As it turned out, the conference didn't disappoint.  The Keynote talk by LeVar Burton was one of the most moving things I have ever experienced, and I don't think a single person who attended it would disagree with me. Here is my report on that session. 

RootsTech Expo Hall, 2017

This year's theme is "Connect. Belong" and there will be a few changes. Firstly, and most excitingly, the main conference will now run for four days from 28 February to 3 March. Previously the Innovator Summit and some sessions connected to it were on the Wednesday, with the Conference proper starting on the Thursday.  Now there will be an Innovator Showcase, where invaluable technologies for genealogists that have been nominated by genealogists themselves will be highlighted.  Read more in the press release about these changes. 

The next change is that the Expo Hall will now be open from 6pm to 8pm on Wednesday night. This will be a great opportunity to look at the hall while not missing any of the sessions.

The first of the keynote speakers, Scott Hamilton, has already been announced.  He is a figure skater and Olympic gold medalist. And schedule of talks has already been published, though it is subject to change. The biggest problem with it is that with over 300 sessions you can't attend everything. Last conference there were large numbers of DNA talks, and the next conference looks set to exceed them.  Like everything, there are talks for all levels with all sorts of different aspects of DNA research being covered.


But if you are not interested in DNA, there are still plenty of other sessions to pique your interest.  These include technology talks and talks about recording your family story amongst all sorts of other talks.

As I am from Australia, with English and Irish ancestry, I am not very interested in the talks relating to US genealogy. But that isn't a problem, as there are also talks relating to England, Ireland and Scotland.  As I mentioned before, the only problem is that I won't be able to attend all the talks I am interested in.

As well as the formally scheduled classes there are always other sessions in the expo hall, especially the sessions given by the major players like FamilySearch, Ancestry, Findmypast and MyHeritage. These can be incredibly worthwhile so don't forget to see what they have on.


But don't just take my word for it. Amy Ohms Archibald has written a  blog post about why she keeps attending RootsTech.

Early bird registrations for $169 are currently open here, but that is scheduled to end on 13 October and the price will go up.  Register for the event here.


Disclaimer: As a Rootstech Ambassador I receive complimentary admission to the event, invitations to some extra events and dinners and a free registration to give to one of my readers. I bear the cost of my return airfares from Australia and pay for my accommodation and meals.