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Friday, March 15, 2019

My RootsTech 2019 Experience
I am fairly certain that my RootsTech 2019 experience was far different than nearly everyone else attending the Conference. I have been attending the RootsTech Conferences since the very first one in 2011 except for the one last year when my wife and I were digitizing documents at the Maryland State Archives for FamilySearch on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Of course, that first experience was far different than what we just experienced but the seeds of my own experience were planted at that first conference.

Over the years, my focus has changed. During the early years of the Conference, I presented and attended classes. Slowly, I began to focus more on interacting with the vendors in the Exhibit Hall and I stopped presenting classes and began to attend far fewer classes. Eventually, I became more involved with the vendors and began presenting for them at their booths or at what has become the Demo Theater. This year was a catch-up year. Since I missed my opportunity to talk to all the vendors, I focused on making contact with those with whom I had long-term relationships. 

My main focus was the booth for The Family History Guide. Because I am involved directly with the company, we had been preparing for RootsTech during the past year and I became instantly involved as soon as I returned to Provo, Utah from Maryland. We had a great response to the booth and the classes we taught. There are a few things we learned and will change next year but for the foreseeable future, I will be intensely involved with The Family History Guide. 

My second main area of focus was in working with and contacting the large online genealogy websites. I had a lot of contact with Of course, I presented at their booth and will continue with acting as a speaker at the upcoming MyHeritage LIVE 2019 Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
I enjoyed learning about all the new developments from MyHeritage and interacting with their wonderful staff. Special thanks to Gilad Japhet and Daniel Horowitz for their support.

I am always grateful for the help and support of FamilySearch. I have been a Blogger/Ambassador since the first Conference and have enjoyed their tremendous help and all the extras that have come my way as a result of publicizing the RootsTech Conferences. I was able to conduct some interviews in the Media Center and also get interviewed. Thanks to FamilySearch for the Conference and for the Media Center and the support. I also enjoyed visiting with Ron Tanner.

I had some wonderful conversations with the folks at's booth. I was able to connect with some old acquaintances and meet some new people. I enjoyed talking with Jay Verkler and Alex Cox. Hope I have more contact in the future.

One of the most impressive things that happened at the Conference was meeting the people at the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society booth and the Sons & Daughters of the United States Middle Passage booth. What a great experience and opportunity. I hope that I can establish a mutually beneficial relationship with both these organizations.

I had almost a full week of other memorable experiences and opportunities to talk and came up with a huge list of blog post topics. I was especially touched by all the people who said hello. It was wonderful to see some of you for the first time since communicating over the internet. I hope I made a few new friends and immensely enjoyed seeing a few of my old friends.

See you next year at RootsTech 2020. 

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