I first attended Rootstech in 2016. On registration, you receive a delegate badge in a plastic wallet attached to a lanyard. Nothing particularly remarkable about that., its fairly standard conference procedure. What was unusual, particularly to my English eyes, was the number of conference badges adorned with “ribbons”, in a multitude of colours, bearing different messages, slogans, logos etc, some serious, and some downright wacky!
And so, for my trip this year, I have joined the ribbon brigade, I am not only collecting ribbons, but also distributing them to delegates. I have already acquired several ribbons and the event has barely started.
Ribbons are a great conversation piece and a great ice breaker. Also, walking around Salt Lake City, the Rootstech delegate badge and its ribbon “tail” provoke smiles and acknowledgement from complete strangers. How very un-British! Standing in my hotel reception this evening, my colleague and I were asked to explain the meaning of our ribbons by a group of American businessmen. Currently, my trail of ribbons includes: Exhibitor, Trouble Maker, I Tweet, Caution! Researcher, Support your Local Archives, England, The Surname Society and #Ancestryhour .
I have already seen Crazy Cat Lady, I Haunt Cemeteries, Wales, Family Storyteller and Runs with Scissors to name but a few. By the end of the conference some of the ribbon tails will be a positive trip hazard!
You can follow my tweets of events at Rootstech 2017 by following @Historylady2013. I will be tweeting photos of the ribbons too.