Thursday, September 1, 2011
Looking ahead to RootsTech 2012 - Blogging and Presenting
Earlier this year in February, 2011, the genealogical community experienced a whole new dimension in conferences. RootsTech 2011 exceeded all expectations. Over 3000 attendees almost doubled the expected turn-out. Mild February weather and a huge vendor area transformed just another conference into a spectacular and memorable event. The excitement and interest were palpable. Now, we are looking forward to another fabulous time in Salt Lake City, Utah and I am looking forward to attending this next year both as an official Blogger and for the first time as a presenter. I received notice of being selected as an official Blogger yesterday afternoon and had already been notified about teaching a class before that.
RootsTech 2012 will be held in the same venue, the Salt Palace, a huge conference complex right downtown and only three blocks from the Family History Library. Of course, some of the events of last year cannot be duplicated, but now that the conference organizers have a feel for the numbers and the interests of the attendees, I am sure that this next conference will be even better than the last. Last year we got the royal treatment as Bloggers and this year I am interested to see how the experience will compare. Of course, I will be right there sending out posts about the conference for those of you who are unfortunate enough not to be able to be there in person.
In addition, I am much more interested in meeting people this year. RootsTech 2011 was my first experience with a really big genealogy conference from start to finish and I think I was more involved in the experience than I was involved with people. This next conference, I plan to focus on the people at the conference. I am looking forward to making new friends and renewing older ones. I want to do a better job of interacting with the Bloggers and other conference attendees.
Last year there were a number of "first announcements" at the Conference. Now that the genealogical community has a better idea what to expect, I would think that there would be many more such announcements given the media coverage of the Conference.
FamilySearch was a big participant in the Conference and I expect they will be this next one also. I have had the opportunity to talk informally with some of the Conference directors and I expect plans are well underway to make this next Conference spectacular.
By the way, reservations are already available at a discount at two of the closest hotels. I would expect the hotels to fill up long before the Conference. Downtown Salt Lake is always a mass of new construction and a couple of weeks ago when I was there was no exception. A huge section of downtown Salt Lake has been the subject of a $1.5 billion mixed-use development that will transform downtown Salt Lake City known as the City Creek Center. Construction is planned to be completed in the Spring of 2012 but parts of the development are already complete and open to the public. I just hope the development doesn't sit empty like much of the office space and retail space in Phoenix.
Salt Lake is an interesting place to be any time, but come to RootsTech 2012 and see for yourself.