#RootsTech presents a veritable gold mine of content for bloggers, vloggers, microbloggers, and podcasters. To get the most out of the whirlwind days, it’s best to have a plan.
Know Before You Go
With so much to experience, you’ll want to do some research up-front so you have more time to absorb the events around you. Download the RootsTech app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, read up on the keynote speakers, and examine vendor information.
New this Year: #Rootstech Official Logo for GeneaBloggersTRIBE Members
RootsTech’s sponsor, FamilySearch, is well aware that online content providers contribute to the family history community’s excitement about #RootsTech. Once again, FamilySearch has provided an official Rootstech logo for GeneaBloggers to use in their coverage of #RootsTech. (See image on left) You can right click and copy the image here or download it from the FILES section of the GeneaBloggersTRIBE Facebook group.
Reach out to other GeneaBloggers
Identify yourself! Wear your blogging beads from any previous #RootsTech so we can identify each other on sight.
Pat Richley-Erikson (aka DearMYRTLE) is kindly offering blogging beads for first-timers again this year. You can also hunt down Laura Hedgecock or Elizabeth O’Neal to ask them about a ribbon to hang from your name tag. There will be a special one for our new Premium Membership. (#Watchthispace for the BIG announcement.)
Request to join the Genealogy Bloggers at RootsTech Facebook group, administrated by Heather Wilkinson Rojo. Heather has some easy-to-follow instructions for membership pinned to the top of the group page. Like the GeneaBloggersTRIBE Facebook group, you’ll have to answer a couple of questions. Watch the group’s feed for announcements of informal meetups.
Dear Myrtle has also shared some informal pre-RootsTech happenings in her DearMYRTLE’s RootsTech 2019 SLC Plans post. If you’re in town early, you’ll definitely want to join in. On Monday, Feb 25, many bloggers will be on the third floor of the Family History Library before the 10 am broadcast of Mondays with Myrt.
During the conference, don’t miss the GeneaBloggers photo op scheduled for Friday at 12:15 pm, by the Media Center in the Exhibit Hall. If you can’t make that one, there will be an alternative photo snapping session bright and early on Thursday at 7:30 am. You can meet Devon Lee near the Film Fest area.
If you’re still mulling over the types of posts you want to compose during RootsTech, Randy Seaver’s RootsTech 2018 Blog Compendium lists all the #RootsTech and #NotatRootsTech posts that went out last year. The range of topics include:
- Personal impressions
- Summaries and analyses of keynote speeches
- Interviews with speakers and other attendees
- Interviews with industry representatives and exhibitors
- Spotlights on technology impacting the family history and related industries
- Spotlights on family history issues or initiatives
- New and interesting techniques to promote genealogy to children
In addition to letting Randy know of your RootsTech posts, don’t miss the opportunity to join the RootsTech Round-up 2019 Blog Party. You can up to 10 posts to the link-up.
ProTip: RootsTech is a great opportunity to collect ideas for content you want to share later in the year. You don’t have to post it all during the conference.
Stay energized, or at least conscious, by drinking a lot of water. Salt Lake City sits at 4,226 feet (1,288 meters). The dry, winter air causes those of us from lower elevations to dehydrate much more quickly than we would at home.
Know your limits. As Jennie Fairs rightly points out “you cannot physically do everything!” Prioritize what you’ll take in and stay sane. Be sure to get regular meals, a good night’ sleep, and when you can, use the hotel gym.
Sensory overload becomes an understatement after a day or two at #RootsTech. Every now and then, take a few minutes to find a quiet place for a cup of tea, phone call home, or walk in the fresh air.
- Take copious notes. You won’t remember as much as you think you will. Bluetooth keyboards that sync with your phone or tablet are great for typing in your lap.
- Make friends with your neighbors during sessions and exchange business cards.
- The Salt Palace’s WiFi is quickly overwhelmed with the thousands of users trying to get online. Think about setting up a hotspot on your phone.
- Saturday, Family Discovery Day, the exhibit hall is packed. If you’re looking to interview exhibitors, try to catch up with them on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
- Read and heed ConferenceKeepers’ RootsTech Survival Guide – 12 Quick Tips.
- If you’re planning to broadcast from the Salt Palace’s Exhibit Hall, keep in mind that ambient noise is a dull roar Wednesday through Friday (Saturday is worse) as you decide what equipment to pack or whether you really need that noise-cancelling directional mic.
Covering #RootsTech from the Comfort of Your Home
Not everyone can get to Salt Lake City every year. Just because you’re not able to go this year doesn’t mean you’re totally sidelined. Reporting on the live-streamed events can keep your followers up to date. You can join in #notatrootstech conversations with other family historians who aren’t making the trip this year.
What tip would you give others about making the most out of your #RootsTech experience? What’s your best tip for integrating your #RootsTech experience with your editorial calendar?
Contributed by Laura Hedgecock and Elizabeth O’Neal, Last updated February 21, 2019.
© GeneaBloggersTRIBE 2018-2019
Thanks Laura for the idea on blogging about Rootstech. I love it when I see a picture of me with all my blogger mates. Fran
From Tessa Keough: Great post by Elizabeth and Laura – for those new to RootsTech my advice is (1) comfortable shoes because you will do lots of walking, (2) plan your day to include down time – attend some sessions, wander the Exhibit Hall, chat up new and old friends, get away from the conference and see something in SLC, (3) use your mobile to record your thoughts at the end of the day – much easier than writing when you are tired (when you go back to these you will find some gems to follow up on), and (4) realize you won’t get all your sessions in, and your research done, and all the connections you want to make made – moderation in all things (and plan to attend again). ENJOY the experience, don’t let it become a chore.
What are blogger beads??? Looking forward to this!
Blogger beads are necklaces–a little larger than Mardi Gras style beads.