It’s Okay to Be a Fanatic at RootsTech 2016

Tweets are chirping that people have arrived in rainy Salt Lake City. Facebook posts talk of others who will soon be on their way. The Innovator Showdown contestants are putting the final touches no their presentations in hopes of winning the cash prizes. Attendees are planning out their schedules and considering demos at the Expo Hall. One has to wonder, is it okay to be a little be excited at the largest genealogy conference in the United States?

“Heck, yea!”

Having attended a ComicCon as Catwoman with my daughter as Ms. Marvel, I finally understand just how much conference planners want us to have fun. They want us to meet our favorite authors, bloggers, educators, and superstars while learning something in the process. And if you turn into a little ‘groupie’ over LeVar Burton or The Cake Boss. That’s Okay!

Have fun. Meet new people at RootsTech

You never know who you will run into and where these new relationships will take you. If you don’t believe me, then you need to keep reading about my Genealogy Fan Girl experience from last year. (Hmm… maybe I need to make that phrase into a T-Shirt?)

I digress!

RootsTech 2016 was an incredible experience as I tagged along with my husband as he presented. He posted about his views of being a Newbie at RootsTech. As I pack up my bags and head out to Salt Lake City, I am so looking forward to something beyond the classes, the Expo Hall, and the evening entertainment. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends. And, I wonder what new friends I’ll meet as well.

Devon Noel Lee with Jana Last and True Lewis at RootsTech 2016
I met one of the first readers of my blog, Jana Last. She introduced me to True Lewis.

You can follow Jana at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com and True Lewis at http://mytrueroots.blogspot.com.

Devon Noel Lee and Amie Bowser Tennant at RootsTech 2016
I met the energetic Amie Bowser Tennant.

I learned that Amie’s daughter has the same name as me. Said daughter was confused when she was told her mom was waiting to talk to while on the phone with my ‘namesake.’ Okay, she’s not my namesake, but I love meeting FEMALE Devons, no matter how they spell their names. Follow Amie at https://thegenealogyreporter.com

Devon Noel Lee and Nicole Dyer at RootsTech 2016
Meeting the stylish Nicole Dyer

Nicole gave me pointers on how to take selfies. Yeah, I know. I’m late to the smartphone game. I’m so impressed with Nicole and her mother’s blog Family Locket. You have to put this blog on your must-read if you’re trying to share family history with young children!!! Follow their blog here: http://familylocket.com

Devon Noel Lee and Amy Johnson Crow at RootsTech 2016
Meeting the Ohio Connection – Amy Johnson Crow

Amy laughed at me when I said I don’t like a particular school that hails from Columbus, Ohio. She was decked out in Scarlet and Gray! My momma would be so proud! Since then, I’ve loved all the Ohio help that Amy has shared online and with me personally, including her recent article Finding Newspapers From Your Ancestor’s Hometown.

Devon Noel Lee and Randy Seaver at RootsTech 2016
The nicest guy I’ve ever met – Randy Seaver. 

I could spend hours talking with Randy. He’s funny and knowledgeable and such a great supporter of all things genealogy. His blog has weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun events. Although I may not participate in them all, I do love the thought experiments they provoke. If you haven’t heard of Genea-Musings, you need to go there now. Then you can finish reading this post.

Devon Noel Lee and Alison Taylor at RootsTech 2016
Here’s my “Fan Girl” Moment with Alison Taylor

I’m a big fan of Alison and her husband as lecturers and their books. I haven’t needed to utilize their services for my own project as I like to play with digital layouts. But, if you require their services, you’re hiring a top-notch duo. I love Alison’s work so much, I even reviewed her book that can help you capture your personal history!!! Check it out.

Now, go order the book or enlist her services at http://picturesandstories.com.

SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST

Now, I love all the people I met and who posed for photos with me. But THE BEST meet-up was with my friend Felicia. I’ve known Felicia since I lived in upstate New York. I didn’t know she was attending and when I saw her passing by, I’m pretty sure I scared “Felicia!!!” in my excitable way.

Devon Noel Lee and her New York Pal Felicia
She was just as excited to see me!!!!

Y’all, with my parents and grandparents in Heaven, seeing old friends is like running into family. It’s fun. It’s exciting. And it’s the highlight of everything I do.

May we all have a fantastic time at RootsTech 2017. May we learn the things we need to take our family history a little further. May we make friends that help and encourage us in our work. And may we find family (or next to family).

It’s time to pack those bags and see you soon!!!

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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