Elizabeth Miller | Oct 10, 2019

The RootsTech London 2019 Survival Guide

The RootsTech London 2019 Survival Guide

The first ever RootsTech London is only days away. RootsTech London takes place October 24–26, 2019, at the ExCeL London. The app is out, the classes are up, and the forecast is cloudy, which means it’s time to find your umbrella and fan charts and get last minute preparations underway!

At RootsTech London you will have access to a thriving genealogy community, the newest innovations in technology in the Exhibition Hall, instructive classes, and inspiring keynote speakers. As it will be the first time for this conference in London, we’ve prepared a few tips and tricks to making the most of your time.

Don’t Forget Your Badge!

We’re trying out something new for RootsTech London with RootsTech badges. For the first time ever, you will be able to print your badges at home! We’ll outline the process for you below:

  1. First, you will receive your badge via email in early October (approx. two weeks before the event).
  2. Attached to that email, you will find your badge. Please print your badge at home. If possible, please print in color.
    If you cannot print at home or forget to print your badge, we will have printers onsite. You will be well taken care of.
  3. Your badge is non-transferable. If you print your badge more than once, please bring the most recent printout. Older printouts will not be valid.
  4. After you bring your badge to the ExCeL London, we will provide you with a plastic cover for your paper badge as well as a lanyard. Please wear your lanyard at all times during the conference.

Download the RootsTech London App

The RootsTech London app is your one-stop shop for useful tools to manage your time at RootsTech. You can use the app to build your own personalized schedule; find information about speakers, classes, and vendors; and stay up to date with RootsTech chatter on social media.

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

  1. Open the RootsTech app.
  2. Tap the Settings icon in the top right corner.
  3. Tap Exit to Conference List.
  4. Tap on the RootsTech London 2019 tab.
  5. Install the RootsTech London 2019 content.
  6. Tap Open.

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 to discover eight ways the mobile app will enhance your RootsTech experience.

What to Wear

October in London will be chilly, overcast, and very possibly wet. The week of RootsTech London looks to have a high of 14˚C (58˚F) and a low of 3˚C (37˚F). As you pack, remember to bring both your warm clothes and your rain clothes. We will have a coat check available at the ExCeL London, but there will be no lockers to store personal items. Coat check will be £1 per item per attendee. If you bring personal items to the conference, please keep them with you at all times.

How to Get to the ExCeL

You have many options to get around London. You can access the ExCeL London via public transportation, using the DLR Prince Regent stop, or via taxi or car.

By Car: Please use E16 1DR if you are using a sat nav system for events that use the west entrance of the venue. For the east entrance (closest to Prince Regent DLR station) use E16 1FR. You will have access to parking at the ExCeL London. Parking costs £20 for up to 24 hours. You can learn more about parking information and pre-booking your space here.

By DLR: Please alight at Prince Regent DLR station. RootsTech London will be taking place in the east of the venue.

By Plane: The nearest airport is London City Airport (5 minutes by car from the venue).

Emirates Airline: All exhibitors and visitors to events at ExCeL can use the cable car for just £2.50 single fare. To redeem this exclusive discount, all you need to do is show a confirmation email, ticket, etc.—something that indicates that you are attending an ExCeL event—to the staff at the Emirates Airline terminals. You can find more information here.

We will also be sharing the ExCeL London with our lovely neighbors at MCM Comic Con London. They are expecting thousands of attendees, which will make the venue quite busy. Please plan your travel accordingly.

For more information and travel advice please visit here.

Be sure to check out our blog post highlighting tools to help you get around London.

At the ExCeL London you will have access to Wi-Fi and a water station at the west entrance, as well as:

  • Family Room: The family room can be found by hall entrance S9. Inside there are changing stations, a microwave, and a bottle warmer. There is also an accessible toilet.
  • Prayer Room: The prayer room can be accessed through the gray door next to the S9 entrance on the boulevard.
  • Business Centre: There is a shop on level 0 at the bottom of the stairs near N4/S4 that sells a range of stationery items and can also do photocopying and faxing. This shop has its own Bureau de Change.

Week at a Glance

Check-in for RootsTech London will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Check-in will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Don’t forget to print your badges at home. If you're unable to print at home, there will be helpful staff onsite at the ExCeL to help you get your badge.

Class sessions will take place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 9:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. and will end with a final class hour at 4:30 p.m. If you would like to plan your time and class schedule beforehand, you can create your own personal schedule on the RootsTech app.

