Top 7 Insider Tips & Secrets to Survive and Thrive at Rootstech

Top 7 Insider Tips & Secrets to Survive and Thrive at Rootstech

Top 7 Insider Tips and Secrets to Rootstech

Rootstech is the BIGGEST Family History Conference of its kind in the World. Officials are estimating attendance to Rootstech being held in Salt Lake City, Utah next week to be around 25,000 – with more 50,000 tuning in from around the world with live-streaming sessions.

There is so much to see, with keynote headliners like Olympic Gold Medal Skater and sports commentator Scott Hamilton, PBS series’ Finding Your Roots host Henry Louis Gates Jr., Social Media’s Humans of New York Brandon Stanton and Mexican pop-rock singer, Natalia Lafourcade are all set to light up the stage.

Over 300 classes and labs geared for everyone from very beginner (just-dipping-your-toes-in), to intermediate. More than 200 exhibitors with products that will be sure to delight any lovers of genealogy and family history.

With SO much going on, it is easy to get overwhelmed. I’ve attended every Rootstech conference from the beginning, I served for years as an official Rootstech Amabassador and this will be my 4th Rootstech as a presenter, along the way I’ve picked up some tips that will be sure to make your conference experience more enjoyable and successful. Secrets that I want to share with you!

My Top 7 Secrets to Survive and Thrive:

1. Download the Rootstech App

The Rootstech app is available for download at the App Store and Google Play Store. Having the app will help you plan, navigate using the maps and keep track of all events that are going on. Check it often through out the conference to keep ahead of any changes to rooms, etc.

Get the free RootsTech app today!

2. Plan Your Class Schedule in Advance

Use the app to plan out what classes you wish to attend and download the handouts to your mobile device ahead of time as internet at the Salt Palace is often slow or unavailable. The app allows you to take notes right from your phone, or you can download and print the class syllabus ahead of time to take with you to class. Be prepared to take notes. Unless a presenter has specifically given you permission to take photos/videos of their slides, you may not do so. Not only is it rude, it is copyright infringement, so be prepared ahead of time, look at their handouts, much of the information that you may want has already been written down for you. I download the handouts to my mobile device and I also send it to Evernote, so I keep track of it for later reading and reference.

The Rootstech app not only has class descriptions, but speaker information as well. After attending classes, be sure and rate the presentation in the app. FamilySearch pays close attention to these ratings, so if you like the speaker, please be generous and rate their class, especially if you attend my presentations. *wink*wink*

3. Get to Classes Early

Many classes will fill up quickly, so if there is a class high on your list, be sure and get their early. Also, to make your check-in process is faster and easier, Rootstech is emailing all registered attendees the QR code, so you just scan and go! So look in your email box on Sunday for the QR code (it looks like weird puzzle pieces in a box).

4. Make Vendor Wish List

Check out the exhibitor list on the app. I look at their company’s website and search their products ahead of time and make my wish list before I go. With my wish list in hand, I go to the vendor’s booth and peruse the pages of books, test drive software and tinker with tech. It is a great opportunity to ask questions of developers and authors.

Plus, the sales at Rootstech are always great! Not only do you save money on the original price, but you save postage. Bargains are to be had at Rootstech, so come prepared!

5. Dress Comfortably

The Salt Palace venue is HUGE and walking to classes and vendor booths will wear you out quickly if you are not prepared. Dress in layers. The exhibit hall with all those warm bodies heats up quickly. There is a place to check your coat when you arrive, so you can shed the parka and not have to carry it around. Wear comfortable shoes, you’ll thank me later!

Don’t carry more than you have to. A backpack or a roller-bag is always a good idea. If you are from out of state, be sure and drink LOTS of water to help you adjust to the change in altitude.

6. Make a Follow Up and Action List

I come away from Rootstech inspired and motivated. I keep a running list of ideas, information for me to act on and things that I want to follow up with when the conference is over. There is so much going on that it is easy to forget if you don’t write it down. I keep a notebook just for this purpose.

7. Talk to People!

Some people call it networking, but that can often seem like it has an ulterior motive. I say just talk to your fellow attendees, talk to the vendors, talk to the speakers. I have often learned more in the hallways and in the exhibitor hall than I have in classrooms by just talking to the people around me. A little shy? Use the apps Social Media capabilities to follow what is being discussed online. I am always sharing all the cool things I find at Rootstech, so please follow me by clicking on my social media buttons at the top and I will keep you in the loop!

The app also allows you to connect with friends and other attendees. So get outside your box and talk to people. Seriously, the nicest people attend Rootstech and I look forward to seeing you. If you see me, come up and say “Hi”, I promise to say hi back.

Bonus News!

New to the this year, you can connect with your distant cousins who are also attending Rootstech by joining Relatives at Rootstech. You can read about it here!

See ya there!



  1. Thanks. This will be my first time attending. While I have been to the FHL twice, it was not during a big event.

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