RootsTech Day One …. What a day!

10 February 2017

Day one of RootsTech… what a day is about right!! This time last year, I was a rookie with no idea of the packdrill. Being an ambassador – what did that mean I actually needed to do!? This year, at least I know a little bit more but quite frankly, I still have little idea of what is expected of us! Not to worry …. we do what we do and create noise about the conference in whatever way best suits us as individuals.

Day One was very different for me this year. Two ‘classes’ to lead. That’s me. Talking. For an hour. In front of a large (hopefully) generally American (obviously) audience. The day began early with a tour of the Exhibition Hall at 7:30am. This time of day is normal for some people but not for this night owl. Being there at 7:30am also means that I need to be up, out of bed and looking decent at this hour. Quite a challenge….

The Exhibition Hall seems to have expanded yet further this year with more Platinum sponsors than ever before including Forever, MyHeritage, FamilySearch, Ancestry, FindMyPast and several more. They have bigger ‘booth’ space at the front of the Hall (see picture!) but there are simply hundreds (surely) of other vendors and societies represented from so many countries. In fact, during my interview with Brian Donovan from FindMyPast on Wednesday in the Marriott Hotel, I bumped into Living DNA who are based just down the road from our offices in the UK. Crazy….!

In all honesty, I spent most of the morning networking with other ambassadors, catching up on new news and connecting in the real world. A large proportion of the classes (talks, in my lingo) are US-specific and so, I was not sure how my two would go down with the attendees – Rummaging in the Parish Chest and Searching for Surnames: Challenges, Pitfalls and the Downright Ridiculous (and old favourite of mine). Fellow ambassadors and ‘groupees’ created a lot of noise for me prior and during my talks and I have several good photographs and quotes to use in future promotional material!

When it comes to social events, there are almost as many to choose from as concurrent classes. It’s impossible to be everywhere and, aside from cloning myself to be in the office and in the US, I definitely need to be cloned to be everywhere I want to be at RootsTech. After a lovely evening with my dear friends @HistoryLady2013 and @Andrea4family and a long walk without a successful outcome, some good news was on the horizon at the end of Day One …. each day of last year’s RootsTech, I came in early to get my blog post written. This year, the Media Hub is not open until 10am!!! OMG!!! A lie in….

[N.B. Still no sign of that darned marriage certificate. I do fear that the men in white coats may take me away shortly….]

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