On Friday, October 25 at 6:00 p.m., RootsTech London will host a special music event featuring Tre Amici.

General sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will begin on the main stage at 11:00 a.m. You will have time to attend classes or check out the Exhibition Hall before the general keynote begins each morning. You won’t want to miss these speakers! TV personality and popular historian Dan Snow will take to the stage on Thursday, October 24. Paralympian and world champion Kadeena Cox and FamilySearch CEO, Steve Rockwood, will share their messages on Friday, October 25. On Saturday, October 26, music phenomenon Donny Osmond will be the final keynote speaker. The general session will last for approximately 60 minutes and will lead directly into the lunch hour.


Who doesn’t love a good story? That’s what we find in our genealogical journeys, the stories of our family. At RootsTech London 2019 you will have access to incredible stories from the likes of world-renowned entertainer Donny Osmond, Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox, and historian and BAFTA-winner Dan Snow, with Who Do You Think You Are’s Nick Barratt as emcee.

See all speakers here.

Exhibition Hall

The Exhibition Hall is a dynamic space where you can discover new technologies and solutions; watch demonstrations; and engage in conversation with exhibitors, sponsors, and the latest innovators in the genealogy industry. Along with numerous exhibitors, the Exhibition Hall also hosts:

  • Trace.com Coaches’ Corner. Joining us at the inaugural RootsTech London, the Trace.com Coaches’ Corner offers one-on-one mentoring from an expert genealogist. If you’ve hit a brick wall in your family tree, this is the place to be. Bring your biggest challenges and roadblocks and see what some personalized help from an expert genealogist can do for your family tree. Sign up for your one-on-one time slot here.
  • DNA Basics. If you’ve done your own DNA test and are wondering what to do now with the information you have, DNA Basics, hosted by FamilySearch, is your one-stop shop for learning the ins and outs of all the possibilities open to you now that your DNA results are part of your family history journey.

The Exhibition Hall will be open during the following hours:

  • Thursday, October 24, 9:45 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, October 25, 9:45 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 26, 9:45 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Demo Theatre

Do you have an insatiable curiosity, and are you keen to learn the newest in genealogy products, technologies, and services? If so, then the Demo Theater is the place to be to enjoy demonstrations from RootsTech sponsors and exhibitors. These 15-minute demos will be scheduled daily during Exhibition Hall hours.


RootsTech London is about more than classes and an enormous exhibition hall and incredible keynotes—it is about celebrating you and your family and connecting with new family and friends who are also on this journey of discovery. One thing that connects us, not only to each other but to past generations as well, is music. Friday, October 25 at 6:00 p.m., RootsTech London will host a special musical performance from Tre Amici. These talented musicians have performed for The Queen’s Charity (Not Forgotten Association) and will favor us with a number of classical pieces.

This event is included in your ticket price.

You can find out more about this event here.

Food Options and Escape Room

London, with its variety of restaurants, is a great adventure for any foodie. There are wonderful options throughout the city. The ExCeL London offers a wide variety of on-site food options, including gluten free and vegan options. You can check them out here.

Your ticket to RootsTech London also affords you a special discount to the ExCeL London’s escape room, Locked in a Room. Just show your RootsTech London pass to receive a special discount of 15% off. You can learn more about Locked in a Room here.

Wheelchair Rental at the ExCeL London

The ExCeL London offers wheelchair rental to any in need. You can find wheelchairs at either of the main entrances on the ends of the building. The wheelchairs are available on a first come first served basis. You can learn more here.

Local Attractions

London is an excellent city for exploration, food, history, and diving into a wonderfully diverse mix of cultures. If you’re looking for things to do with your free time while in London, the list is endless. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Connect with your cousins at RootsTech!

While onsite at RootsTech, you’ll be able to use the FamilySearch Family Tree mobile app to see if you’re related to others at the conference—something we call Relatives at RootsTech. Here’s how it works:

  1. Before the conference, download or update the latest version of the Family Tree app. Available for iOS here and for Android here.
  2. Allow the app to use Location Services by clicking Yes when prompted or in the OS settings.
  3. When you arrive at RootsTech, launch the Family Tree app from inside the ExCeL. 
  4. Tap the ruby colored Relatives at RootsTech option at the top, and follow the prompts to opt in. 
  5. Discover your cousins at the conference.

Elizabeth Miller

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