RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is the largest family history conference in the North America. Whether you are just beginning your family tree search, an avid hobbyist, or an experienced researcher, RootsTech is the perfect conference to help you connect with your family—past, present, and future! The 2014 event will be held in Salt Lake City on February 6-8. This annual family history conference is a unique global event where people of all ages learn to discover and share their family stories and connections through technology.
Last year's event attracted more than 6,700 registered attendees from 49 U.S. states, six Canadian provinces, and 23 additional countries. In addition, 13,600+ views of live-streaming sessions were seen by genealogists all over the world on RootsTech.org. You can read my wrap-up report from last year's RootsTech conference at http://goo.gl/kyw5XJ.
RootsTech has something for everyone, from beginners to avid hobbyists, and experienced researchers. I'll be there also. RootsTech is one of my "do not miss" events. If you can be in Salt Lake City on February 6-8, I am sure you will enjoy attending this conference.
The conference will be held in the Salt Palace, a state-of-the-art convention center that has enough room to hold RootsTech and a lot more. The Salt Palace is within walking distance of the Family History Library, all the official convention hotels, and dozens of restaurants. The TRAX Light Rail also stops beside the Salt Palace.
You can ride the TRAX to many locations throughout the greater Salt Lake City area, including to the airport and even to Provo, about 45 miles away. You can see a map of the TRAX Light Rail coverage area at http://www.rideuta.com/mc/?page=uta-home-trax. TRAX is free in the downtown area but fees are charged for longer trips.
For anyone arriving at the airport, TRAX Light Rail trains may be boarded at the newly constructed “welcome center” that is directly adjacent to Terminal 1 — the Southwest Airlines Terminal — which is also an easy walk to terminal 2. The fee is $2.50 for a one-time, one-way trip. Information about discounted passes may be found at http://www.rideuta.com/mc/?page=RidingUTA-PayingYourFare-Fares.
You can see the full RootsTech schedule of classes at https://rootstech.org/schedule-info/session-viewer/, including the day, time, and room locations. Use the sort and search features to pick your favorite classes to attend.
The RootsTech 2014 Expo Hall features hundreds of technology and family history exhibitors for you to explore all in one fun, informative place! Stop by the Expo Hall to:
- Get a large printout of your family tree chart.
- Scan a family photo or book. (Make sure you bring that photo or book with you! You can watch as it is being digitized and the heirloom never leaves your sight.)
- Record your story.
- Get one-on-one help.
- See product demos.
A number of other events are planned during the conference, including:
- Thursday Night Opening Social Featuring Vocal Point, the cappella group from NBC’s The Sing-Off.
- Friday Night at the Library - Get in some personal research time at the world renowned Family History Library.
- Catered Lunches - Listen to industry experts while you enjoy a delicious catered lunch with other conference attendees.
A list of conference hotels may be found at https://rootstech.org/venue-hotel/. Two of the hotels are already sold out but others still have available rooms, as of this writing. I suspect they will fill up soon, however, so you might want to make your reservation soon.
Here is a hint: I often stay at the Little America Hotel at 500 South Main Street, Salt Lake City. It is not one of the conference hotels but offers pleasant rooms at prices that are usually cheaper than the official hotels. That hotel is quite a distance from the convention center but a free shuttle on the excellent TRAX Light Rail will pick you up in front of the hotel and drop you off a few minutes later beside the convention center. The result is that you probably will walk fewer steps than will those staying at some of the closer conference hotels, thanks to the TRAX Light Rail. Best of all, riding the TRAX Light Rail is FREE of charge between the Little America Hotel and the convention center.
Unlike most of the convention hotels, the Little America Hotel also offers FREE in-room wireless Internet access and FREE automobile parking. The same services at other hotels often add up to $25 a day or more. The Little America Hotel also has a very nice restaurant, a separate coffee shop and a sports bar. I don't see any vegan items on the menu, however. Darn!
Rooms at the Little America Hotel cost $89 and up per night, depending upon the size of the room and the number of guests sharing that room. When I just checked, the $89 per night rate was available for one person in a "Courtside Queen" room for Friday and Saturday evenings but higher rates were being charged for other nights. Those prices could change at any moment. More information about the Little America Hotel may be found at http://saltlake.littleamerica.com/.
You can find even more hotels in the area by starting first at http://goo.gl/maps/0YGTn.
If you are planning to attend, you probably will want to first download the RootsTech 2014 Mobile App for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. The app will:
- Create a class schedule.
- Find speaker information.
- Discover exhibitor details.
- Connect with other attendees.
- Tweet about your favorite RootsTech discoveries.
If you don’t have an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, you cam also use the web version of the app at https://registration.rootstech.org/2014/attendee/mobile/home.jsp.
You can watch videos of last year's RootsTech conference at https://rootstech.org/about/videos/. For more information about the 2014 event, go to https://rootstech.org.
See you at RootsTech!