As you may know, the 2021 all-virtual RootsTech conference (dubbed RootsTech Connect this year), is going on right now. I have not been able to watch much of it yet, despite it being on my calendar for months. But I have explored the website a little bit and I’m blown away with the learning opportunities.
The great news is that most of the sessions will be available to watch until next year’s RootsTech in March 2022 (which is scheduled to be held in person). You can watch as many sessions as you want now. They’re available on demand. Live keynotes are available on a schedule. My understanding is that the keynotes will be available to watch after the conference.
But there are features that are probably going to be available only during the conference (that is, through Saturday). They include:
- Chat, where you can interact with like-minded genealogists
- Relatives at RootsTech, where you can see how many people who are registered for the conference are related to you through the Family Search tree. So far, I have 37,376 relatives attending the conference! (A quick tip: I found that when I clicked on “See Your Relatives” using Safari, I got an error message. But it works just fine in Chrome and Firefox.)
- Searching for your friends who are attending see how you might be related (my dear friend and podcast co-host, Shannon Wilkinson, and are 9th cousins once removed!)
(I don’t know for a fact that these will be going away after the conference, but I don’t want to take any chances.)
There are lots of ways to approach participating in RootsTech, but here’s what I suggest (and this is what I plan to do this weekend when I’ll have more time):
- Go to the Rootstech website.
- Login to your Family Search account (or create one if you don’t already have one).
- Click on Menu, then Relatives at RootsTech to find your relatives and see how you’re related. If you want, send relatives a message either by clicking on Send a Message under their name or through the little Connect box at the bottom of the home screen.
- Click on Guide Me for some suggestions on what you might want to watch or if you’re feeling confused, watch the Website Tutorial by clicking the button near the top of the screen.
- Alternatively, if you know what you want to watch, click on Sessions and search or browse for sessions.
- Add sessions to your Playlist, so you watch them at your leisure.
- Join a chat room by clicking on Connect, then Chat Rooms. Click on the little magnifying glass to search for a particular group or interest.
- Explore the Virtual Expo Hall. You can browse or search for particular vendors.
The whole thing is free of charge and it’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss. I have always been blown away by how well organized RootsTech is. This RootsTech Connect conference takes it to another level.
I want to be clear, because my emails indicate there is some confusion, that I am not affiliated with RootsTech. I’ve been a speaker twice and I’m an enthusiastic attendee, but otherwise I have nothing to do this amazing conference. I just want to make sure my readers are making the most of it!