A Survival Guide to RootsTech 2017

December 21, 2016  - by 
A Survival Guide to RootsTech 2017

RootsTech 2017 is just around the corner! With thrilling keynote speakers, inspiring classes, and hundreds of exhibitors, the RootsTech conference is truly a can’t-miss event for anyone interested in storytelling and family history.

Whether it’s your first time to RootsTech or you’re a conference regular, you want to be as prepared as possible so that you can get the most out of the four-day event. Consider the following as you begin your conference prep:

The Official RootsTech App

The RootsTech 2017 app was recently made available for download from the App Store and the Google Play Store. Installing the app on your phone and tablet is an important part of making the most of your RootsTech experience.

After downloading and installing the app, sign in with your RootsTech user ID and password. From there you can do the following:

  • Create a personalized class schedule. Browse an extensive list of workshops, classes, and activities happening at the conference. Choose the events that appeal to you and add them to your conference calendar.
  • Find speaker and class information. Looking to find a class taught by a specific speaker? You can view a comprehensive list of speakers and the sessions when they’ll be presenting.
  • Connect on social media. Follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook, see what @RootsTechConf (the official RootsTech Twitter account) is tweeting, and read the latest posts from the official bloggers at the conference. Be sure to keep an eye out for special giveaways!
  • Find your way around town. If you’re attending the conference for the first time and are worried about getting lost in the Salt Lake City area, take advantage of the Maps section. This tool provides you with the exact location of the Salt Palace Convention Center as well as phone and fax numbers for your convenience.


A laptop, tablet, or smartphone is essential for most RootsTech attendees.
A laptop, tablet, or smartphone is essential for most conference attendees. You can use your phone or tablet to take notes, interact on social media, and document your RootsTech experience. Many of the classes you’ll attend will explore popular family history apps or websites that you can quickly test out if you’ve got your device handy.

It’s also a good idea to bring your laptop or tablet charger. While there is a charging station in the Expo Hall where you can sit and charge your device, many people have found it useful to bring their own charger that they can use on the go or while they’re attending a class.

The Salt Palace offers free Wi-Fi for attendees.

Warm Clothing

Salt Lake City in February is cold. Typically, average temperatures range anywhere from 25°F to 44°F—and snow isn’t uncommon. As you do your packing, remember to include these items:

  • Coats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Hat

Walking Shoes

The Salt Palace Convention Center is a gigantic building. Although you won’t be spending all day on your feet, most conference attendees recommend bringing a good pair of walking shoes for the time you’ll spend in the Expo Hall. This year, more than 200 exhibitors will be on hand, and as you walk booth to booth you’ll want to keep your feet as comfortable as possible.

In the Expo Hall you’ll also find a game area, a demo theater, a Family Discovery Zone and the Innovation Alley where you can explore the latest tech tools available to genealogists.


RootsTech is more than just classes and keynote speaker sessions. There’s also a host of entertainment and networking events for you to enjoy!

Kick off your conference experience by enjoying an evening of music at the beautiful Conference Center at Temple Square on Thursday, February 9th at 8:00 p.m. You’ll hear the world-renowned Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square perform with featured guest Oscar Andy Hammerstein III. Limited number of tickets are available. Click here to reserve your seats.

If you’re passionate about the intersection of technology and genealogy don’t miss out on Friday’s Innovator Summit events. You can also attend the popular Innovator Showdown, a Shark-Tank-like event where 6 of 12 semi-finalist companies will be given a chance to present their product and have a shot at earning $100,000 in cash.

Finally, don’t miss the annual Cultural Celebration on Friday evening; a special performance held in the demo theater of the Expo Hall which will feature Latin music and dancing, African drummers, Irish dancing, and free giveaways by sponsors and exhibitors.

Daily Keynote and Expo hall ONLY passes are now available for $29. Register today to experience RootsTech 2017!

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  1. Do you know why these messages come to my Inbox almost bigger than life? I most often have to scroll left to right a long ways if I want to read a line, and then keep going back and forth for every other line too. If I hadn’t clicked on the Comments link I wouldn’t have known that I can see it all perfectly from here. I’d given up trying to read recent postings because I didn’t know that.

    1. Try adjusting your browser settings (either a wheel or three vertical dots in upper left corner of your browser). About half way down, it shows a “zoom” button, and you can select larger or smaller to fit your screen.
      Good luck.

    2. Have you tried using Zoom on the View tab? Choosing a lower magnification might fix it .. or if you hold down the Ctrl key and press either the + or – key you should zoom in (+) or out (-). Good luck.

  2. I have tried many times to download the RootsTech 2017 app on my I phone and I can’t find it it in the App store. Please let me know how to get on my phone before I get there.
    Jo Latimer

  3. Why is it that only those with an i-phone or android can get the syllabus free?

    Some of us like to print out the handout to write on.

  4. Hi, I can hardly wait for RootsTech 2017. It’s only a few days away.

    My research focus’ on Eastern Sweden (Vasterbotten) and central part of Germany (Thuringia). Does RootsTech have a whiteboard or message board of some type set up so those of us researching specific parts of the world can find one another and talk research etc.?

  5. Why didn’t you tell me I had to print tickets for the Thursday night event when I signed up for Roots Tech? Too technical?

  6. Have the flu, not well enough to come
    can’t bring up Roots tech on app store. Will I be able to access live streaming, or later video’s?

  7. I can’t watch the live stream on my laptop. It After 30 minutes of frustration I went to my desktop and quickly “registered” and started the live stream. On my laptop the circle with a triangle takes me to a Join the Live Stream notice. I can’t scroll down, If I close it I am right back at the circle with a triangle. I even went through the entire registration process only to find that there is not live streaming option! BTW there was no age category for me either.
    How can I fix this? I would really like to watch this while I am working in a place where I have no desktop computer.

  8. It’s sad that I only received an email
    on Thursday, Feb. 9. telling me the speakers and schedule.
    I would have had time to check out the event and speakers schedule.

  9. Would like email address for Katherine J Wilson, streaming cut off before she gave it. Presenter for Class: Creating Google Alerts for Genealogy.