Conference Etiquette

I thought it might be worthwhile to mention something about conference etiquette.

How many times have you sat in a presentation where attendees arrive late or leave the session early, often causing annoyance to other attendees and disturbing the presenter?

Or not turned off their mobile phone, or seem to spend more time twiddling with their phone throughout the session that listening to the speaker? That is discourteous to the speaker and other attendees. How about turning it off, or if you really need to keep it on, make sure it is in silent mode.

During the presentations, you may, or may not, be able to take photos of the presenter’s slides, so please respect any requests about not taking photographs. The presenter will have good reasons why photography is not permitted. I know that in my own presentation, strict conditions have been attached to my ability to use the material by the owner. I respect those conditions and I trust my audience members will too.

And finally , a little delicate but…..

If you think you might need to leave the presentation in order to make use of the facilities etc, please try and sit at the end of a row and towards the nearest exit in order that when you do get up to leave, you do not disrupt the enjoyment of others. Remember some of the presentations will be recorded so think : “Do I really want to feature in that video?” . It has been known to happen!

We all want to enjoy the amazing speakers who are presenting at RootsTech, so let us be courteous to them and to our colleagues, so we all enjoy the sessions.

RootsTech 2020 Salt Lake City

Well wow! Not only am I a RootsTech Ambassador and speaker in London, but I am also speaking AND also an Ambassador at the 10th RootsTech in Salt Lake City in 2020. I can’t quite believe it and I had to pinch myself on Tuesday when I received my email. This will be my fourth visit to Salt Lake City for RootsTech. I was unable to attend last year, but am really looking forward to being an Ambassador again.

I am so excited at the thought of meeting so many of my fellow Ambassadors and spreading the word about what will undoubtedly be a great event as RootsTech celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Bookings are now open, and you can read all about it here: https://media.familysearch.org/rootstech-2020-slc-opens-registration/?fbclid=IwAR1PQ0CXk6bgAbdPV4V5M5tXBkrRFwp8c3fNVRELzBhrA8q408sISmdtr00

Early Bird booking is available until October 11th, so act now to by your tickets and come to the most amazing event.

Are you getting ready for RootsTech London?

Preparation is key to any successful trip.

By now you will probably have booked your accommodation, made your travel arrangements, organised your passport and checked if you need a visa or entry clearance if you are coming from abroad.

If you want to bring some home comforts have you checked the UK customs regulations about what can be brought in?

You might need to get to grips with the various modes of transport across London (and the UK in general if you are coming from abroad) This website has some useful suggestions.

https://www.visitlondon.com/traveller-information/getting-around-london/london-maps-and-guides/apps

And most of all, booked your ticket? There is still time to book a ticket to come to RootsTech London, and discounts are still available.

Visitors may want to visit some of our local archives/museums/libraries to research their ancestors whilst in the UK. Many, if not most, will require you to bring identification with you. Your passport or a driver’s photo licence will usually suffice for photo ID, but a recent utility bill or bank statement will be needed for proof of current address. If you use internet banking etc, you might want to print off the most recent statement. I once saw a gentleman unable to obtain a reader’s ticket to The National Archives in Kew as he had not brought the correct ID that day. So make sure you check the requirements for each and every place you want to visit to make sure you have the correct information to ensure you are not disappointed.

For the event itself make sure you have comfortable shoes. You will be on your feet for much of the day. Wear layered clothing. In October it is usually quite chilly in the mornings and evenings, even on sunny days. However, it can get uncomfortably warm inside venues, so the ability to remove or add a layer of clothing as necessary is always useful.

I prefer to use a backpack to store my “loot” in order to spread the weight of the contents across my shoulders. It also means I have both hands free when I am looking at items for sale, taking notes etc. A water bottle is a must, as are pencils and notepads or your electronic gadgets of choice for note taking in the presentations.

Don’t forget to bring chargers, and adapters. In the UK we use 3 pin plugs but if you forget to bring adapters, quite often the larger supermarkets and branches of Boots the Chemist sell travel items so might be able to help.

RootsTech London is going to be a great experience for us all and I hope to see you there.

RootsTech Keynote Speakers Announced

We have known for some time that Donny Osmond was the Saturday keynote speaker at RootsTech London in October. It has now been announced that popular historian Dan Snow @thehistoryman will be the keynote speaker on Thursday, and that Nick Barrett @familyhistorysh will, in addition to delivering his presentations will also be co delivering the Friday Keynote alongside Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International.

The speaker schedule have been available for a while, so now is the time to start planning what talks you want to attend and optimise your time. The link to the speaker schedule can be found here https://www.rootstech.org/schedule

If you have a smart phone or similar gadget, you will soon be able to download an App which will provide you with lots of tools to help you with your planning. It is hoped the updated App will be available later this month. It is a great way to connect with friends and colleagues. If, like me, you already have the app installed, it does not yet have the London event installed.

Some of the talks will be recorded or streamed live. The app is a good way to help those who are #notatRootsTech to see some of these sessions and get a flavour of what attendees will be experiencing.

I am an ambassador for RootsTech London, and obtain free admission.

