|Uniting Photo Booth on second floor|
Good morning. It is 4:00 am in Salt Lake and my first day of "RootsTech 2023" is over. But you may be saying that RootsTech doesn't start until later today, and you are right. But many of us have been busy behind the scenes getting ready for the big day.
So what does the day before RootsTech look like? For me, I did a quick walk through of the Salt Palace to get the lay of the land and remember where all the classes are. Many of the fun activities had already been set up on Tuesday and the staff were preparing the Help Desk and Registration areas. There are a couple photo op areas, including a VW mini bus, where you can take fun photos with your friends.
|Help Desks are located throughout the event|
Then it was off to the FamilySearch Library to get a few hours of research in. The library is open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm during RootsTech. My wife had sent me with instructions to find her Walker brick wall. I was busy searching through records for Edgefield County, South Carolina; Bullock and Dale counties in Alabama; and Robertson County, Texas.
After a few hours of no luck researching, it was time for the GeneaBloggers lunch at Blue Lemon. This is our annual opportunity to get together and see how everyone is doing. I believe the furthest that one of our GeneaBloggers travelled was from Australia.
|The Family History Guide Booth|
Then is was back to the Salt Palace to register and return to the Expo Hall to help set up the booth for The Family History Guide
. I will be working the booth on and off during the week. We will have classes every 30 minutes and there are many videos available for those attending virtually. Come by and visit us if you are here or find us in the Virtual Expo Hall
Once that was done, I returned to the FamilySearch Library to continue my research for a more couple hours. RootsTech is providing golf cart shuttles between the Library and the Salt Palace, making it easier for more people to get between the locations. This year there will be events and classes at the Library in addition to those in the Salt Palace. Make sure you check the schedule for those classes.
|Steve Rockwood, CEO FamilySearch|
Then it was back to the Salt Palace for the Media Dinner. The RootsTech Influencers and media representatives got together to hear more about what to expect for the next couple days at RootsTech. My table included a media representative from Brazil, three bloggers from Australia, including Fran Kitto
and Shauna Hicks
, and James Tanner
. During the dinner we were introduced to the theme for RootsTech. In previous years the theme had been Choose Connections. RootsTech wanted to go one step further this year and selected the theme of Uniting. We all have connections but the object is to unite them all working together to push the positive.
RootsTech 2021 and 2022 were virtual events with over 3 million attendees from more than 220 countries participating. That was a huge success and they wanted to build on that with the hybrid conference this year. We now have the ability to host thousands of attendees with 205 classes in person as well as millions of virtual attendees with 304 classes. The last 100 years of family history have focused on the US and Europe but now that focus is expanding to more records in Latin America, Africa and Asia. This year RootsTech wil be broadcast in the time zones for countries across the world and be hosted by 15 international virtual emcees. The General Sessions will be broadcast in 9 localized sessions with translations in Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Korean and Japanese.
After the Media Dinner we were able to tour the Expo Hall. Even at 9:00 pm there was still quite a bit of activity there as exhibitors were putting the finishing touches on their exhibits. Some of them, such as FamilySearch and Storied, will be spectacular. Storied has created a city block with buildings, a street, and even a car.
|Let's Do Good Together Team|
As I get ready for the official start of RootsTech in just a few hours, I wanted to share with you how family history can be an uplifting experience for you and your community. A few years ago when RootsTech was still only an in person event, a few of us got together and started talking about projects that we could do in our communities. That small group grew and now forms two organizations. The Family History: Let's Do Good Together Group
on Facebook is one way we provide inspiration to others. You can find information about some of the projects our members have done such as Connected Tempe
, The 21 Day Family Connections Experiment
, and the Texas Connect Project
The second group is called The Bridge. The Bridge is now led by Dr. Joe Price of the BYU Record Linking Lab. The Goal of the Bridge Forum is to use family history to create a kinder and more connected world. We provide a monthly forum to share projects that grow the Family Tree at familysearch.org and help people see their connections with each other and their communities. You can view our February 2023 meeting on YouTube.
How can you use the lessons from choose connections to help unite your community?
Join us at RootsTech in person or virtually to see what Family History has to offer. You will be hooked.