Tyler S. Stahle | Dec 21, 2016

A Survival Guide to RootsTech 2017

RootsTech 2017 is just around the corner! With thrilling keynote speakers, inspiring classes, and hundreds of exhibitors, the RootsTech conference is truly a can’t-miss event for anyone interested in storytelling and family history.

RootsTech 2017 is just around the corner! With thrilling keynote speakers, inspiring classes, and hundreds of exhibitors, the RootsTech conference is truly a can’t-miss event for anyone interested in storytelling and family history.

Whether it’s your first time to RootsTech or you’re a conference regular, you want to be as prepared as possible so that you can get the most out of the four-day event. Consider the following as you begin your conference prep:

The Official RootsTech App

The RootsTech 2017 app was recently made available for download from the App Store and the Google Play Store. Installing the app on your phone and tablet is an important part of making the most of your RootsTech experience.

After downloading and installing the app, sign in with your RootsTech user ID and password. From there you can do the following:

  • Create a personalized class schedule. Browse an extensive list of workshops, classes, and activities happening at the conference. Choose the events that appeal to you and add them to your conference calendar.
  • Find speaker and class information. Looking to find a class taught by a specific speaker? You can view a comprehensive list of speakers and the sessions when they’ll be presenting.
  • Connect on social media. Follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook, see what @RootsTechConf (the official RootsTech Twitter account) is tweeting, and read the latest posts from the official bloggers at the conference. Be sure to keep an eye out for special giveaways!
  • Find your way around town. If you’re attending the conference for the first time and are worried about getting lost in the Salt Lake City area, take advantage of the Maps section. This tool provides you with the exact location of the Salt Palace Convention Center as well as phone and fax numbers for your convenience.

Technology

A laptop, tablet, or smartphone is essential for most conference attendees. You can use your phone or tablet to take notes, interact on social media, and document your RootsTech experience. Many of the classes you’ll attend will explore popular family history apps or websites that you can quickly test out if you’ve got your device handy.

It’s also a good idea to bring your laptop or tablet charger. While there is a charging station in the Expo Hall where you can sit and charge your device, many people have found it useful to bring their own charger that they can use on the go or while they’re attending a class.

The Salt Palace offers free Wi-Fi for attendees.

Warm Clothing

Salt Lake City in February is cold. Typically, average temperatures range anywhere from 25°F to 44°F—and snow isn’t uncommon. As you do your packing, remember to include these items:

  • Coats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Hat

Walking Shoes

The Salt Palace Convention Center is a gigantic building. Although you won’t be spending all day on your feet, most conference attendees recommend bringing a good pair of walking shoes for the time you’ll spend in the Expo Hall. This year, more than 200 exhibitors will be on hand, and as you walk booth to booth you’ll want to keep your feet as comfortable as possible.

In the Expo Hall you’ll also find a game area, a demo theater, a Family Discovery Zone and the Innovation Alley where you can explore the latest tech tools available to genealogists.

Events

RootsTech is more than just classes and keynote speaker sessions. There’s also a host of entertainment and networking events for you to enjoy!

Kick off your conference experience by enjoying an evening of music at the beautiful Conference Center at Temple Square on Thursday, February 9th at 8:00 p.m. You’ll hear the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square perform with featured guest Oscar Andy Hammerstein III.

If you’re passionate about the intersection of technology and genealogy don’t miss out on Friday’s Innovator Summit events. You can also attend the popular Innovator Showdown, a Shark-Tank-like event where 6 of 12 semi-finalist companies will be given a chance to present their product and have a shot at earning $100,000 in cash.

Finally, don’t miss the annual Cultural Celebration on Friday evening; a special performance held in the demo theater of the Expo Hall which will feature Latin music and dancing, African drummers, Irish dancing, and free giveaways by sponsors and exhibitors.

Watch the highlights from RootsTech 2016 and register for the 2017 conference today!

Tyler S. Stahle

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