Saturday, September 6, 2014

Our Stories: Preparing for my first RootsTech

During the latter half of 2013, RootsTech and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced that they were combining their conferences in 2015. I thought ‘Hey, I’m graduating from Uni at the end of 2014, why not make it a graduation present to myself?’ And with that, I made it my goal to attend.

At the beginning of 2014, I began researching information about RootsTech to get an idea of hotels, prices and whatnot. I learned that it is a good idea to book your hotel around July/August when prices are released. So, I did.

Since July, I had been checking the website almost every day to find out when registration was going to open. It kept saying ‘late summer’ and at some point it changed to ‘late August’. When I checked it on Tuesday the 26th of August, the RootsTech website said registration would open on August 29th. I just about jumped out of my chair. I looked at the prices and noticed that it was $159 + FGS add-on for $39. I crossed over to the FGS website and discovered that registration was already open there, for a cost of $139 if you register before September 12th + RoostTech add-on of $39. Basically, registering for FGS was $20 cheaper. So, on Friday the 29th of August, that’s what I did. You can watch my video of that HERE (Warning: dancing included).

I have been saving and saving for this trip and am super excited, but I am also a little worried because it could be my first overseas trip solo. My Aunt might come with me but we are not 100% sure at this stage. During my excitement this past week, I bought myself a super cute travel diary the other day, along with a new 2015 diary (seriously? It’s only September!). The hotel is booked and registration is done. Flights? Not yet. I’m saving up a little bit more money before I do that. My main priority is booking the Dallas – Salt Lake City flight though. 

I also need to watch some videos about RootsTech so I can make sure I am prepared and have everything I need. One particular video I am going to watch is the Google Hangout Jill Ball (GeniAus) did about RootsTech for first timers.

Every now and then I get many thoughts and questions running through my head such as…
- Do I take my laptop or tablet or both?
- How many business cards do I need? Should I order more beforehand?
- Should I use a separate camera for vlogging instead of my phone?

Little random yet important questions like that!

I will keep y'all updated with blog posts and videos about my preparation for RootsTech & FGS.

Are YOU going to RootsTech & FGS next year?

Do YOU have any advice for my first time at RootsTech & FGS? Or a first genealogy conference in general? 


  1. You will have an awesome time, as I did at my first RootsTech this year.

    From memory, there was wifi in the venue but not in the Exhibit Hall (where I spent a lot of my time).

    Take both laptop and tablet if you can...a wheelie case is essential, as you will pick up a lot of "stuff".

    Last but not least...have a great time!!!

  2. Hi Caitlin I have nominated this blog for a One Lovely Blog Award read about it here

  3. Jealous? You bet I am! You are going to have a blast! My only advice is to bring every piece of warm clothing you own because winter in Utah is horrible beyond all description. But don't let that getcha down :)

  4. Oh, and Caitie. I was just reading some fine print and they do have a student discount available for the 3 day pass. Since you're a university student, you definitely would qualify. Email them at to ask them for details.

    1. Thanks! I didn't end up going for the student pass, only because I'm no longer a student as of November.