Every parent knows that two-year olds can be challenging. They push against convention, fall, and usually get up to do it all over again.
RootsTech 2012 was a lot like that toddler, feeling his way in the big genealogy technology universe. Not quite sure what would work, what wouldn’t work, but all the time trusting that eventually he’d figure it out.
And then, the toddler turns three . . . and four.
RootsTech has grown up, and the 2014 conference put this event “behind the wheel” with a real Driver’s License.
Blogger Meetup for dinner at Roots Tech 2012.
I first attended the genealogy tech conference in 2012 when RootsTech was held in a smaller venue area at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The exhibit hall was noisy and crowded and it was difficult to find the session classrooms. The program seemed heavily tilted toward developers and beginners with little for intermediate or advanced genealogists. Networking and F2F blogger meet-ups, however, made it a worthwhile event.
Fast-forward to 2014 and a whole new RootsTech experience.
Entrance to the Salt Palace Convention Center for RootsTech 2014.
A bigger, better venue for 2014.
First impression walking in the Salt Palace Convention Center entry was “Wow!” The immense two-level hall was decked with enormous banners showcasing family history photos, vendors, and slogans. Standing on the upper level and looking through the huge glass windows, views of the Expo Hall showed continual demonstrations, products, and displays.
Beyond the Expo Hall, session rooms were large enough to accommodate most crowds with great audio visual arrangements.
My biggest dilemma of the the three-day event was trying to squeeze In attending other sessions between presenting four sessions and signing books at the Family Tree University booth in the Expo Hall.
Family Tree University booth in the RootsTech Expo Hall, with
Allison Dolan (left) and Tyler Moss.
I didn’t get to hear author Dr. Thomas Jones, or geneticist Blaine Bettinger, or Laura Prescott, or CeCe Moore, or Judy Russell, or Lisa Alzo, or a host of other great speakers because there was just so much going on! And with sessions for ALL levels of genealogical and tech experience, there was a lot to choose from.
However, I did get to flop down in the Backblaze Theatre front and center in the main hall to rest my feet and soak up presentations from several product developers. As bloggers Amy Coffin and Caroline Pointer said, “This is the awe-some. ‘They’ come to you.”
A semi-circle of black and white couches and armchairs faced a large screen and podium. Every fifteen minutes a new vendor or presenter took the stage to demonstrate their product or share a some kind of software or hardware feature. Their presentation was punctuated by the “candy lady” who came around with a basket of deliciousness, and the “ticket lady” who passed out door-prize tickets. Every fifteen minutes.
Clearly, RootsTech has figured out that not every attendee has the stamina of the kids attending Saturday’s Discovery Day. But whereever you are in your own family history search, RootsTech 2014 offered something just for you.