And The Winner Is……

Knowing at least two of the entrants to my competition personally, I decided to enlist the help of my grandson Toby in selecting a winner. He thought all the entries were pretty weird but eventually chose the word Progonoplexia

Being heartless, I will not tell you what it means, but trust you will all be scurrying off to search our old friend Google to find the answer. It is fair to say that it is a very appropriate word!

My competition to win a 3 day pass to RootsTech London in October is …..(drum roll) ….

RootsTech Ambassador Jill Ball, who entered in order to try and win a ticket for her husband Robert.  

Jill is a well known family historian and blogger in addition to compiling the geneadictionary which you can find here.

https://geneadictionary.wordpress.com/dictionary/

I have myself contrubuted two entries to the geneadictionary – gineology – “hic….consuming gin and tonic whilst discussing family history ” and Genie Chum – an English version of Genimate.

Well done Jill , and I look forward to meeting Robert again later this year in London.

Rootstech Latest News

RootsTech London has news about their Exhibition Hall. You can read all about it here:

https://www.rootstech.org/blog/london-exhibition-hall-highlight#__prclt=QMaB8ex5

If you have not already done so, you still have time to win a free 3 day pass.

One of the benefits of being a Rootstech Ambassador is that I am able to offer one lucky winner a 3 day pass, worth £149.

The Pass includes admission to the following:

• _Over 150 classes

• _Keynote/ General sessions

• _Expo Hall

• _Evening event

Note: If you have already purchased a RootsTech London pass, you can get a full refund.

The prize does not include transport or accommodation.

To have a chance of winning, all you need to do is to enter my Wacky Word Competition.

The Rules of Competition

  • What is the wackiest word you have come across whilst researching your family tree and which had you reaching for the dictionary?
  • Explain the circumstances where you found it and its meaning.
  • Cite your source.

The judge’s decision if final.

Closing date for Entries is 4 August 2019.

Send your entry by email to: sylvia@recoveryourroots.co.uk

Disclaimer

As a RootsTech Ambassador, I receive free admission to the event.

RootsTech London Competition Time.

Plans for RootsTech London are well advanced, the list of classes, (as RootsTech like to call the workshops) has been issued. There are more than 150 sessions you can choose from and the admission is included in the price of your ticket. Yours truly is speaking on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. when I will be speaking about Researching English and Welsh Workhouse Records.

You can check out all the classes here:

https://www.rootstech.org/schedule

If you are particularly interested in DNA and what can be done with your test results, here is the link.

https://www.rootstech.org/blog/dna-classes-at-rootstech-london?fbclid=IwAR3ynHJOzMxsLTCnuADYdTtKLE8_xI-_yr4w5E6DOSbUZQQNeDNjqb68rfc#__prclt=iPwN4Mjr

There will be a large exhibition area with more than 100 stands.

Making it the perfect place to discover what’s new in the industry, meet exhibitors, and meet and make friends.

One of the benefits of being a Rootstech Ambassador is that I am able to offer one lucky winner a 3 day pass, worth £149.

The Pass includes admission to the following:

• _Over 150 classes

• _Keynote/ General sessions

• _Expo Hall

• _Evening event

Note: If you have already purchased a RootsTech London pass, you can get a full refund.

The prize does not include transport or accommodation.

To have a chance of winning, all you need to do is to enter my Wacky Word Competition.

The Rules of Competition

  • What is the wackiest word you have come across whilst researching your family tree and which had you reaching for the dictionary?
  • Explain the circumstances where you found it and its meaning.
  • Cite your source.

The judge’s decision if final.

Closing date for Entries is 4 August 2019.

Send your entry by email to: sylvia@recoveryourroots.co.uk

Disclaimer

As a RootsTech Ambassador, I receive free admission to the event.

Family History Events 2019

2019 is a busy year for Family History events in the UK as a quick look at the calendar of events, available on http://geneva.weald.org.uk/ will testify. And not everything is on the list! Events range from local society meetings, escorted walks, conferences and study days, larger one day shows and even larger 2 or 3 day events. So if you are planning an event, its a good idea to check the calendar before selecting a date, and its a good idea for organisers to get their event listed too. It is impossible for anyone to attend every event of course but for the family historian, there are plenty of opportunities to pursue their interest each year.

2019 has seen three new events join the calendar, FamilyTreeLive in April held at Alexandra Palace London, THE Genealogy Show held at the NEC Birmingham in June and RootsTech which will be happening in October at ExCeL London. Each event is unique in itself, and having attended RootsTech in Salt Lake City on three occasions, it will be interesting to see how the format translates to the UK. I can’t comment on the FamilyTreeLive event as I was attending a genealogical conference in Edmonton in Alberta Canada where I was a speaker at the same time. I also presented at THE Genealogy Show in Birmingham and will be speaking at RootsTech in London, where I am also be an Ambassador.

In the coming weeks I will be writing more about RootsTech London in my capacity as Ambassador, but at this stage will just say that, in my opinion, anyone with an interest in family history should include RootsTech on their “bucket list” to experience the difference between that event and the types of events we are accustomed to, and by bringing the event to London, the organisers are making the event more accessible for European family historians.

