Networking is a real component of conferences. The vendors are here to sell or advertise their products. But as a byproduct, they get to network with their own vendors and partners. As I stand and listen to the interchange between the conference goers and the vendors, it appears that the attendees have as much to sell as the registered vendors. Of course, there may not be any interest at all in what is being sold, but there is always the possibility that a new strategic partnership could be formed.
The same networking if going on with the Bloggers and between the Bloggers, vendors and FamilySearch. There is a goal here to enhance the exchange of information between genealogists even those with limited technology interest or resources. Compared to the last conference I attended, the demographic at RootsTech appears to be much younger and obviously more technically sophisticated. Although there may be a tendency for genealogists to be leery of technology, there is a significant pull here, pulling rather than pushing towards more involvement.
So far I have seen some really impressive new software and hardware technology that will immediately impact genealogy. One of the most interesting exhibits is the Scanning Demonstration conducted by FamilySearch. At a series of stations, FamilySearch is showing the whole digitization project used to digitize the records onsite around the world and in those records in the Granite Mountain Vault. In addition, FamilySearch is demonstrating a software program in the early stages of development to permit scanning of original records from a desktop scanner rather than using a huge and expensive digitizing camera unit.
I have been going around and collecting information for future posts. This first day the vendor booths are mostly very crowded and at some there are long lines. This shows the exceptional interest generated by having a comparatively large number of vendors. Off to attend some of the classes.