It FINALLY happened. Rootstech was live and in person again. We waited 3 long years to be able to see our friends, give hugs and experience the magic of Rootstech in person.
Luckily for me, my long time friend, coworker and genealogy buddy attended with me. Pam and I have now been to 3 Rootstech conferences together. She lives in Colorado and I live in California, so we hadn’t seen one another since early March 2020.
We both arrived on Sunday, Feb 26th. We like to arrive early so that we can spend quality time at the Family History Library (now renamed to the Family Search Library, but I will still refer to it as the FHL).
We hit the ground “walking” from the Plaza Hotel just around the corner to our favorite place. There was snow everywhere and the wind made it pretty cold. Thankfully, it’s a short walk.
We found good seats on the 3rd floor and set up for the day.
|The computer stations are awesome - 3 monitors for us to use. I set up my laptop with Legacy running and use the library's computer to access online databases|
It pays to have a plan when you visit such a huge repository as this for your genealogy research. I had made several lists of items I would like to locate. Things that are not available online.
We got to work, with only a short break for lunch at the newly redesigned lunchroom on the first floor.
The staff is always friendly and helpful, but you could tell they were very happy to have the library filled with eager researchers.
This was how we spent Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday.
I made some good discoveries and will share them in an upcoming post.
On Wednesday we went to the Blue Lemon for lunch. It’s been a tradition for bloggers to meet up at that location and catch up with one another. Nice to see Michelle Ganus Taggert (A Southern Sleuth), Cheryl Hudson Passey (Carolina Girl Genealogy) and Laura Wilkinson Hedgecock (Treasure Chest of Memoriesa)
|Bloggers at the Blue Lemon|
Then on Wednesday night we attended the first ever GSI (Genealogy Solves It) dinner. Hosted by Nathan Dylan Goodwin & Dihann Southard and assisted by Robert and others. This was hosted at a location called Ember. An Urban Boutique Gathering Place.
|Attendees gathering for the GSI Mystery Dinner|
What fun that was! There will be a separate post about that event.
Thursday, March 2nd was the official first day of Rootstech. Walking over to the convention center and entering that building again was a thrill. Getting my badge was easy (back in 2018 it had been quite a nightmare). Unfortunately, this year they did not offer attendees any additional items, like bags, discount coupons, pens etc. Who doesn’t love to get swag? Maybe they will offer it again next year?
|On the left, walking up the stairs to the Salt Palace Convention center - middle pic shows me in my happy place and right is the view as you walk in|
Things were pretty much set up as they have been in the past. Pam was attending an early class so I wandered around a bit.
I headed straight into Expo Hall, which is my favorite place to hang out. I was able to see and visit with friends I hadn’t seen since our last in person conference.
The Expo was about half the size it has been in past years. Not as many vendors or exhibits. BUT, I expect this year was a test run, post Covid, to see how many people would be there in person. The conference is still being offered virtually as well.
Everyone I spoke to was very happy to be back live. I have a suspicion that 2024 will be rocking and rolling and back to pre Covid size.
I’m not one to attend many classes. The ones I do go to are always very informative and well done.
This year I attended 3 classes, two in person and one that I watched while I was at the library, since it was offered virtually.
The 3 days went by quickly and before you know it, Saturday rolled around and we were all saying our goodbyes and farewell until next year.
What are my takeaways from the conference?
· We were able to attend in person
· The cost was reasonable
· There were many good classes offered – lots of education opportunities from very good presenters
· I have always liked the Salt Palace Convention center as a venue
· The badges were not as sturdy as years past (just a piece of paper hanging from some clips)
· Expo Hall was not as big as years past and I really missed some of the great vendors we used to see.
· I also missed some of our well-known presenters, who for whatever reason, were not able to attend in person. I hope they return next year.
· I also thought the app was not quite as user friendly or easy to read as in years past.
If you attended in person this year, I’d love to hear what you thought. What did you enjoy? What would you like to see improved?
As for me and my friend, Pam – we plan on being back next year.
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