A major conference will be held next week in Salt Lake City:
RootsTech. Last year's event attracted more than 4,000 attendees. This
is believed to be the biggest genealogy conference of the year in North
America. This year's event, to be held March 21 through 23, should
attract even more attendees, probably 5,000 or more.
If you have been RootsTech before, you might be even more impressed with this year's event. Even more has been added, including a new Getting Started track and Developer Day, even more classes and workshops, and a 40% bigger Expo Hall. There will be more than 250 informative sessions and interactive workshops!
The RootsTech conference is designed to bring technologists together with genealogists so that they can learn from each other and find solutions to the challenges they face in family history research today. Unlike most other genealogy conferences, all the presentations and most of the vendors at RootsTech focus on technology in some form or other. You will be able to attend lectures on genealogy uses of the cloud, open-source software, FamilySearch APIs, peer-to-peer networks, genealogy applications on social networking services, genealogy applications on handheld computers and "smartphones," digitized charts and graphs, mashups, voice recognition applications, crowdsourcing cemetery data, digital mapping, DNA, new developments involving GEDCOM, and more. There are more than 250 sessions planned for the three days. Attendees will learn from hands-on workshops and interactive presentations at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level. After attending last year's event, I can verify that no one should be discouraged from attending RootsTech because "it might be too advanced." Indeed, non-techies can learn a lot at RootsTech!
RootsTech will be held March 21 through 23, in the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. This huge venue is a short walk from the Family History Library. You can attend sessions all day and then go to the Family History Library in the evening to do research. The Library will be open extra hours during the conference in order to better accommodate attendees.
The Salt Palace is an excellent place to hold a conference of this type. First, it is huge. In fact, it could accommodate an event many times the size of RootsTech. In addition, the Salt Palace has all the latest audio-visual facilities and also complies with ADA requirements. Provisions include handicapped ramp access, handicapped restroom facilities, phones, and even fire alarms for the hearing impaired. If you will require assistance moving about during the conference, please contact the Salt Palace directly at 385-468-2222.
This year's conference includes no less than FOUR official conference hotels: Little America Hotel (new), Crystal Inn (new), Radisson (SOLD OUT), and the Salt Lake Plaza (SOLD OUT). The hotels will offer reduced rates and attractive benefits for conference attendees. You can learn more at http://www.rootstech.org/venue.
In past years I have stayed at hotels much further away and commuted daily on Salt Lake City's excellent light rail system, called TRAX. One TRAX station is conveniently located at the Salt Palace, making it easy to travel to locations throughout the city. Riding the TRAX system in the downtown area is free of charge although you do have to pay fares to travel to more distant locations. I often stay at the Little America Hotel that is a couple of miles away and then ride the TRAX rail free of charge to the Salt Palace and to the Family History Library. You can learn more about TRAX at http://www.rideuta.com/mc/?page=RidingUTA.
However, this year I am at the Radisson, the closest hotel to the Salt Palace.
You can also find dozens of restaurants within walking distance of the conference location. A partial list can be found if you start at http://g.co/maps/2thky.
If you would like to learn more about the use of "technology in genealogy," I'd strongly urge you to attend RootsTech. You will learn more there in three days than at any other event I can think of.
I'll be there and hope to see you there also. If I am not wandering around in the Expo Hall or attending one of the presentations, I can probably be found in the MyHeritage booth. Stop by and say "Hello!" Even if I am not there, say "hello" to the other folks in the MyHeritage booth. They are a good group! MyHeritage is also one of the official sponsors of RootsTech 2013.
You can read more at http://www.rootstech.org.
I'll also mention that there will be a special dinner for readers of this newsletter, to be held shortly after RootsTech closes on Saturday afternoon. This is not an official RootsTech event. Instead, it is sponsored by myself; I simply take advantage of the fact that so many newsletter readers are in Salt Lake City at the time. I'll write about that event in a separate article.