RootsTech 2017 Stage with caption RootsTech Better Every Year

RootsTech 2017: Better Every Year

RootsTech 2017 was better than 2016.  Perhaps the second time around made RootsTech for me. Or perhaps this conference just had more things done well. I had a feeling things were going to be great when I noticed the signage.

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”
“Signs” by Tesla
(originally by The Five Man Electrical Band)

Few people pay attention to the little details around a convention, but with my experience working for the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in the marketing department, I learned to pay attention to the signs. The Salt Palace greeted you with a huge black and white 1920s era photo. SO inviting!

RootsTech 2017 tower Signage

 As you descended the escalators from the street level towards the registration, you were greeted not only by vertical signage emphasizing major sponsors of the conference. Additionally, directional signage on the floor pointed which way to go once you stepped off the descending staircase.

RootsTech 2017 floor Signage

Seriously y’all. Whoever thought of this idea, and then designed and implemented it, needs a raise! Having driven in a major city like Houston for two years and noticing the painted signage on the traffic-congested high-speed freeways, sometimes what’s on the ground is a better traffic flow assistant than the vertical signs. Well done!!!!

RootsTech 2017 Signage

There’s an App for That!

Last year the RootsTech app was less than helpful and didn’t work half the time. This year, the app was better. Unfortunately, getting access to handouts was available through numerous steps using the app (no website access available). Thankfully, my buddy Randy Seaver helped me find a web-based hack that got around this problem. (Click here for the link to his hack!)

RootsTech 2017 App

I loved the announcements in the App and using it to find my way around the Expo Hall. That’s what a conference app should do.

What I didn’t like was that the app was supposed to be a social sharing app. I need simplicity in my life. I have Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus in addition to my YouTube Channel.

I don’t need yet another platform in which to be social. If the social aspect was scuttled in next year’s app, I would have plenty of space for the app on my phone with a minuscule storage capacity.

Knowing What to Expect

RootsTech is a super conference compared to the Texas State Genealogical Society Conference or even a Houston homeschool conference. Last year, I knew a few people and didn’t know what to expect. This year, I knew what to expect and had more friends. And I made new ones too! Gotta love that!

RootsTech 2017 was better logistically thanks to the small details and a better app. But, it was likely a better experience because it was my second time around.

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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