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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

#RootsTech 2014 Sponsors with some thoughts

First the thoughts. I am on my way to RootsTech 2014 so I may have some down time, especially when I am battling snow and ice to get there. Trade shows have paid a big role in my life. I got into the computer business because of going to a computer trade show in Chicago. I spent a few years going to COMDEX and MacWorld. The larger genealogy conventions are really trade shows with classes and RootsTech 2014 is no exception. By the way, this is good and not bad. Most of the online benefits we enjoy come from commercial enterprises and bemoaning the commercialization of genealogy is self defeating. Since I look at programs and apps as tools, I am always ready to try a new tool or review an old one.

For example, I spent the last few days working with and Family Tree Builder. I even had an email or two to MyHeritage about some of my questions. They were helpful, as usual, but the answers to the questions were more in the nature of how the program works than solving my particular issues. But, that solved my particular issues. Sometimes when we have a problem with a computer program, we are really trying to do something the program wasn't designed to do. It is sort of like complaining that your hammer doesn't work well as a screwdriver. It is like one of the patrons recently who complained that MyHeritage was not working and I discovered that the person had not uploaded a GEDCOM file!

These comments were prompted by RootsTech 2014 publishing a partial list of sponsors and exhibitors. I think mostly this list is an outline of the "special offers" and other promotions going on at the Conference. So besides picking up even more stuff with logos and a lot of paper, we can try to win or get good deals from the Conference sponsors. Here is the list:
Our amazing sponsors and exhibitors in the Expo Hall help make RootsTech a great conference. We appreciate their support! This year's Expo Hall is bigger than ever, with hundreds of interactive and informative booths. Check out some of the special offers and opportunities for RootsTech attendees:
When you're at RootsTech, be sure to check out, the world's largest online family resource. This is the company that helped pioneer the market for online family research. Over the last 17 years, they have digitized, indexed and put online 12 billion records to go along with 55 million user-generated family trees. They also operate a suite of online family history brands including AncestryDNA, which provides users insight into genetic ethnicity and distant cousin matches.
Ancestry needs your help!! They are looking for Ancestry enthusiasts to provide feedback on some new concepts on the website experience. Take their survey for a chance to participate. 
RootsTech is the premier place to connect with other genealogists.  We're excited to have the Association of Professional Genealogists be part of the conference.  The Association was established in 19 79 and represents more than 2,700 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, and others involved in genealogy-related businesses.  Its members represent all 50 states, Canada, and 30 other countries.  
While you're at RootsTech, make it a point to connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.  You can visit their website at
Don't worry about losing your precious family photos and research.  When you're at RootsTech, you can see how Backblaze can make sure that will never happen.  Backblaze specializes in offering automatic, continuous and safe online backup for all of your photos, video, and genealogical data stored on your computer.  Whether you have a PC or Mac, Backblaze can back you up. 
Backblaze will be featuring free installation of Backblaze Online Backup for all new Backblaze users. And as a special offer at RootsTech, bring your PC or Mac into Booth 527 and they will install 1 FREE year of Backblaze Online Backup.
We are proud to welcome BYUtv to RootsTech this year.  BYUtv is a groundbreaking HD television network available in more than 53 million homes via DirecTV, Dish Network and more than 800 cable systems.  BYUtv won 10 Emmy awards this year.  It's thanks to unrivaled sports coverage, feature films and original programming such as Granite Flats, Studio C and American Ride.  Its "see the good in the world" programming fills a void in the primetime market.
RootsTech attendees will be able to meet the cast of Studio C on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the North Foyer.
RootsTech is proud to be partnering with Dell at this year's conference. Dell can make all your family history searching faster and easier with their powerful and easy-to-use computer products.
If you're looking to upgrade your computer, look for the Dell ad in the RootsTech Conference Guide for more information on the Dell Member Purchase Program.
Danish Heritage Tours
RootsTech could help you find the exact house where your ancestors lived, even if it's half-way around the world in Denmark.  That's possible thanks to Danish Heritage Tours, which is part of RootsTech this year.  They are a Danish based tour operator specializing in family history trips. Their staff of historians and genealogists will help you find the exact places where your family tree has its roots. Their expertise is genealogy, history, tour planning and guiding. 
As a special offer to RootsTech attendees, you can get seven hours of free genealogy research if travel to Denmark is purchased in 2014. Learn more when you visit them during at Booth 1021.  
When you're at RootsTech this year, be sure to get your first look at the latest books and games from Family ChartMasters. They are the award-winning genealogy chart printing service for any kind of chart imaginable. From oversized draft family reunion charts to custom decorative designs, they let you give your chart the personalized attention it deserves. They are introducing new books and online resources-Zap The Grandma Gap-designed to help even the youngest connect to their family history.  It features books, workbooks and website resources.
Be sure to visit Family ChartMasters at Booth 351 for FREE chart consultations and Free Zap The Grandma Gap paper doll sets.   You can also find special sale pricing on blank charts and books.
RootsTech is excited to host the debut of, and you can be one of the first to discover it.  It is the first genealogy service to bring collaboration and game mechanics together. aims to bring families closer together through building their family tree, sharing family stories, researching historical records and more. 
When you stop by Booth 333, you can get a free invitation code from to be one of the first to try Beta.
