alvie's genealogy spot

Friday, February 11, 2011

Rootstech in Salt Lake City 2011

It was a very exciting and anticipatory time while making my way to the opening of this first Rootstech Conference. The crowd began to push and gather around the doors for the opening of the intro speakers. Some commented that it was almost like the push to join a rock concert hoping to find a great seat.

The auditorium was very colorful and filled with four gigantic screens - two on each side of the speakers podium. There were many guesses about the number of attendees ranging from 2,000 to 3,000. Since I am not good at this sort of thing I will leave it up to others. I got my seat near the front and directly in front of one of the huge screens.

The two opening speakers were introduced by Ann L. Roach, AG, CG, the chair of the 2011 Rootstech Conference. Ann gave a very rousing welcome when she introduced Shane Robison who represented Hewlett Packard and Jay Verkler, CEO of Family Search International. Both speakers were assisted by spectacular video presentations which showed the foundation of the future of electronic genealogy.

When the opening session was concluded everyone bolted into the expo hall where they were greeted by a vendor area unrivaled by any genealogy conference in the past. Vendors such as Dell, Ancestry, Hewlett-Packard, and FamilySearch greeted the attendees with well staffed booths.

I got my first hour of browsing all the vendors and the display area. While I was walking in the area of the very large media booth I was greeted by Lisa Louise Cooke producer of "GenealogyGems.Com". I had never met Lisa in person but had been interviewed for her podcast via Skype several months ago. She immediately asked if I she could do a video interview for a later premium program. Of course, I agreed. The videographer positioned us inside a large clear booth which kept out the noise of the area. Lisa conducted about a 10 minute interview on camera and when it ended I dashed off to attend some of the presenters at the conference.

While passing through the vendor floor I met with Matt Wright, editor of the APG Quarterly. As we chatted the president of APG, Laura Prescott, stopped by and greeted us. At the time she asked to take our picture. A great job was done by her expertise on the IPhone Camera.

As the day ended everyone moved to the free offering of a "Night at the Planetarium" at the nearby Clark Planetarium. One of the Rootstech sponsors, BrightSolid, provided this along with an endless supply of food and drink. We got to see a 3D IMAX movie about the rescue of the Hubble Telescope and a laser light show. By this time everyone was tired and ready for a good nights rest.

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