RootsTech 2021: After the Conference

Introduction: In this article – even though RootsTech Connect wrapped-up last weekend – Gena Philibert-Ortega shows how to continue enjoying free RootsTech 2021 material all year long. Gena is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.”

Wow! There was a lot going on at RootsTech this past week. Even as a virtual event it was HUGE. Don’t feel bad if you couldn’t attend – you still have a chance. And for those who did spend the weekend at the live virtual event, you still have plenty of time to catch up on anything you missed. This is one free genealogical event that you will want to take advantage of all year long.

A screenshot of the RootsTech 2021 home page
Credit: FamilySearch

The Party Lasts for a Year

It used to be you would go to a conference, listen to great presentations, network, see old friends, pick up genealogy-related products and then just like that… it was over. Not anymore. One of the benefits of a virtual world is that the conference can live on long after the “live” event is over. And so it is with RootsTech.

It’s not too late to benefit from RootsTech 2021. Although some of the features of the event, such as live presentations and the chat, are gone, other features – including the recorded presentations – are available for a year. Take time now to plan out your genealogy education for 2021 and include some RootsTech presentations each month.

Search Carefully

Although the RootsTech website is user-friendly, it can be challenging to find the presentations you’re interested in. After all, there are 1500+ to choose from. If you are certain a particular presentation exists but you’re not finding it, I suggest either searching by a topic (such as DNA) or on the presenter’s name. Once you find it, click on the button to add it to your Playlist (available if you were registered). That way it will be easier for you to retrieve when you’re ready to watch it.

A screenshot of the RootsTech 2021 "Explore Sessions" page
Credit: FamilySearch

Start a RootsTech 2021 File

It’s a virtual world, but there are some physical items to take away from the conference. For example, speakers may have provided handouts that can be downloaded. These will provide you resources, websites and additional information that corresponds to their presentation, and even topics they didn’t have time to cover. Take advantage of this by creating a RootsTech folder on your computer and save everything there. Once you save the handouts in your folder, you can annotate them or just refer to them as you listen to presentations.

Don’t forget about the Expo Hall. Vendors have added items to their “virtual booth.” Those items range from magazines and eBooks to charts and tip sheets. Make sure to add those to your RootsTech file as well. And speaking of the Expo Hall…

Peruse the Virtual Expo Hall

RootsTech is over, so why should you check out the Expo Hall? After all, the vendors aren’t there to answer questions and most of the discounts have expired.

A screenshot of the RootsTech 2021 "Virtual Expo Hall" page
Credit: FamilySearch

Although the Expo Hall is “closed,” everything in the virtual booths, minus the one-on-one assistance, is available. Exhibitors uploaded videos and all sorts of materials in the form of guides, publications, and charts that can be downloaded. Those items can be helpful to better understanding new services and products as well as old favorites.

Tip: Check out the GenealogyBank booth for two eBook downloads and videos demonstrating how to search the website.

A screenshot of GenealogyBank's "Virtual Booth" page for RootsTech 2021
Credit: FamilySearch

Did You Have Relatives at RootsTech?

Do you have a FamilySearch tree? One of the ways you could have participated in RootsTech was to register for the conference with your FamilySearch account. This allowed you to view what relatives, based on your FamilySearch tree, attended RootsTech.

A screenshot of the RootsTech 2021 "Relatives at RootsTech" page
Credit: FamilySearch

If you do have a FamilySearch tree and you did sign into the conference using your FamilySearch account, go to the top black toolbar on the RootsTech website and click on the Menu at the far right. Now click on Relatives at RootsTech to see the list of your relatives there.

So why should you do this? You may find some new-to-you cousins, or cousins you haven’t heard from in a while. Clicking on the person’s name reveals a chart with your relationship and a message feature. Might be a good time to reconnect or collaborate on your shared genealogy.

RootsTech All Year Long

Last weekend was too busy for you and you didn’t attend RootsTech? No problem! You still have time to benefit from the education and information RootsTech offers. Take some time to learn more about genealogy. After all, you can’t beat the price!

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