RootsTech is all about telling your family's story, so it's natural our friends at are here to help out.   Family Storytelling is a website full of ideas, inspiration, recipes, crafts and stories that will help you begin, or continue a tradition of family storytelling. They believe families can be more than just people living under the same roof, give them 5 minutes a day, and them will give you ways to become the happy family you want to be.
Be sure to visit them at Booth 339 and they will give you some ways to become the family you want to be. 
RootsTech is honored to have the Federation of Genealogical Societies be part of this year's event. The FGS represents members of hundreds of genealogical societies across the United States and other nations. They want to help link the genealogical community and help it grow. Be sure to drop by their booth to learn about the War of 1812 Preserve the Pension Project, and the society's premier periodical The Forum. 
Visit them at Booth 725 to learn how you can join them for their annual conference August 27-30 in San Antonio, Texas.
While you're here at RootsTech, be sure to learn more from our friends at Findmypast. Findmypast is the British-owned world leader in online genealogy. They offer access to 1,000 years of records and let you search high-quality images from around the globe. Their parent company DC Thomson Family History (formerly brightsolid) works with institutions like The British Library, Royal Archives, the Imperial War Museum, and national and regional archives.
When you stop by Booth 405, you can learn how to discover your family stories through their global collection of newspapers, vital records, census, migration and even crime records.
RootsTech will help you discover and share your family history. So after you're done, discover better ways to print it out. Lexmark can help you with that. Lexmark is a provider of printing and imaging products, software, solutions, and services that help customers save time and money.
Make sure you take time to visit them at to see how they can help you get more done.
RootsTech is a place to learn the best ways to document your family history. That's the same concept with Mocavo. Mocavo provides free access to family history forever. They launch 1000 new collections every day and never stop looking for more information for you. While you're at RootsTech, you can see demonstrations of and try their free scanning.
You can even get 50% off of a Mocavo Gold subscription when you visit them at Booth 617.
It would be nice to have someone else automatically look for your ancestors.  At this year's RootsTech, you can meet a company doing just that. MyHeritage is a family history network helping millions of families around the world discover and share their legacy.  They have cutting edge family history technologies to help you grow your family tree by automatically finding new relatives, ancestors, and information from billions of historical records and millions of family trees.
Make sure you stop by Booth 605 and ask MyHeritage how they can help you open the door to a new world of discoveries.
RootsTech attracts family historians on all levels, so it's the perfect place to get introduced to the National Genealogical Society, a non-profit organization founded in 1903. They are the premier national society to help everyone from beginners to the most advanced family historians. They offer publications and educational courses. The upcoming NGS 2014 Family History Conference, May 7-10 in Richmond, Virginia is a great opportunity to learn more.
Stop by Booth 227 to learn more about the conference, get a 10% discount off of all books, and sign up for prize drawings. You could win an online course, a one-year NGS membership or a signed copy of Mastering Genealogical Proof.
If your ancestors came through New England, RootsTech could be the place where you find the connections to them.  America's founding genealogical society, NEHGS, will be on hand to help guide you.  They have the nation's largest collection of original family research materials. Its website, offers hundreds of millions of records for New England, New York and beyond.
Be sure to visit their team at Booth 926 and learn how their team can provide expert research assistance with specialties covering the United States, Canada, and Europe.
RootsTech is all about helping you find people.  We're excited to have PeopleFinders be part of this year's conference.  They provide insight on people, places and things.  They are one of the largest owners of public records data in the US, including information on virtually every adult in the nation. They can help you connect with anyone, anywhere. They are a premier online service that helps you quickly search billions of records spanning the last 40 years, and will deliver comprehensive and accurate results.
You will want to drop in to Booth 526 to learn how they can help you find the people important to you.
One of the best parts about family history is the photos that go along with it.  So RootsTech is excited to have Pictureline be part of this year's conference.  Pictureline is a great resource for whatever photography questions you might have.  They understand photos and are committed to helping you achieve success.
Pictureline is in Booth 317, so be sure to stop by and let them show you how to transition to a picture taker to a picture maker.
The 1940 US Census is a great resource, so while you're at RootsTech, learn how to make the most of it. RootsPoint will be on hand to help you with that. RootsPoint is a global community centered on the 1940 US Census and aims to make genealogy accessible to all enthusiasts. Data available spans the 110 years before the census, stretching back to 1830.
Be sure to visit them and learn how their social sharing tools can help make your searching easier.
When you come to RootsTech, you'll be learning the latest ways to gather your family stories and histories. After RootsTech, you're going to want to keep learning.  Salt Lake Community College can help.  The Division of Continuing Education at SLCC offers a genealogy certificate for those who want to learn some solid genealogical research and organization skills.  You can learn more about the course and meet their nationally and internationally renowned instructors and learn about financial assistance opportunities.
As an extra incentive, the first 10 attendees to visit them at Booth 235 will receive a 50% discount. All attendees will also receive a 10% discount for a non-credit course.
Home to five national parks, 43 state parks, seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and "The Greatest Snow on Earth®", Utah represents the best of the Rocky Mountains and the Desert Southwest. RootsTech welcomes the Utah Office of Tourism as a new sponsor for 2014.

While you're here at RootsTech, enjoy easy access to Utah and enjoy scenic vistas, outdoor recreation, shopping, dining, and Western culture.   

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