Sunday, January 15, 2017
Planning for #RootsTech 2017: Don't forget the Expo Hall
While most of the people who attend RootsTech 2017 will attend classes don't forget to spend some time in the Expo Hall with the exhibitors. Many of the exhibitors have booths where they teach about their products and programs. Not all of these are commercial enterprises. There are usually quite a few of the exhibitors that have a place where they teach classes and provide support for their products. In addition, there is the Demo theater where you can sit and rest while different presenters give 15-minute presentations and demonstrations.
This year, I have opted to do all my presentations in the Expo Hall. So far, I will be doing presentations for The Family History Guide and MyHeritage.com. As we get closer to the Conference, I will post my own presentation schedule. RootsTech 2017 has apparently not yet published a list of the exhibitors, but once that list is made available, perhaps in the program handed out when you register, you should review the list to make sure you visit the booths of the exhibitors you would like to contact. But also remember that the Conference gives you a valuable opportunity to learn about new products and services you may not now know about.
You should also be ready with some kind of business card. Many of exhibitors have drawings and giveaways and collect entrants' business cards or have the entrants fill out a paper. Some attendees print off pages of labels with their contact information to avoid the need to stand there and fill out a card or paper. Some just bring a stack of pre-printed cards. Some of the exhibitors have shopping bags as giveaways. The attendees can then use these bags to collect information and giveaways from the other exhibitors. My wife then uses these same bags when she buys groceries instead of using the stores' plastic or paper bags.
There are food vendors in the Expo Hall, but bear in mind that the lines can be long. Last year, it turned out that several of the food vendors were tucked away from the main part of the Expo Floor and if you find a long line for lunch, you might want to check to see if there are other vendors whose lines are not so long. Of course, you can fill up on soda pop and candy if that is all you want to eat.
In past years, I have tried using a wheeled pull-tote or rolling suitcase or briefcase. All of these are a real bother and hazard when moving through crowds. It is much easier to bring a backpack or over-the-shoulder bag to carry items than try to maneuver through the crowds with a wheeled pull device. I carry a backpack with my computer and other things I need. I have a coat that stuffs into a compact bag and that helps to avoid having that extra item to carry around in my hands.
The Salt Palace is really big and you will find that outside of the Expo Hall places to sit are at a premium. In some cases, you can find a seat in the large presentation halls between classes or at other times.
During the first couple of years of RootsTech, there was considerable congestion in the elevators. Now that the Conference has spread out over more of the Salt Palace, the congestion is not so bad but you still have to keep moving to get a seat in some of the classes.
If you are driving to the Conference, you need to plan ahead for parking. This year we are going to take the Trax light rail downtown and avoid the parking problem altogether. We will park at one of the Trax stations and then ride downtown to the Conference sessions. Remember that there are some events that go on late into the evenings and your parking may expire before the event is over (speaking from experience).
We have been having some cold and very snowy weather lately and you might want to be prepared.