Class Selections for RootsTech 2017

Selecting Classes for RootsTech 2017

RootsTech is fast approaching.  Now that you can access the class options via the website or the mobile app, it’s time to seriously review the class schedule and make some decisions. If you’re like me, you’re traveling a long way and/or sacrificing time and money to attend. Planning your class schedule ahead is crucial for having a successful conference.

No matter your genealogy or technology skills set, you’ll want to evaluate classes based on some basic guidelines.

  1. Seek Classes Where You Can Learn Something New
  2. Select a Class Based on Content, Rather than Big Name (unless you just want to be entertained)
  3. Select a Class Where the Syllabus Matches the Class Title and Description.
When I have an unpleasant experience at a conference, it’s usually the fault of the presenter or myself. If the presenter is boring, then I feel that the sacrifice of time away from my kids to suffer through a sub-standard presentation is unacceptable. Unfortunately, unless you have experience with conference speakers, it’s tough to know this information before hand. Oh, how I wish a review service existed for presenters, much like Yelp! or Angie’s List. Hmmm… maybe someone should develop an innovation for next year’s conference based on that.
In the meantime, you’ll know within the first 5 minutes of a class if a teacher is going to put you to sleep or not. Be prepared with a backup class offering just in case you need to make a ‘polite’ exit to the bathroom (which really means, sneak off to another class or the expo hall).

Unsuccessful class selections that are my fault involves falling in love with a class description or title but not reviewing the syllabus ahead of time. Often when I review a handout, I’ll know whether what I read and the presenter meant are a match.  A syllabus for each class at RootsTech is ONLY available through the mobile app. Be sure to download the app or follow this hack to access the app through the computer. (Thanks, Randy and Ancestry Insider!)

There are some additional things to keep in mind:

  • Add-On Track: This includes all of the labs, as well as sponsor luncheons. My classes are in the Add-On Track for Friday afternoon!
  • Getting Started Track: Be warned, unless you’ve purchased the Getting Started Track Pass, you will not be allowed to attend these classes. Apparently, this is a new policy for this year’s RootsTech.

Yes, there are over 200+ options. Find the ones that are right for you. And if you’re uncertain of which class to take, read the syllabus. I was able to narrow my class selections for 4 per hour to one or two possibilities from the handouts alone.

Leave a comment on which classes you plan on taking in the comment section below. 

See you at RootsTech 2017!

Further RootsTech Conference Reading:

Family History Fanatics Videos from RootsTech 2017

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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