When the RootsTech family history conference began seven years ago, it was a simple gathering that filled only a small part of the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. Today, the conference is labeled “the world’s largest celebration of families across generations.”
Tens of thousands of certified genealogists, family historians, and storytellers have made the trek to the conference over the years to learn more about discovering, preserving, and sharing family stories. And the end doesn’t appear to be in sight—in 2017, RootsTech is expecting more than 30,000 attendees over the course of its annual four-day conference.
While the world-class speakers, all-star entertainers, and hundreds of engaging classes are reason enough to attend, here are seven other reasons why you don’t want to miss out on the fun:
1. You Might Meet a Relative at RootsTech
When popular blogger Risa Baker attended RootsTech for the first time in 2016, she had no idea she’d run into a distant cousin, but that’s exactly what happened. “I found a relative in this class at RootsTech,” she said. “It was incredible to be there and find a long lost relative.”
2. You Will Learn How to Strengthen Family Relationships
As a mother, Stacy Julian says the things she has learned at RootsTech directly apply to both her and her children. “One of the things I learned from a speaker at RootsTech is that when families talk about family and family history, their kids are happier, they’re more confident, they’re more resilient,” she said. “I learn all kinds of stuff like that at RootsTech!”
3. You Will Be Re-energized in Your Genealogy Efforts
Tim Sullivan, CEO at Ancestry.com says that RootsTech is inspiring not only because of how quickly it has grown, but how well it accommodates both the seasoned and the beginning genealogist. “RootsTech is huge,” he said at the 2016 conference. “It’s unbelievable that RootsTech has grown as large as it is. There’s tremendous energy here.”
4. You Will See the Latest Trends and Innovations
In 2017, the RootsTech Expo Hall will be packed with more than 100 exhibitors such as FindMyPast, MyHeritage, Shotbox, PictureLine, Twile, JRNL and dozens more. In the Expo Hall, you’ll learn about and experiment with some of the latest innovations and emerging trends from the industry’s biggest companies. You can also record your own stories, scan old photos and receive personal advice and training for using the latest tools.
Just how big is the Expo Hall? Take a look:
5. You Will See the Intersection between Genealogy and Technology
RootsTech is all about preserving and sharing family stories through technology and innovation. The RootsTech Innovator Summit and Showdown facilitates connections between investors and entrepreneurs seeking to build the next big thing in the genealogy industry.
“Innovation is critical to this industry because of the huge volume of information and data that’s out there,” says technology expert T. Craig Bott. “We need skillsets that can get access to the data and make it practical for people.”
6. You Will Discover How to Bring Your Ancestors’ Stories to Life
At RootsTech, Amber Larsen explained how learning of an experience one of her ancestors had helped fuel her own passion for learning about the past.
7. You Will Become Part of a Community
Heather Holmes, CEO of TapGenes and winner of the 2016 Innovator Showdown, says that what makes RootsTech special is the relationships that are built over the course of the four-day event. “RootsTech just feels like it’s a big welcoming family,” she said at the 2016 conference. “Everything about RootsTech feels really personal.”
Registration for RootsTech 2017 is now open. Register today and take advantage of early bird pricing. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for exclusive announcements and take advantage of early-bird pricing.
Not convinced? Here are Five More Reasons to Attend RootsTech.