You can now register for the 2017 RootsTech conference scheduled for February 8-11, 2017, early bird pricing is happening right now. I will talk more about it as the time gets closer as I have been asked to be an ambassador, which means I get to give away a free pass to RootsTech again this year. Hooray! I am honored and excited for I've been able to get a sneak peek at what is to come, and it's going to be wonderful.
As I have been reflecting back on the 2016 conference, I think there a couple underlying themes or emphasis for me.
The first is the story.
It will always be about the story. I heard and saw things I will talk more about that in another post, but I did write a few quick thoughts here: Not Forgotten.
Today I want to focus on the second category: media. Rootstech this year was all about interviews, people, and behind the scenes experiences.
One the big things I did this year participated in sofa chat interviews with the keynote speakers. Many of the other ambassadors are professional media people and asked very poignant questions. I took a back seat approach and just listened. Soaking in all the information I could possibly retain. Rather than taking notes I just did a quick recording so that I could go back and think about what I wanted to say. It was interesting to hear people in a more candid environment, unscripted. The speakers were all so genuine and passionate about their stories.
Instead of just leaving them on my hard drive I have uploaded them on a youtube channel if you are interested in watching them. Please note that I just turned on my phone and started recording so the quality isn't great. However, it's good enough and gives you a glimpse of what I saw and heard.
I also found myself on camera, which was an unexpected experience. I posted the first little clip they used here: things to do list. Not sure how I feel about being in front of the camera. I love talking about our story, but something about being on film was uncomfortable. Still, for my posterity, it will be fun to have these little clips for them to see.
In the description, it says that both my grandfather and my son have learning disabilities. In his autobiography, my grandfather talked about how he struggled to learn to read as a young child, but to my knowledge, my grandfather did not have a learning disability. However, my son does and found great comfort in reading about his great grandfather's struggle.
One of the biggest things I learned with all the exposure to the media and behind the scenes was how much work goes into a conference like RootsTech. Just as one is finishing the next is already in the works. It takes a massive amount of coordination and planning. It has been humbling to see all that happens for everyone to enjoy the speakers and classes. Truly, I don't have the words to describe what a huge event this is. I had no idea and the details, so many tiny little things that are thought of and anticipated. It has given me a greater appreciation for the experience and my opportunity to attend and grow. Thank you to everyone who is involved.
A completely random inclusion but I don't know where else to add it.....
One of the local papers used me as a reference in promoting the conference. I had not idea it was coming out until a few family members sent me photos of the newspaper. I read the news digitally on my phone, but seeing this little bit of newspaper made me feel nostalgic for home. Seeing my parents read the paper, finding it delivered in crazy spots around our door, and the sound of the pages crinkling as you turn them and get ink smudged on your hands. It is becoming a lost for of media and gives me some things to think about as I write these words.
If you get a chance, attend this year if possible. The power of family history has changed my life in ways that I am just learning. I would have never guessed and am so pleasantly surprised. I understand now why it's one of the popular hobbies; it's very fulfilling.
I will try and post (perhaps on twitter) when I hear other ambassadors posting their pass giveaways for more chances to win a free pass, so follow me there.
2015 Family Discovery speaker transcripts: I will not be looking for a job in transcription anytime soon.
As a result of all these posts, I am creating a landing page: RootsTech that I will link all the different post and downloads on. It might even make it visually interesting at some point.