The geneaglobe is hopping as many people prepare to jet off to Salt Lake City to attend the RootsTech conference which is a huge event, in size, speaker power, exhibitors and learning content.
This year I’m combining it with a trip even further north to Canada, about which I’m really excited. Mr Cassmob is also coming with me so I suspect his eyes will be popping at the scale of RT. Meanwhile family members will enjoy a beach holiday at our place while we are freezing in sub-zero temps. It’s a lot colder this year than when I attended RootsTech two years ago, so careful planning is required.
So what is on my planning list? This is all a bit nitty-gritty but it seems to me we often overlook the semi-obvious. With thanks to all those who’ve gone before me, and provided advice, wisdom and mateship.
Flights booked and confirmed, and ESTA permit done.
DFAT registration – to be done
Hotel booked in Salt Lake.
Register travel with DFAT– still to be done. (This is for the Aussies)
Advise bank that we will be away so they don’t bounce our cards.
Itinerary printed, copied to offline Evernote and on email. Ditto documents.
Check out how you’ll get from the airport to the city: TRAX, hotel bus, or shuttle bus (there are others, but I used this one last time. Tip – tell them you’re there before you pick up your luggage as otherwise you may have to wait until the next bus, even if you’ve booked)
Sleep bank stored – hah! I have trouble sleeping before big trips as my mind keeps thinking up lists.
SIM cards for smart phone & a wireless dongle. (I’ve used Go Sim a few times, and it works)
Charger packs to keep the tech going all day.
iPad – I’m not taking the laptop. In part because of the extended trip, but I can manage most things on the iPad and will take other data on USBs.
USBs for the Family History Library and to share info with Canadian cousins we’re meeting up with.
Backup Drive (maybe)
USBs with fancy connections so I can copy info from the iPad and also the Android phone
US adaptors and charging cords for each bit of tech – takes more weight than toiletries!
Cash Travel cards (issued by your bank).
A stash of US dollars to pay for transit expenses, snacks, tips.
New fancy RFID wallet and handbag – thanks Santa!
ID protector pockets for passport and credit cards if you don’t have above.
In-flight reading, books and podcasts on iPad…oh yes, I’m supposed to sleep. I think I already have enough to lap the world a few times.
SOCIAL MEDIA and SCHEDULING
RootsTech App downloaded and profile updated and add friends as they come online: there are still gaps.
Work out which sessions to attend: lots of competing entries always.
Book and pay for lunches and computer labs if required/desired.
Check out the exhibitors and decide which stands you most want to visit.
Book for any of the social events available that you wish to attend and link up with genimates from near and far.
Fill out the feedback content on the app as each presentation finishes.
Keep your notes in Evernote or in the app. (I prefer the former)
Remember not to photograph speaker’s slides without prior permission.
Sign up for the Geneabloggers at RootsTech Facebook group (You do need to be a geneablogger). It’s a great way to connect with people in advance.
Sign up with Geneabloggers’ Thomas MacEntee for your blogging beads. (Thanks to DearMYRTLE and Russ Worthington for sponsoring the beads once again).
Download the Salt Lake City Visitors’ Guide to iBooks or equivalent.
Save relevant documents to Evernote and sync if you have a full subscription, along with travel documents.
Prepare a list of things to search in the Family History Library: I’m focusing mostly on books rather than microfilms which I can order in here and which take a lot of time to review thoroughly.
I use the keyword option when searching the Family Search Catalogue looking for counties and places relevant to my families. I’ve printed a swag of pages to take with me, and will prioritise them. They’ll go in the bin when I’ve checked them off. With lots of time I’d put it all in a spreadsheet but….
On this visit we’ll have time after RootsTech to research in the library, so that will mean we won’t bother during RT.
Make sure your camera is fully charged and ready to go.
Have your family tree online, on paper or on your smart phone for ready reference.
BITS & BOBS
√Business cards for my blog with family names on reverse.
√Badge with my blog name on it.
√Conference ribbons to promote your business/blog or a cause like Genealogists for Families. If anyone has ancestors from East Clare, or is part of the Kiva GFF group, please see me for a ribbon.
√Any special gifts for genimates?
√Bubble wrap and zip lock bags, as usual.
√Carry bag featuring my blog name (from Vistaprint).
Make dinner reservations if needed. The Blue Lemon, PF Changs and the Olive Garden were all reasonable places to eat which I visited.
√Booked tickets for a game of basketball featuring the Salt Lake Jazz.
Strong muscles for all the stuff I take and collect (hah!)
If you want to buy some food to have in your hotel room, Harmons City Creek is not too far a walk unless it’s snowy and super-cold.
Boring but necessary. I’ll be going from 25-35C (or 85-95F) to anything down to -20 so there’s quite a change. I’m telling myself we’ve often travelled in winter so it will be fine.
Lots of layers, a pashmina or two, leggings/stockings, thermals, coat, scarves, gloves, walking boots and hat: that should cover the extras.. a challenge for someone who lives in shorts and tank tops!
Make sure your boots/shoes are comfortable as you’ll be notching up some distance in the Salt Palace.
And for those who can’t make it to RootsTech, you don’t have to miss out. Follow your favourite bloggers’ posts, tweets @RootsTechConf or watch the live screen broadcasts here (these will later be available online as videos.)
What have I forgotten? Any thoughts?
Disclosure: I have not received any financial remuneration for recommending the places/sources mentioned. They are offered as a helpful clue to possibilities.