Since the beginning of the RootsTech Conference, innovation has been a vital feature of the conference. The RootsTech Conference grew from a series predecessor conferences including the Family History Technology Workshop, and the FamilySearch Developers Conference, the Computerized Genealogy Conference. RootsTech, as it is known today, made its branding debut in 2011. And since the official start of RootsTech, each year has changed and this year will be no different.
In 2018, the conference made some changes that saddened many. The first was the cancellation of the Innovator Showdown which debuted in 2015. The first winner was StoryWorth, followed by Tap Genes in 2016 and OldNews USA in 2017. The Innovation Showcase, following the keynote on Wednesday morning, will have a ‘main stage approach to highlighting advances in the genealogy industry’ (according to the RootsTech website). It will feature a presentation in the areas of records, digital memories, and DNA and allow attendees to voice their opinion in these areas. Will this panelist format be as engaging as the Showcase it the past? We will have to wait and see.
For those interested in a developers competition, RootsTech is hosting the GrowUtah DNA Innovation Contest. More details about that are on this website: growutah.com/centrum/dna
The noticeable difference is the elimination of the Innovation Track of classes and extending the genealogical sessions to Wednesday. A few tech-centric workshops are still available for attendees with an in development, business, and industry topics.
Be warned about these classes if you are new to genealogy. They will not help you climb your family tree. However, if you have the curious cat syndrome, you might want to sit in on these classes if other alternatives do not sway your attention.
Despite the decrease in developer classes at RootsTech, you will see innovation and the latest tips and strategies for technology-based research and memory preservation. The best place to soak it all in is the Expo Hall.
RootsTech has announced the exhibitors that you will find on Innovator Alley. They include:
(Take a Name app)
|Pass It Down
(Preserve living histories)
(Scan and Tag Photos)
(Video Life Stories)
(On demand book printing)
(Digital Estate Planning)
So, innovation is around, but the Innovation Classes are significantly reduced. What do you think? Is this a positive or negative direction for the conference that has technology in its name? Or, are you like us and we’ll wait and see?
Be sure to stop by our booth in the Expo Hall to register for our drawings, purchase one of our books, or just say hello to your fellow Fanatics!