How to get the most out of rootstech connect 2022 graphic

With 700 new classes, 360 speakers, 60 live workshops, 30 languages, not-to miss keynotes, most of us need a plan to get the most out of RootsTech Connect 2022.

If you’re not registered, it’s not too late. (See also 5 Reasons to attend RootsTech Connect 2022.)

Understand the Website.

Last year, the RootsTech Connect team described launching the website as flying a plane as its being built. This year, they’ve had time to avoid hitting any turbulence.

There is a lot to it. You’ll get the most out of RootsTech Connect 2022, when you understand the ins and outs of the virtual platform. Check out Amy Archibald’s great explainer article for FamilySearch, A Guide to Navigating the RootsTech 2022 Website. I won’t duplicate that information here, but rather highlight my favorites and add a few additional tips.

One of the best tools on the website is the calendar page, located via the top right menu. This will help you make sure you don’t miss any live events. Click on the horizontal lines to pop the menu out.

Sceenshot of calendar option on the RootsTech Connect 2022 right-hand menu

Make a viewing plan: Prioritize and Create a Playlist

Avoid confusion. Making a viewing plan with help you relax as you take in the great content offered. Let’s break it down.

Rootstech Connect 2022 has three different types of sessions. Live, On-demand (pre-recorded) and Expo Hall.

Live Sessions

Here’s where the calendar page can be the home viewer’s best friend, displaying the three types of events by day. RootsTech will record live events and post them later for on-demand viewing, but if there is a workshop you’d like to take part in while it’s live, prioritize that.

The calendar page lets you select the day and type of event, Main Stage, Educational Sessions, and Product Demos. Best of all, it converts the times to your local time. My screenshots will show Eastern Standard Time.

Screenshot RootsTech Connect 2022 Calendar page chose type of session and day options

Main stage events include the keynote speakers as well as sponsored events. If you click or tap on the description, you’ll get a pop-out which gives more information about the presentation. ROotstech Connect 2022 mainstage popout description

Some workshops take place via Zoom, so make sure you update your Zoom to the latest version so you don’t hit any snags.

As an example, I’ll use my own because that’s the one I know the most about. Clicking on watch takes you to the Zoom “meeting.” The capacity of my workshop is 500, with overflow redirected to a Facebook Live viewing. Participants can’t access the Zoom chat, but can work along with other participants in real time.

Workshop pop up from Calendar Page

As seen in the screenshot above, RootsTech clearly states that you’re going to Zoom.

Happily, family storytelling is well represented in the live workshops! Kudos RootsTech!

On-Demand Sessions

This year, RootsTech has greatly enhanced the search options for choosing which sessions you want to add to your playlist.

Rootstech Connect 2022's suggested filters for choosing which sessions to watch

That’s a good thing. Otherwise, the choices would be overwhelming. For instance, by simply filtering out last year’s content, I still have over 1000 sessions to choose from.

The screenshot below shows this year’s topic filters. I added an arrow for storytelling for those wanting to learn more about telling family and ancestor stories. But don’t limit yourself to that.

Rootstech Connect 2022 Topic filters including one for storytelling

If you’re new to family history research, the “Getting Started” filter will be a big help.

Remember, you have a lot of time to peruse and view these videos. RootsTech will host them long after the conference is over.

Most on-demand (pre-recorded) will be available for at least a year. As I understand it, RootsTech intends to have most Sessions up for three years. However, if the speaker has requested a shorter period or the information is no longer relevant, RootsTech will take the content down earlier.

Educational Sessions in Expo Hall

The Expo Hall opens Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 8 am MST and runs through Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 5 pm MST. Live demonstrations will appear on the calendar page, but there will be pre-recorded content as well.

If you’re interested in an app or product, this is a great time to learn more about it and how to use it better.

To get the most out of RootsTech Connect, Use the Chat Function

The chat function is back. It won’t be live until the conference starts, but expect a little captions icon on the top menu bar. You can use this to reach out to others and ask questions to presenters. The Director of Events, Jen Allen, revealed in her interview with Elizabeth O’Neal that participants can expect some enhanced features as well.  (With convenient chapter marks, this video is also a great resource for your unanswered questions.)

Explore Relatives at RootsTech

They aren’t only far-flung cousins; they may have information that you don’t have. Admittedly, it’s hard to comb through all those contacts. As we get more information about how long this app will be available after RootsTech, I’ll update it here.

Best Advice for Getting the Most Out of RootsTech Connect 2022

Look for inspiration in addition to information. Those of us who’ve been stalwart fans of the in-person conference can attest, it’s the energy and momentum you gain that makes RootsTech so valuable. Connect with others. Connect with your past. Look to the future.

In other words, enjoy!


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