Tyler Stahle | Feb 1, 2019

A Survival Guide to RootsTech 2019

RootsTech 2019, happening February 27March 2 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, is just around the corner! With thrilling keynote speakers, inspiring classes, and hundreds of exhibitors, RootsTech truly is a can’t-miss experience for anyone interested in family history and storytelling.

Whether it’s your first time at RootsTech or you’re a 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 preparation.

Don’t Forget Your Badge!


If you registered prior to January 15, live within the United States, and chose to have your badge mailed to you, it will be mailed the week of February 10th. Please bring your badge with you to the conference. Upon arriving at RootsTech, you’ll be able to pick up your conference bag, lanyard, and badge holder (available at many locations throughout the Salt Palace), and you’re good to go. If you lose or forget your badge, reprints will be available in Hall 4 for $5.

If you are an international attendee or if you registered for RootsTech after January 15, your badge will be available for pickup at the check-in area located in Hall 4. Follow the signs or ask conference staff how to find the check-in area. Check-in will be open during the following times:

  • Tuesday, February 26: Noon-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 27: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 28: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Friday, March 1: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 2: 6 a.m. - noon

Download the RootsTech App


The RootsTech app will help you make the most of your 2019 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 local restaurants and claim special discounts for various Salt Lake City restaurants.

If you already have the app on your device, you can access the 2019 content by following these steps:

  1. Open the RootsTech app.
  2. On the home screen's bottom-right corner, tap Exit to Show List.
  3. Refresh the app.
  4. Select RootsTech 2019 content.

If you don’t already have the app installed on your device, you can download it for iOS here and for Android here.

Read our blog post and discover 10 ways the mobile app will enhance your conference experience.

Watch the Road to RootsTech Video Series


This video series, hosted by members of the RootsTech planning team, is the best place to learn everything you need to know about the event. In these videos, you’ll find exclusive content addressing topics such as how the conference is planned, what you should expect at RootsTech 2019, and how to make the most of your experience.

Watch all episodes here.

RootsTech Begins on Wednesday


RootsTech officially kicks off on Wednesday, February 27. Class sessions will be offered at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. A free boxed lunch will be available for all attendees at noon on Wednesday. Boxed lunches will be available for pickup at many locations throughout the main concourse. Grab a lunch and enjoy some networking time with friends and colleagues. Seating will be available in the main stage area.

The general session and opening event will begin at 4:30 p.m. on the main stage. Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International, will be the keynote speaker. Entertainment will be provided by The Edge Effect, a world-renowned a capella group.

After the general session, the Expo Hall will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. MST. Enjoy uninterrupted time to meet exhibitors and test out the newest products.

General Sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Begin at 11 a.m.


General sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will begin on the main stage at 11 a.m. MST instead of 8:30 a.m., as in years past. This change is intended to give attendees more time to attend breakout sessions and have more hands-on learning experiences in the morning hours. The general session will last for approximately 60 minutes and will lead directly into the lunch hour.

Keynote Speakers


Keynote speakers at RootsTech 2019 include Emmy award–winning actress Patricia Heaton, world-famous ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro, and Saroo Brierley, author of the the #1 international-bestselling autobiography A Long Way Home.

See all speakers.

Power Hour Sessions

Breakout sessions are an important part of the RootsTech experience. In an effort to give attendees more opportunities to have classroom learning, we have added a fifth class session in the daily schedule. This new session will happen from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings and is referred to as “Power Hour.” Power Hour will feature three different presenters in each room who will teach about similar topics for 20 minutes each.

What to Wear

Salt Lake City in late February and early March is cold. Typically, temperatures range from 25 to 45 degrees, and snow isn’t uncommon. As you pack, remember to bring warm clothing such as coats, gloves, and hats. The Salt Palace offers an on-site coat check; however, there are no lockers to store personal items. If you bring personal items to the conference, please keep them with you at all times.

For more information on what to wear and what to bring to RootsTech, read this article.

Electric Scooter and Wheelchair Rental at the Salt Palace

The Salt Palace Business Center offers both electric mobility scooters and manual wheelchairs to assist conference attendees. If you would like to reserve a scooter or wheelchair, please fill out this form prior to the event. Please place your reservation as early as possible, as supplies are limited and we anticipate selling out.

Parking and Transportation

There are two convenient underground parking garages available at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Parking costs $12–$20 per day. There are several less-expensive parking lots in downtown Salt Lake City within easy walking distance. The parking lot just north of South Temple Street, between 200 West and 300 West, is available for a daily fee. Additional parking is available at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for $10 per day and at City Creek Center for an hourly rate. For more information on parking options in downtown Salt Lake City, visit https://www.parkingslc.com/.

Salt Lake City offers several transportation options, making your travel to, from, and through Salt Lake City convenient. Visit RideUTA.com for transportation options.

Food and Dining Options in Downtown Salt Lake City

There are a number of food vendors located throughout the Salt Palace where you will be able to purchase food. On-site dining options range from sandwiches and sodas to a variety of hot meals. If you would like more food choices, there are a number of restaurants located within a short walk of the Salt Palace.

Read this blog article and discover 12 eateries within walking distance of the conference.

Entertaining Events

RootsTech is more than just classes and a gigantic expo hall; it’s about celebrating your family heritage and connecting with friends and relatives. Here are a few special events you won’t want to miss!

Wednesday General Session and Opening Event | Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. | Main Stage

The opening event will take place during Wednesday’s general session with entertainment provided by The Edge Effect, a world-renowned a capella group. Come enjoy an a capella performance like you’ve never seen before! The striking beat and rich resonant tones of The Edge Effect will light up the stage during the opening event.

Friday Evening Event: Connecting through Music and Dance | Friday, 6–7 p.m. | Main Stage

Celebrate family connections through inspiring song and dance. This event features Derek Hough, professional ballroom dancer and choreographer, and the BYU Ballroom Dance team.

Expo Hall

The Expo Hall is the place to discover helpful solutions, watch demonstrations, and interact with innovative family history technology. In the Expo Hall, you’ll be exposed to more than 150 exhibitors from around the world. Along with an impressive number of vendors, the Expo Hall hosts a number of fun activities including:

  • Trace.com Coaches’ Corner. Back by popular demand, the Trace.com Coaches’ Corner is the place to go if you’re looking for one-on-one mentoring from an expert genealogist. Bring your biggest roadblocks or dead ends, and receive personalized help.
  • Heirloom Show and Tell. Have an antique, heirloom, or photo that you’d like an expert to look at? Now’s your chance! Bring in any small item or a photo of a large item you’ve been wondering about, and experts will tell you all about it.

The Expo Hall will be open during the following hours:

  • Wednesday, February 27: 6–8 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 28: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Friday, March 1: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 2: 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

Demo Theater

Are you curious about the newest family history products and services? Take a seat and listen to demonstrations by RootsTech sponsors and exhibitors! These 15-minute demos will be scheduled daily during Expo Hall hours.

Family History Library Hours

The Family History Library is offering extended hours during the week of RootsTech. Hours are as listed:

  • Monday, February 25: 8 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 26: 8 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 27: 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Thursday February 28: 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Friday, March 1: 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 2: 8 a.m.–9 p.m.

Local Attractions

Whether this is your first time visiting Salt Lake City or you’re a local simply wanting to explore more of the city’s offerings, there’s plenty to do in and around downtown Salt Lake City during the evenings or bookending your conference visit. Read this blog post to discover a variety of local attractions.

See you soon!

Tyler Stahle

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