This week thousands of genealogists will be in Salt Lake City, Utah to attend RootsTech 2014. Now in its fourth year, RootsTech has come to be known as one of the largest family history conferences in North America. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend this year's conference on Feb. 6-8 at the Salt Palace Expo Center in Salt Lake City. This year’s event, which promises to be bigger and better than ever!
The RootsTech 2014 organizers are expanding its reach with something for everyone. There will be sessions geared to beginners, advanced researchers, innovators and developers. For those unable to attend in-person, RootsTech has announced that 15 of its popular sessions will be broadcast live and complimentary over the Internet. Interested viewers can watch the live presentations at RootsTech.org
The streamed sessions include a sampling of technology and family history presentations. Following are the broadcasted sessions and speakers. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST). Here is the list as announced on January 29, 2014.
Thursday, February 6
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Top 10 Things I Learned About My Family from My Couch by Tammy Hepps
1 p.m. to 2 p.m., FamilySearch Family Tree: What's New and What's Next by Ron Tanner
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Intro to DNA for Genealogists by James Rader
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Genealogy in the Cloud by Randy Hoffman
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sharing Your Family with Multimedia by Michael LeClerc
Friday, February 7
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Storytelling Super Powers: How to Come Off as Your Family's Genealogy Hero by David Adelman
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Tweets, Links, Pins, and Posts: Break Down Genealogical Brick Walls with Social Media by Lisa Alzo
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Getting the Most Out of Ancestry.com by Crista Cowen
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Finding Family and Ancestors Outside the USA with New Technologies by Daniel Horowitz
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Do It Yourself Photo Restoration by Ancestry Insider
Saturday, February 8
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Become an iPad Power User by Lisa Louise Cooke
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Information Overload: Managing Online Searches and Their Results by Josh Taylor
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., A Beginner's Guide to Going Paperless by Randy Whited
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., How to Interview Yourself for a Personal History by Tom Taylor
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Five Ways to Do Genealogy in Your Sleep by Deborah Gamble.
If you are planning to be in Salt Lake City, be sure to Download the app. RootsTech is offering all attendees a free mobile app (for iPhone, iPad, or Android devices) that gives you access to conference information at your fingertips. You can use the app to create a class schedule, find speaker information, learn about the vendors/exhibitors, connect with other attendees, or Tweet about your favorite RootsTech discoveries. If you don’t have a compatible device you can use the web app. Learn more here.
Now, build your schedule. This year’s conference will feature over 200 sessions to choose from, including more advanced and technology-based classes, and computer labs. Be aware that sessions get really crowded. Even though the organizers have planned for a bigger venue with easier access, larger classrooms, it’s likely your chosen sessions could fill up fast. So, it is good to have a “game plan” for those sessions you wish to attend and arrive early!!! Seating in computer labs is limited and requires a specific registration. Click here to see the schedule and availability.
In addition, to the Innovator Summit on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, there are some other special events:
Thursday Morning General Session (Keynote)
Annelies van den Belt—CEO of DC Thomson Family History (formerly Brightsolid), host of over 1.8 billion genealogical records across a family of online brands, including Findmypast and Genes Reunited.
Friday Morning General Session
Dr. Spencer Wells—Director of the Genographic Project—a partnership between IBM, the Waitt Family Foundation, and National Geographic to capture a genetic snapshot of humanity.
Judy G. Russell—a certified genealogist with a law degree who enjoys helping others understand the interplay between genealogy and the law. She blogs and maintains The Legal Genealogist website.
Friday Session GS1114 (10:30 AM) - “Storytelling Superpowers: How to Come Off as Your Family’s Genealogy Hero” presented by ReelGenie CEO David Adelman.
Saturday General Session
Stephanie Nielson—Author of the popular NieNie Dialogues blog, and the book, Heaven Is Here (published in 2012).
Todd Hansen—Emmy-award winning host of The Story Trek, a series that consists of random door-to-door interviews of normal people revealing their stories.
Free Opening Night Social with a cappella singing group Vocal Point. All attendees will get a ticket to attend. Also, bring a guest for a great date night! A light dessert buffet starts at 6:00 p.m., with the music taking center stage at 6:30 p.m.
Friday Night at the Library. Enjoy extended hours at the world renowned Family History Library on Friday, February 7th from 6:00–10:00 p.m. Pizza will be served from 6:00–8:00 p.m. This is a free RootsTech event for registered RootsTech attendees and a guest; tickets are required. To attend, be sure to add Friday Night at the Library during registration.
Family Discovery Day, Saturday, February 8th. New to the conference this year, and it's free to attend. Attendees to the Family Discovery Day should prepare themselves for a highly charged day full of activities with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and great events with Elder Neil L. Andersen, of the Quorum of the Twelve; Elder Allan F. Packer and Elder Brad D. Foster of the Seventy; and Heidi Swinton, author of "To the Rescue," LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson's biography. John Bytheway is also on the list of inspirational speakers. All these are scheduled to speak on strengthening the family.
For all the latest updates, developments and genealogy news from the conference, be sure to check RootsTech.org