Elizabeth Miller | Feb 26, 2020

RootsTech 2020 Wednesday in Review: Celebrating 10 Years

Stop—It’s Party Time!

Day one of RootsTech 2020 hit the ground running with classes beginning bright and early at 8:00 a.m. The day continued with an inspiring keynote from FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood and concluded with a preview of the expo hall in the evening. The theme of the day was celebration! Together we celebrated the story of YOU and 10 years of RootsTech!

General Session

The general session kicked off in style with a look back at our last 10 years together. New RootsTech emcees Jonathan Wing and Whitney Peterson took us through the history of RootsTech: our humble beginnings in 2011; DNA and classes; our growing RootsTech family; amazing keynote speakers like LeVar Burton and Laura Bush; and incredible sponsors like Ancestry, MyHeritage, and more! FamilySearch’s CEO, Steve Rockwood, gave a keynote and summed up the excitement of this industry over the past 10 years. He said:

“The conference … grew significantly in size and scope to include those who wanted to learn how to grow their own trees—beginners, enthusiasts, home growers, and do-it-yourselfers. They included mothers and fathers, teenagers and children.

We welcome all of you and simply want to make sure that we create inspiring experiences for each of you as you discover, gather, and connect your families. Past, present, and future.”

What’s Happening Tomorrow on Thursday, February 27

The celebration of family continues tomorrow on Thursday, February 27, with adoption advocate Leigh Anne Tuohy taking the stage as keynote speaker. Tuohy and her family are the inspiration behind the Academy Award–winning movie The Blind Side. She is a New York Times bestselling author, with her most recent book, Turn Around: Reach Out, Give Back, and Get Moving, providing practical ideas to make a difference every day. She is also cofounder with her husband, Sean, of the charity Making It Happen Foundation. We are thrilled to hear her story on the RootsTech stage.

The general session begins tomorrow, Thursday, February 27, at 11:00 a.m. on the main stage.


Check-in is open tomorrow from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. You will be able to pick up your conference bag and badge. If your badge was mailed to you, remember to bring it with you! If you forget it, however, you can find help at any of the info desks or check-in.

Class Sessions

Classes begin tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., with sessions following at 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. You can find the schedule for classes on the RootsTech app or on the website here. In the classroom, you will have access to a variety of educational classes from top-notch speakers and leaders in their fields, from DNA to records and digitization. In the expo hall, for the first time ever, we will also have a classroom where you can learn even more! You can then go over to the Demo Theater and enjoy 15-minute presentations from industry leaders covering topics such as innovation and tech as well as access and preservation. Start your brain exercises because we’ve got some mind-blowing stuff in store!

Innovation and Tech Forum

The all-new Innovation and Tech forum happens tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Ruby room. Come see the latest innovations from companies throughout the industry and see what’s on the horizon. You’ll also have the opportunity to share your feedback and ideas with these organizations about their innovations. The event will be hosted by D. Joshua Taylor, with remarks from Clark Gilbert and Steve Rockwood.

Expo Hall

The expo hall opens tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 7:00 p.m. Plan your time wisely to visit all of the amazing exhibitors! You will have the chance to talk with representatives ranging from industry leaders to new companies just entering the market.

Download the RootsTech App

The RootsTech app will help you make the most of your RootsTech 2020 conference experience. You can use the app to build a personalized agenda, find information about speakers and vendors, and download class syllabi. You can also use the app to find things to do in Salt Lake City while you aren’t at the conference. If you don’t already have the app installed on your device, you can download it for iOS here and for Android here.

Did Someone Say RootsTech London?

Yes. Yes, they did. Someone said it. In fact, lots of someones! We were absolutely overwhelmed by the incredible attendance and experience at RootsTech London, and we cannot wait to do it again! Registration for RootsTech London is now open. You can register and take advantage of early-bird pricing here!

Elizabeth Miller

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