Finally, I want to congratulate the team behind organising THE Genealogy Show. Starting with a conversation on an aeroplane in March on the return from RootsTech 2018, to put on such a high quality event in such a short time, is nothing short of an amazing achievement. The show attracted top flight international speakers, many speaking in the UK for the first time. There was an exhibition area with more than 70 exhibitors and it was good to see a great turn out of many of the country’s Family History Societies. The lecture theatres were enclosed, making it easier for both speakers and audience members alike as the noise from the main hall did not distract. It also meant that only those who had bought a ticket heard the talk, keeping the “cheeky peekers” at bay!

The venue was accessible for attendees with mobility needs, and there were plenty of places for attendees to sit down to rest their feet. The organisers have already announced dates for 2020 – 26 and 27th June, so pop the date in your diary now.

Reflections on RootsTech 2018

A rather belated round up of RoosTech 2018, but the reason will become clear!

Although RootsTech 2018 was my third experience as an attendee, this was the first year I attended as an Ambassador.  I was delighted to be invited to be an Ambassador and receive the benefits awarded to the Ambassadors. These included the opportunity to be able to give a free admission to a lucky attendee, who came along and said hello to me, to receive advance notice of events and press releases in addition to having access to speakers in the Media Hub. The Media Hub provided a dedicated space where I could work, meet my fellow ambassadors, make some new friends and meet face to face some of the people I follow on Twitter.

You may have heard about the App which enabled cousins attending RoosTech to connect. By adding your family tree to the Family Search website, the data was crunched and up came a list of attendees to whom you were related. This was very popular with attendees and many conversations were stimulated between delegates who were able to meet. I do not keep my family tree on FamilySearch but having recently started to work on my DNA results I had managed to identify a link to my great x 3 grandparents. I decided to put a small branch of my tree onto FamilySearch and within a few hours, the App identified 21 cousins attending the event – all 4th cousins of 4th cousin once removed, and I had great pleasure in meeting two of the attendees too.

The whole event went past in a bit of a whirl, talks to attend, people to meet and of course helping the exhibition stand for the University of Dundee, with whom I am currently studying. There were some amazing keynote speakers. I must admit some of the names were unfamiliar to me but I enjoyed them all and one in particular, by Olympic Gold Medallist Scott Hamilton, was particularly moving on many levels. You can see the keynote speakers by following the link https://www.rootstech.org/rootstech-2018-videos

I also made my speaking debut in the USA, being part of a 3 woman panel which included Kirsty Gray of Family Wise Ltd and Dr Patricia Whatley from University of Dundee. Family Wise was a Bronze Sponsor at RootsTech. The talk, or class as they like to describe them at RootsTech, discussed using Parish Chest Records in England and Scottish Poor Law records and Kirk Records of Scotland to trace ancestors. The class stimulated a lively question and answer session and subsequently several people stopped by our respective exhibition areas to continue their questions.

People resident in the UK frequently ask me if RootsTech is worth attending. Yes, it’s a big expense for travel, accommodation and food, but anyone who is serious about their family history really should have RootsTech on their Genealogical Bucket List.

The trouble with an eleven hour flight is when your travelling companion says something along the lines of “we really need to try and have an event to replace WhoDoYouThinkYouAre Live?” and you spend the remainder of the flight starting to plan it….

Do come and see us at https://www.thegenealogyshow.uk/

in Birmingham in 2019 and you can follow us on Twitter @THEGenShow2019

A Belated Thursday Rootstech Report Part One

You may have wondered what happened to my promised blogs from RootsTech 2018, well a few “gremlins” got in my way, so here is my summary of my experiences of Thursday.

20180301_084430 (2)

An inspiring talk by Brandon Stanton  kicked off Thursday’s proceedings. In all honesty, I had never heard of this remarkable man or of his blog Humans of New York but his keynote speech was both inspiring and moving and I will be joining his followers on Facebook.

After dropping out of college and a not having any focus or purpose in his life for a period, eventually he returned to education, obtained his degree, found a job. This gave him the status, money and material possessions which many crave.  However, life had an unpleasant surprise in store and like so many others at the time, when the recession struck, he lost his job. Again, the time had come for him to rethink his life.

Having always been a keen photographer, he eventually decided that he wanted to try and do something with his passion and he took his dream and made it a reality. He did not wait for the perfect idea to come along, by a process of trial and error it finally evolved into the successful career he now has.

In itself, that is not such a remarkable story, many people have taken their dream and turned it into reality, but what resonated so strongly for me personally, was how he realised the need for each of us to take time to listen to what other people needed to say. REALLY listen. Not to think about life in terms of me and my own status in life. During my own working life prior to my retirement, I spent almost 30 years working in the voluntary sector. My work involved talking to and listening to, people who were facing some sort of problems or crises in their lives. Often by being able to talk to a complete stranger, the problem became more manageable for that troubled individual and by suggesting what options might be available- the individual concerned was empowered to take back control of their problem.

Listening, really listening to our fellow man, showing concern, makes a real difference.