Tyler Stahle | Feb 28, 2018

RootsTech Day in Review: Innovation in the Family History Industry


RootsTech 2018 kicked off today as thousands of people packed the Salt Palace Convention Center to celebrate family history and family connections.

General Session


“While the sciences and technology are great enablers, it’s the powerful human emotions that make this all so engaging.”

Wednesday’s general session was keynoted by popular speaker Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International. Rockwood spoke about the importance of gathering records, connecting, and belonging.

“What if before every political race and sporting event, the opponents found out how they were related before the opening debate, kick-off, tip-off or face-off? You might have noticed how family history and common heritage influenced the tone of the Winter Olympics this year.  It was incredible! And why? Because when we connect and belong to each other, we treat each other differently.”

Innovation Showcase


The all-new Innovation Showcase, hosted by Scott Fisher, made its debut on the RootsTech stage and left attendees both excited and motivated. This insightful, fast paced session analyzed the innovations made in DNA, records, and memories over the past several years and offered forecasts for the future of the genealogy industry. Notable experts such as Curt Witcher, Judy Russell, David Rencher joined the Showcase as panelists and offered their unique perspectives on the future of records. DNA panelists included Ran Snir, Jim Brewster, David Nicholson, Robin Smith and Sarah South. Brewster Kahle served as the panelist for the digital memories segment. Each of these panelists shared their unique expertise and made bold predictions for the future of the family history world.

Expo Hall Preview Night


The Expo Hall opened for two hours following Wednesday’s general session, and the excitement and energy was apparent! Thousands of attendees packed the hall to meet with exhibitors, test out the latest products, and network with fellow attendees.

What’s Happening Tomorrow

Thursday’s general session begins at 8:30 a.m. MST. Brandon Stanton, founder of the popular Humans of New York photoblog, will be the featured keynote speaker. Stanton has an inspiring message of the importance of individual and family stories you won’t want to miss. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m.


If you haven’t already, be sure to check-in and receive your conference badge and other materials. Check-in is located in the south foyer.

Thursday’s check-in hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Daily breakout sessions are offered at 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. View the full schedule on our website or in our mobile app.

Expo Hall

The Expo Hall will be open tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. MST.

Opening Event


Don’t miss the opening event happening on the main stage at 6:00 p.m. The opening event will feature vignettes of 1940s era dance, music, and narration to celebrate the greatest generation. Enjoy entertainment from the BYU Ballroom Dance Company and Synthesis, a jazz band ensemble from BYU. The event will be narrated by the Emmy award-winning Bruce Lindsay.

Download the RootsTech Mobile App

Make the most of your conference experience by downloading the official conference app. The app allows you to build your personalized agenda, download session syllabi, and even find your way around the Salt Palace. Download for iOS here. Download for Android here.

Tyler Stahle

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