Tuesday, February 27, 2018

RootsTech 2018 - T-1 day and counting

Today is the pre-RootsTech preperations. This is almost as tiring as the event itself. I was up at 3:00 am to get ready for the drive to Orlando International Airport. After an hour and a half drive we found that the road to the airport was packed. It took another 20 minutes just to get to the entrance doors for Delta. Then waiting in line to drop off my bag. I usually travel with just a carry-on, but this year I decided to bring a bigger bag since I will probably pick up lots of goodies while I am at the conference. Then half an hour later I finally made it through security. I arrived at my gate 10 minutes before boarding. At least the flight was uneventful. We even were able to arrive early (only 4 1/2 hour flight instead of 5 hours). One of the benefits of a long flight is the entertainment. I finally got to see Ninjago - you know, the new LEGO movie - and several episodes of Young Sheldon that I had missed.

Flying over the Rocky Mountains

After the flight, while I was outside waiting for my hotel shuttle, I ran into Tami Osmer Mize. Tami represents JoyFlips and is a RootsTech Ambassador this year. She is also one of our board members for the Second Life Virtual Genealogical Society (SLVGS), of which I am President this year.

RootsTech has been publicizing their early check-in so much that it appears that everyone decided to take advantage of it. They opened registration from noon until 6:00 pm so people could get it over with before the conference starts tomorrow. I got in line at 11:30, and as you can see below, there were a lot of people already there.

Early registration at 11:30, 30 minutes before registration begins.

One good thing about long lines is that it gives you the opportunity to talk to people. I was standing next to an older gentleman named Duane Whitney and we got to talking about various genealogy related items. I mentioned that RootsTech has a relative finder app which shows who out of all the conference attendees you are related to. The app can be found using the FamilySearch Family Tree app. Of course mine showed that I am not related to anybody. I have gotten used to that since I have never found any relatives on any of the apps. However, Duane had a long list of relatives, including one person that I recognized, Becky Jamison - they are 8th cousins. The registration line moved fairly quickly and after less than 30 minutes I was on my way with my goodie bag. But before leaving I decided to see how long the line was.

The early registration line about 12:30.

By this time, the early registration line filled the area near the entrance and continued down the hall, almost the entire length of the Salt Palace and the volunteers were informing people that it was about an hour and a half from the end to the registration kiosks.

One benefit of getting checked in early was that the first 4,000 people got a free gift. Some of them might not have known this and if they did know it, they may not have seen what it was. I believe that it was a USB drive with the full syllabus for the conference.

Tomorrow the big event begins and I will be volunteering as a room scanner. If you see me say hi.

By the way, if you aren't able to attend RootsTech in person this year, be sure to check out the livestreaming session schedule on their webpage.