RootsTech Connect 2021 came to be whenCOVID-19 threw a big ole lemon at the RootsTech planners. They turned around and built the biggest lemonade stand ever. And it’s virtual so all of us can visit it in our bunny slippers.
Let’s back up a tad. RootsTech is the world’s largest family history conference that takes place annually in Salt Lake City. It’s always a whirlwind of education, inspiration, new connections, and fun.
When the RootsTech team decided to stream the 2021 conference, they realized they’d couldn’t just take the in-person model and put it on the Internet. They optimized their conference for virtual audiences and made it FREE. You can read more in my post 3 Great Virtual Family History Education Opportunities.
Completely different though? Yes, I think it’s fair to say that. Their model—shorter content, great web interface, entertainment and culture, goes beyond what others have done.
Here is the rough outline of what they’re doing. (You can read the full description at https://www.rootstech.org/)
If you’ve never taken part in a family history conference, RootsTech Connect 2021 is the perfect time to do so.
Because it’s free, beginner friendly, and doesn’t require a huge time commitment, travel, or hotel bills.
Let’s focus on the education portion.
- Shorter sessions. 794 twenty-minute education sessions will not only be available during the three-day conference, but for an entire year as play on-demand.
- Many, many more beginner sessions.
- Eleven official languages plus American Sign Language (ASL).
- Presenters from all over the globe. (Actually, that part isn’t new.)
- During the conference (25 – 27 February 2021), there will be chats where you can leave questions for presenters.
How RootsTech Connect 2021 will compare to attending RootsTech in Salt Lake City
Those of us who have been year after year will miss hanging out with old friends in the Family History Library, Blue Lemon, etc. We’ll miss hugs. And no one is pretending we won’t miss those in-person things.
FamilySearch employees gave Ambassadors a tour of their test site on Tuesday. Honestly, from a website navigation standpoint, it looks awesome. It won’t be in-person but will offer those of us who love going there in person some great ersatz experiences.
Chat rooms will help fill the void of meeting with friends. They are by each session and in the vendor hall.
A more international selection of keynotes. We’ll really get to travel the world as we drink in culture and inspiration from keynotes. You can read individual bios here.
I have two story telling sessions I hope you check out.
Creative Storytelling Techniques Borrowed from Photography (also available with American Sign Language interpreter)
Why Family Historians Need to Tell Family Stories
Go ahead and register. Or just navigate to RootsTech.org after 9 pm Mountain Standard time on Feb 25.
Image Credits: All RootsTech Connect logos and graphics used with permission, ©FamilySearch.