#RootsTech presents a veritable gold mine of content for bloggers, vloggers, microbloggers, and podcasters. To get the most out of the whirlwind days, it’s best to have a plan. With 28 days to go, we thought the GeneaBloggersTRIBE should put out a Blogger’s Guide to #RootsTech.
Know Before You Go
With so much to experience, you’ll want to do some research up-front so you have more time to absorb the events around you. Download the RootsTech app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, read up on the keynote speakers, and examine vendor information.
New this Year: #Rootstech Official Logo for GeneaBloggersTRIBE Members
RootsTech’s sponsor, FamilySearch, is well aware that online content providers contribute to the family history community’s excitement about #RootsTech. This year, FamilySearch has provided an official Rootstech logo for members of the GeneaBloggersTRIBE to use in their coverage of #RootsTech. You can right click and copy the image here or download it from the FILES section of the GeneaBloggersTRIBE Facebook group.
Reach out to other GeneaBloggersTRIBE Members
Identify yourself! If you have blogging beads from a previous #RootsTech, wear them proudly. For first-timers, Pat Richley-Erikson (aka DearMYRTLE) will have blogging beads with her in the Media Center during the conference. In addition, we’ve ordered orange ribbons to add to your nametag. Laura Hedgecock, Elizabeth O’Neal, and Pat Richley-Erikson will have a supply with them.
Request to join the Genealogy Bloggers at RootsTech Facebook group, administrated by Heather Wilkinson Rojo. Heather has some easy-to-follow instructions for membership pinned to the top of the group page. Like the GeneaBloggersTRIBE Facebook group, you’ll have to answer a couple of questions. Watch the group’s feed for announcements of informal meetups, such as the traditional group photo tentatively scheduled for Friday at 1 pm, by the Media Center in the Exhibit Hall.
If you come to Salt Lake City early to do research in the Family History Library, keep an eye out for people wearing blogger beads and introduce yourself. On Monday, Feb 26, many bloggers will be on the third floor before the broadcast of Mondays with Myrt.
You’ll also want to think about the types of posts you’ll want to compose during RootsTech. Thanks to Randy Seaver’s RootsTech 2017 Blog Compendium, you see the range of topics posted during and after last year’s RootsTech.
- Personal impressions
- Summaries and analyses of keynote speeches
- Interviews with speakers and other attendees
- Interviews with industry representatives and exhibitors
- Spotlights on technology impacting the family history and related industries
- Spotlights on family history issues or initiatives
- New and interesting techniques to promote genealogy to children
In addition to posting during the conference, RootsTech is a great opportunity to collect ideas for content you want to share later in the year.
Stay energized, or at least conscious, by drinking a lot of water. Salt Lake City sits at 4,226 feet (1,288 meters). The dry, winter air causes those of us from lower elevations to dehydrate much more quickly than we would at home.
Know your limits. As Jennie Fairs rightly points out “you cannot physically do everything!” Prioritize what you’ll take in and stay sane. Be sure to get regular meals, a good night’ sleep, and when you can, use the hotel gym.
Sensory overload becomes an understatement after a day or two at #RootsTech. Every now and then, take a few minutes to find a quiet place for a cup of tea, phone call home, or walk in the fresh air.
- Take copious notes. You won’t remember as much as you think you will. Bluetooth keyboards that sync with your phone or tablet are great for typing in your lap.
- Make friends with your neighbors during sessions and exchange business cards.
- The Salt Palace’s WiFi is quickly overwhelmed with the thousands of users trying to get online. Think about setting up a hotspot on your phone.
- Saturday, Family Discovery Day, the exhibit hall is packed. If you’re looking to interview exhibitors, try to catch up with them on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
- Read and heed ConferenceKeepers’ RootsTech Survival Guide – 12 Quick Tips.
- If you’re planning to broadcast from the Salt Palace’s Exhibit Hall, keep in mind that ambient noise is a dull roar Wednesday through Friday (Saturday is worse) as you decide what equipment to pack or whether you really need that noise-cancelling directional mic.
Covering #RootsTech from the Comfort of Your Home
Not everyone can get to Salt Lake City every year. Just because you’re not able to go this year doesn’t mean you’re totally sidelined. Reporting on the live-streamed events can keep your followers up to date.
What tip would you give others about making the most out of your #RootsTech experience? What’s your best tip for integrating your #RootsTech experience with your editorial calendar?
Contributed by Laura Hedgecock and Elizabeth O’Neal
© GeneaBloggersTRIBE 2018