RootsTech Connect is officially over. The event was officially on February 25th through 27th. Over one million attendees attended! Let me repeat that - one million! And what an experience it was. I desperately miss the in-person interaction that I feel when I go to Salt Lake City. This was the next best option - to be safe at home while we are still trying to surviving this awful pandemic. And best yet it was FREE! And the videos will be available for one year.
Speaking as someone who was working a booth and also a presenter, I enjoyed using the chat room features to connect with others. Many had expressed interest in starting their own enslaved person memory project, mirroring what was done for Georgetown Memory Project. Others commented that the gravestone series "The Stones Speak" gave them new ideas for their own family history. I helped answer genealogical questions from attendees who were getting stuck on a particular brick wall or just wanted some advice on where to turn next. It was great that the chat rooms were being used. I have found in other virtual conferences, the chat rooms are hard to navigate and nobody really "pops in". As we move more features online, this is something that needs to be explored to help make it user friendly for all.
Some highlights from the conference:
- Relatives at RootsTech - I finally had relatives attending! And there were new cousins. Usually when I go to Salt Lake City, I'm one of the lonely people that has no relatives attending the conference in person. Since the conference went virtual this year, I have 7 relatives. I'm already in touch with a few of them to help fill in gaps on the family tree and see where we can collaborate to learn more.
- MyHeritage's Deep Nostalgia tool - I used it to bring to life a cousin of mine who died in World War II. And even used it to animate a Doppelganger of myself. Check it out! Some may find it creepy or haunting. I felt a connection to my cousin - someone who was once alive that I never met. It's a great tool that I encourage you to try at least once.
Thank you FamilySearch for making RootsTech free and virtual this year. I was so glad to be part of this experience and appreciate the work that was done to make it a roaring success. If you haven't registered to watch the sessions, register today for FREE at www.rootstech.org.
Did you attend RootsTech Connect? What was your favorite part?