Wednesday, February 10, 2016

12 Takeaways from the RootsTech 2016 Conference

Here are some of my thoughts and conclusions from the RootsTech 2016 Conference in Salt Lake City last week, in no particular order:

1)  The MyHeritage after-party was a first and set a marker - we may see these at every major conference from now on.  Well done, MyHeritage!



2)  The Ancestry/Family Tree Maker/RootsMagic sync announcement on 2 February was a bombshell, and resulted in significant buzz at the Expo Hall.

3)  Findmypast made several announcements at the conference, and put my parents' wedding photo on their Marriage promotion wall.


4)  I enjoyed the Keynote talks by Steve Rockwood, Stan Ellsworth, Paula Madison, A.J. Jacobs, and Mike Mansfield, but thought several others were a waste of time.  The Doris Kearns Goodwin talk would have been better with some visuals.  The best was Paula Madison's story.  Just wow.  I prefer genealogy stuff to stories stuff.

5)  The Expo Hall had over 130 exhibitors, and I managed to visit maybe 30 of them.  I didn't watch any of the talks in the MyHeritage, Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch, Genealogy Gems, and Demo Stage "little theaters," but lots of attendees did.  



6)  The 30 x 50 foot family tree wall at the Genealogy Wall Charts exhibit was amazing.  They did land office business making color wall charts for a fee from the FamilySearch Family Tree.



7)  The Media Hub was really busy with more Ambassadors and schedule video booth and sofa interviews with celebrities and others.  The FamilySearch team did a remarkable job of managing all of this!  I tried to stay out of the way and just watch and blog and wander the Expo Hall occasionally.



8)  I enjoyed the MyHeritage and Ancestry.com luncheons, and made a 15-minute presentation on the MyHeritage Record Matches at their luncheon.   Kendall Hulet had interesting "coming soon" news at the Ancestry lunch.  Unfortunately, it lasted past 1 p.m. and I missed the Geneabloggers group photo in the Media Hub.  My bad!



9)  The DearMYRTLE After-Party was a lot of fun with about 40 in attendance.  I finally met Israel Pickholtz, Geoff Mulholland, and several other new-to-me persons.  Thank you Pat and Gordon and Carrie and Stacy.



10)  I attended the Innovator Summit and watched the Keynote talks, the Innovator Showdown, the DNA panel and the BYU technology talk.  The BYU Technology lab is really a great technology incubator.  

11)  I attended no presentations of RootsTech classes, although I will watch several of them on the video channel later this week.

12)  It is amazing how many young people are involved with the exhibitor companies. This is very good news for all of us - the innovation and advancing technology will continue to grow the genealogy industry.  


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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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4 comments:

Jill Ball said...

It seemed busier than ever this year. I hardky got to talk to domd people including you, Randy. Thanks forvthe beaut job you did with the blog compilation. I'll be sharing it far and wide when I get home.

Ted Johnson said...

I couldn't agree more with your comments about the Keynotes. I think FamilySearch has gone way overboard with the stories thing. I realize they are trying to get more young people interested in family history, and that's great. But, come on, let's have a balance. Most of the attendees at RootsTech are serious genealogists and, I'm thinking, would like to hear at least a few keynotes on "genealogy stuff."

Jill Ball said...

It seemed busier than ever this year. I hardky got to talk to domd people including you, Randy. Thanks forvthe beaut job you did with the blog compilation. I'll be sharing it far and wide when I get home.

GeneGinny said...

I quit attending RootsTech after the shift to "stories" over genealogy research three years ago. Now that over 25,000 people are attending RootsTech, I've got another good reason not to attend.