My plans for day 2 included attending several talks, helping out my fellow directors on the Register of Qualified Genealogists on their exhibition stand and generally familiarising myself with the exhibitors.
Whilst the exhibition area (The Expo Hall) is not as large as that in Salt Lake City, nevertheless there were plenty of stands to visit and lots of tempting offers, and of course, lots of friends and acquaintances to greet. I have not been hugged by so many people for a long time!
As the Expo Hall admission was free, I was able to persuade a family friend to come along to get a taste of what RootsTech is all about. My earlier efforts to get her to attend had failed, as she thought “it was not for her”. Being busy we did not have much time for a chat, but I suggested she sit in on some of the talks provided by the exhibitors. One of my RQG friends later said she had met my friend over lunch and had discovered how we became friends. I subsequently learned that she had won an annual subscription to FindMyPast. Should RootsTech decide to return to London, I hope she will now feel RootsTech is for her!
The general Keynote was delivered by Kadeena Cox. Kadeena is an Olympic Paralympian medal winner. Now I have to confess I am not a sports fan, and athletics leave me cold, however Kadeena’s story of her struggle to succeed at two separate sports following a stroke and a multiple sclerosis diagnosis was both heart- warming and inspiring. Coming from a family which is part of the Windrush generation which settled in Leeds, she also emphasised the importance of her extended family.
You can watch the general keynote sessions by clicking here https://www.rootstech.org/category/2019-london-keynotes-general-sessions
My best laid plans to attend as many DNA classes as I possibly could soon fell by the wayside. I was too busy chatting to exhibitors, friends and fellow RootsTech Ambassadors. I was also interviewed by the RootsTech team, so who knows, one day I might end up in some of their promotional videos! So I have decided to buy the Virtual Pass, which enables me to have 9 months to watch 20 of the sessions which were filmed.
On most Tuesdays between 7 and 8 p.m. GMT I can be found moderating the weekly AncestryHour chat. On all three days at 3 p.m. we assembled in the meet and greet area in the Expo Hall. Each day I handed out AncestryHour ribbons and group photos were taken. Here are a few of the Friday gang.
By 5 o’clock I was exhausted and retired to my room for a brief rest and run through of my presentation before meeting up again with friends for a meal and some liquid refreshment. We also caught up with several of the delegates attending the Comicon event which was also taking place at the ExCel Centre. Earlier that morning I had seen a few amazing sights and that evening, even more of the creative costumes were on display.
So a relatively early night, as I had an early start on Saturday. More about that in my Day 3 Roundup.