Have you ever been to a family history conference? If you have, you already know how much you can learn from the speakers and genimates. If you haven’t, perhaps now is the time to give a genea-conference a try.
Each year in February there’s a massive conference, RootsTech, held in the genea-Mecca of Salt Lake City with its treasure trove at the Family Search Library. It offers amazing keynote speakers and the “top of the pops” of genealogy presenters. It also draws people from all over but especially the United States. I’ve been to RootsTech in Salt Lake in 2015 and 2017 and London in 2019. The scale is mind boggling to genies from Down Under – even the Expo Hall is like a proverbial lolly shop of genealogical goodies and advice. And then there’s the 20,000 people who turn up throughout the conference. I’m still virtual friends with people I’ve met while at RootsTech even though they live on the other side of the globe.
In 2021 we have a great opportunity thanks to the virtual world that’s opened up during the pandemic. For the first time, RootsTech will be going fully virtual with representation from around the world. To top it off, it’s all FREE – all you have to do is register, then watch whichever presentations are relevant to you. They’re even going to be available for you to watch over the coming months. What’s not to like about that? You can even watch previous conference presentations here.
The keynotes are engaging and entertaining and some offer downright heartbreaking, or inspiring stories. My favourite was listening to the family story of expat Vietnamese Aussie, in 2015. You can see the list of keynotes on the webpage here. Normally the keynote sessions are on the Main Stage so that’s the virtual venue as well.
Speakers from all around the world have been chosen for a huge variety of topic content. You can see the list here (thanks Ambassador GeniAus). The full timing of the program will be available in the coming week.
The downside is that we won’t be meeting genimates in person, but true to its 2021 title, RootsTech Connect, there’s an opportunity for you to connect with cousins around the world. How do you get connected this way?
- Go to FamilySearch.org, sign up for the Relatives at RootsTech option (at the top of the page)
- If you wish, you can add your ancestor’s names and link them to others sharing the same ancestors (You may already have your tree up on this global site).
- When RootsTech Connect starts on 25 February, the names of your cousins will be visible.
- You don’t have to do this in order to participate in the conference itself but then again you never know who you’ll meet and what discoveries you might make.
Where else can you get tips about what’s happening with RootsTech Connect?
Follow Ambassador and blogger TravelGenee who’s doing a series “Ready for RootsTech”
Follow Ambassador and blogger Geniaus
Follow twitter messages #RootsTechConf
Join RootsTech on Facebook to get all the latest news.
And if you’re an Aussie you can meet new genimates by asking to join the Aussies at RootsTech Connect 2021 facebook group. Don’t forget to answer the questions to get approval to join the group.
Trust me, the social media hubs will be buzzing for the next few weeks.
Above all, have fun and learn. May your brick walls tumble and may you make new friends!