RootsTech 2014— A Call for Papers

May 13, 2013  - by 

Presentation proposals for RootsTech 2014 will be accepted June 17­­—July 8, 2013, online at RootsTech is a family history and technology conference “where families connect.” The fourth annual conference will be held February 6-8, 2014, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will bring together the best in family history tools and technology to inspire attendees to discover and share their family’s connections and stories. RootsTech 2014 will reach thousands of attendees both on-site in Salt Lake City and at remote locations around the world.

Presentations should:

  • Be between 50 to 60 minutes in length, which includes a question-and-answer period.
  • Offer an interactive experience where attendees leave with a finished product, completed task, or next steps (what to do when I get home).
  • Avoid being text-based slides and lecture only.
  • Incorporate step-by-step, live demonstrations or best practices but not be infomercials.
  • Provide new and innovative ideas or solutions that are technology focused. (Please do not resubmit proposals from previous years.)

We welcome presentation proposals that provide new insight, innovation, skills, and best practices in the following categories and that are geared towards attendees at a specific skill level. The bullet points below are given as possible examples. Other topics related to family history and technology will also be considered.

Category Beginner Examples Intermediate Examples Advanced Examples
  • Simple searches and records
  • Basic online resources
  • Collaboration techniques
  • Living histories
  • Search tools and techniques
  • Specialized online tools
  • Optimizing websites and resources
  • Research techniques (e.g., maps)
  • Obscure resources and references
  • Evidence and source evaluation
  • Simple solutions for paper and digital files
  • Sources documentation
  • Digital file management
  • Metadata
  • Research logs and tools
  • Syncing across devices
  • Apps, software, and tools
  • Family trees
  • Timelines
  • Recording devices and tools
  • Backing up data
  • Audio and video solutions
  • Digital migration
  • Social media tools
  • Cloud computing
  • Simple collaboration (1-1)
  • Electronic publications
  • Print publications
  • Tools for collaboration
  • Public sharing options
  • Creating wikis
  • Community, crowd-sourcing
  • Simple storytelling techniques
  • Story prompts and interview techniques
  • Recording or writing stories
  • Apps and tools for story capture
  • Book creation
  • Traditional and e-publishing
  • Digital photos, tagging
  • Enhancing stories with photos
  • Photo restoration
  • Editing tools
  • Movies and presentations
  • Photo enhancement
  • Introduction to family history technology for someone with limited computer experience
  • Gadgets and technology tools
  • Genetic research, DNA
  • Advanced product features
  • Technology to help break down research walls
General General family history topics can span all skill levels, topics, and interests as they relate to family history and the industry, including market trends and analytics.
Developer Developer topics can include the following:
  • GPS and geo-mapping ancestral locations
  • Applications for mobile devices
  • Social applications
  • Standards and APIs
  • Records imaging and tree visualization
  • Gamification experiences
  • Cloud-based solutions for saving, accessing, and sharing data


Types of Sessions

  1. Presentations: A classroom setting that engages participants.
  2. Panels or Discussions: Formal panel of experts discussing specific topics, led by a facilitator.
  3. Hands-on Workshops: Computer labs where attendees have hands-on experiences in a specific task or objective.
  4. Online Webinars: A new approach being considered for 2014 where the speaker presents from a remote location, not in Salt Lake City, or the presenter streams the presentation from Salt Lake City to a wider audience through a webinar or online hangout site.

Submission Information

To be considered, proposals must include the following:

  • Speaker name, address, telephone, and email address
  • Presentation title (not to exceed 15 words)
  • Short presentation summary (not to exceed 40 words)
  • Long presentation description (not to exceed 100 words)
  • Category and skill level (from chart above)
  • Session type
  • Speaker bio (not to exceed 25 words)
  • Speaker photo (high resolution, approximately 300 dpi, in one of the following formats: .jpg, .eps or .png file)
  • Resume of recent presentation topics and event locations
  • Whether you approve the content of the presentation to be recorded and shared online

Presentation proposals will be accepted online at from June 17—July 8, 2013. Due to the volume of presentation proposals we receive, please submit no more than five proposals per speaker. Limited, late-breaking technology submissions will be accepted, upon approval, until October 1, 2013.

Speakers selected to present at RootsTech 2014 will be notified by August 2, 2013. Syllabus materials (PDF file) for selected presentations will be due by November 1, 2013. Speakers who don’t submit syllabus materials on time may be removed from the schedule.

Presenters participating in RootsTech 2014 will receive a complimentary conference registration and access to all syllabus materials. Out-of-state speakers selected to present three or more presentations will also receive hotel accommodations. There is no monetary compensation for presenting at this conference.

Questions can be emailed to the attention of the RootsTech Speaker Selection Committee at

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