Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More on the RootsTech issue

I received this comment to my last post from Bill and Nancy Barns of Stories to Tell but is is worth repeating in a blog post.  They recount the same problems experienced by Leland Meitzler as reported in my last post.
We had the same experience Leland describes! On Friday we finally received an email from Gordon Clark of Roots Tech, almost identical to the one you got. We were equally shocked.
First, because our firm, Stories To Tell, provides editing and book design services, not book publishing – a technical service requiring book design software. Second, because RootsTech thought we were “technical” enough to have us teach a class “Self Publish Your MS Word Book Like a Pro” In addition, the RootsTech Program Committee contacted us November 15th to see if we would be willing to present another class as a lab. We said we would. 
We had sent in an exhibitor application at the RootsTech Booth at the California Family History Expo in early October. The RootsTech staffer at the Expo told us that we would hear from somebody from RootsTech within “a couple of weeks.” When we didn’t hear from anyone, we sent an inquiry on October 26th. We got no response. Finally, on December 8th, we sent another email inquiry and got Mr. Clark’s curt and dismissive reply the next day. We immediately telephoned to discuss the situation as Mr. Clark had invited us to do. Guess what. No reply. We are still hoping to speak with Mr. Clark.
We, like you, are shocked by RootsTech’s misguided policy. To suggest that books aren’t an essential part of the tech world is simply to deny reality. 
Let’s hope that reason will prevail and RootsTech will reverse this ill-considered decision.
Good luck Leland!
Is there anyone else at RootsTech to appeal to? There must be a more sympathetic and knowledgeable person at Family Search who understands the importance of written information!
I suggest you also read the latest comments from DearMYRTLE on the subject. Perhaps it would be  appropriate to send some of these comments to the RootsTech people who made these decisions. Why is it such a big deal to determine the composition of the vendors at a conference? Isn't the idea that since they pay their own way, rent the space and do all the work that the more the merrier? Why the exclusion of vendors? What possible purpose can be served by antagonizing legitimate conference attendees and the entire genealogical community? 


  1. I sent RootsTech an email with the obvious reasons why publishers/genealogy-vendors need to be at a RootsTech conference (for the Roots part!!!), and that I have crossed the conference off my list because of their exceedingly short-sighted (and late) inappropriate decision recently made. Someone seems to have forgotten that the attendees are GENEALOGISTS, not computer geeks (well, some are both of course).

  2. Are they going to be fair in their application of the policy? In other words, will the Family Tree or Ancestry guys be allowed to sell manuals or guides at their booths? Are they going to police the booths to make sure no one is selling books? If they don't it seems a little hypocritical.

    Books are critical for tech guys. My husband works for a huge tech company, and has stacks of books that he constantly uses for reference along with all his online sources.

  3. So they're "techie" enough to teach a class at RootsTech, but because the end product is a BOOK, they won't be allowed to be an exhibitor. Sounds pretty backwards to me.

    It's too bad that RootsTech waited until now to make the announcements to the vendors ... all those people who have already registered and paid can't back out. I bet attendance plummets next year.

  4. I suspect that there is more to this than meets the eye. Often high level sponsors will require an exclusivity as a vendor, i.e. only that sponsoring vendor will be allowed to sell books. I wonder if this is the case.