RootsTech has always been the place to connect and network with others who share your same passion about all things family history and genealogy. Although you may not be able to physically stand in the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, RootsTech Connect 2021 is no different. The need, ability, and desire to connect with others is still present. This year that connection process will involve using new technology tools, new ways of thinking, and a little courage.
Check out the new RootsTech Connect Site; you're sure to find something you'll like!
Learn How to Use the New RootsTech Site
Instead of standing in line waiting for a hoped-for seat in a large conference hall, just snuggle up with your best browsing device, comfortable clothing, and your favorite snacks. With over 2,000 class sessions and videos, nearly 100 exhibitors, and a half-million participants (some of whom will be your relatives), a 3-day conference may seem a little overwhelming. Lucky for you, there is no need to consume this vast library of content in just 3 days; it will all be available on-demand for you to add to your personal playlist and watch at your convenience throughout the year.
There are 4 main parts to the RootsTech Connect website, each of them with exciting and useful features. Follow along as we show you how to get the most out of the new RootsTech.org experience, what features are only available during the 3-day RootsTech Connect event, and a few other tips and hacks.
The RootsTech Connect experience is rooted in connection; connection with attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and your world-wide cousins. At the bottom right corner of the RootsTech website is a Connect chat box. Here you can connect with other attendees, join session chat rooms, create custom chat rooms, message presenters, and connect with your relatives.
If you have any questions during the 3-day conference, you can click the Ask Us Anything blue button at the top of the chat box and in the menu at the top of the page, and one of hundreds of volunteers will help you. This feature will not continue after the conference concludes, so be sure to copy any chat conversation you’d like to reference later.
The “Relatives at RootsTech” experience has become the favorite RootsTech experience of many conference attendees. It uses the FamilySearch Global Tree to show you which of the other RootsTech attendees you are related to and how.
Like the chat feature, this element is directly connected to the live conference event. Sign in with your FamilySearch username and password, and the software will link you to your cousins wherever in the world they are participating. Add your relative as a “friend,” and send them a message.
All messages sent between you and your relatives are stored in the messaging feature of FamilySearch and will be available to you long after the conference ends. Don’t miss out on making these vital connections while the feature is live during the conference!
The Expo Hall
Nearly 100 exhibitors are awaiting your visit to their virtual booth in the RootsTech Connect Expo Hall. Just like the in-person event in years past, you will be able to explore new product demonstrations, enjoy exclusive conference discounts, and chat with exhibitors to receive personalized help.
Many exhibitors will have content scheduled at various times over the 3-day event. Make sure to visit the expo hall early so you don’t miss out on any conference-only content. While the personalized features will end at the conference conclusion, most exhibitors have provided content that will remain on the RootsTech website for use and reference during the year.
The Main Stage
The heart of RootsTech plays out on the main stage. As the kickoff conference video communicates, “We Are All Connected.” The inspiring stories from celebrity keynote presenters will touch your heart as they share their journey with you. Make sure to have a box of tissues nearby, because you are sure to need them! Keynote sessions begin at 11 p.m. EST on 24 February 2021 with Nick Vujicic—mid day in the Pacific—and will follow the sun around the world for 24 hours a day for 3 days in 11 languages.
Other main stage features you’ll want to check out are the discovery segments covering music, food, travel, traditions, and culture from all over the world. Be sure you don’t miss the RootsTech song contest where you can check out the beautiful arrangements from all of the amazing finalists and vote for your favorite. You might be interested to know that members of the band One Republic were guest judges of the final selections.
Also be sure to take a selfie or family picture and add it to the collective photo mosaic. The mosaic and song contest are conference-only features you’ll want to do this week, so don’t put it off!
RootsTech Connect Sessions
A premier library of video-on-demand, localized content available in multiple languages is the meat of the RootsTech experience. With over 1,200 classes available and another 1,000 discovery videos, it is not humanly possible for you to consume this content over the course of 3 days. But don’t worry; this vast library is available for your use for the rest of this year!
With so much content, you may not know where to start. No worries! You can use the Search feature to look for specific topics, or you can use the Guide Me feature that aggregates sessions into various topics, such as: Getting Started, Discovery, Archivist, or For Latter-day Saints. Additionally, you can search by:
- Geographic Region
- Finding Living Family
- Researching Places and Records
- Memories—Stories, Photos, and Video
- Traditions and Heritage
- Websites, Tech Tools, and Apps
- Entertainment and Events
“My Playlist” Gives You a Customized Experience
Make sure you log in with your FamilySearch account so you can use the powerful My Playlist feature. As you browse through the sessions and read the summaries, click on the + to add the videos you are interested in to your personalized playlist. You will have until the next RootsTech event to enjoy your selections at your own pace. However, if you want to watch everything that is available, you will need to plan on viewing 6 sessions a day for 365 days!
And if you think that is all, make sure you take a look at what is hidden on the menu of the RootsTech website. Here you will find links to a speakers directory, FAQs, the RootsTech store, sessions from previous RootsTech conferences (as if you need more content to consume), and the link to the innovator’s portal.
Check out the innovator’s portal for the latest innovations in family history technology. Jump in and test drive new tools, watch demos, and explore. You can even create a customized song from your family’s names.
At RootsTech there is something available for everyone. Come join RootsTech Connect 2021, and feel inspired and connected in new ways. We invite you to join in the journey of creating and sharing your own family discovery experiences.