|A graphic of a tree with "rootstech connect" written underneath|
As you probably know, I love family history, and I've been fortunate enough to be able to attend RootsTech, a huge genealogy conference, for the past few years. Earlier this year, RootsTech was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the end of February--late enough in the year that people had heard of covid-19, but early enough that gatherings were still happening in the United States. Now, of course, the pandemic has spread worldwide, and the thought of bringing tens of thousands of people together in one place just doesn't seem like a good idea anymore.
Fortunately, RootsTech has always been about blending family history and technology, and if there is one thing that this pandemic has taught us, it is that we can do so much more virtually than we ever dreamed possible! For 2021, RootsTech will be called RootsTech Connect, an online conference that will contain many of the same beloved aspects as the past years conferences--entertaining keynote speakers, informative classes, and an expo hall (virtual, of course) with all the latest products--AND there will be new, exciting improvements. Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch International CEO, explained in a press release:
Classes will be taught in many languages, and presenters will teach from a number of international locations. We will celebrate cultures and traditions from around the world, with activities that the audience can participate in from home—such as homeland cooking demonstrations, storytelling, and music performances. This is one virtual event you won’t want to miss.
RootsTech has always done a great job capturing the joy of family history, and showing that the names, dates, and places are just the beginning; the real treasure is contained in the connections that come when the stories are told. To understand the stories, the culture needs to be understood, as well. I am excited to see and hear the "homeland cooking demonstrations, storytelling, and music performances."
Although I will miss gathering together in person as in years past, I am so happy that RootsTech Connect will allow more people to participate in the conference. Travel isn't always feasible, and by making the conference virtual, and recording the presentations, RootsTech Connect can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Languages other than English will be represented. One of the most exciting changes is that RootsTech Connect will be FREE. That's right; you won't pay a dime to register!
Mark your calendars for February 25-27, 2021 and go to www.rootstech.org to register for free.