I arrived late this afternoon in Salt Lake City for my second RootsTech conference. I attended my first back in 2016. It’s an abbreviated RootsTech for me this year, starting with arriving on the first day, rather than the day before. The first difference I noticed was that I had no wait to check in, unlike two years ago when I arrived with the first wave and a big crowd. This year, sessions were already well under way.
I decided to break myself in to the conference with the general session this evening. It was, as always, interesting, and I enjoyed hearing from Steve Rockwood and the panelists. It’s interesting to let your imagination run wild with the potential innovations in family history. Virtual reality? Maybe.
I was on the fence about whether I could attend this year, so I arrived not fully prepared. No picture-taking, instagramming, blogging, facebooking, or tweeting from me at the session this evening because none of the devices that make such things possible was fully charged. So rather than go to the opening of the Expo Hall, I took the rest of the evening off to charge my devices, organize a schedule for tomorrow, build out my FamilySearch tree to see if I have any matches at the conference, and just generally rest from a long day of travel. With air travel somewhat daunting at the height of the flu season, for the first time ever I wore a mask on the plane. I’ve been foregoing it for the conference itself, at least so far.
Remembering the amount of walking I did last time, I also left all heels of any kind at home this year. Comfortable walking shoes only.
I was impressed with the civility and smarts of the attendees at my first RootsTech and so far that impression still holds … with a few minor exceptions. Come on, people. Please be polite to the people at the Information Desk and when the presenters are speaking. Please be the civil, friendly, warm crowd I know and love. As I said, it was a long and wearying day of travel from Texas. Maybe others were feeling the same.
I am looking forward to hearing from Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York) in the morning. He seems to have a talent for asking questions in a way that gets people to say interesting things … and I would like to be better at interviewing people in that way for family histories. I have no idea what he’ll speak about, but it should be interesting. One of the things I love about RootsTech is that, in addition to offering plenty of sessions on DNA and record-searching, they also celebrate the storytelling part of family history.
It’s good to be back among the family history people, with cool, crisp air and snowy mountains for a backdrop. I’m hoping for a productive couple of days.