1. I discovered that every conference goer receives one of these cool RootsTech bags. But I also learned to pack light since it's a long day and all the goodies you collect at the Expo will magically and exponentially weigh more by about 5pm.
2. I learned some new vocabulary, and my favorite new word is “Geneajaunt”- from Australian genealogist Jill Ball.
3. And I learned even more new vocabulary, like “Flying monkeys”- a collective term for all of Thomas MacEntee’s bloggers and followers. Another “new to me” moment.
4. I saw David Pogue live on stage and learned that he is much more than just a geeky technology writer (he is also a pianist, composer, comic as seen in this video of his keynote address at www.rootstech.org on Saturday, March 23rd at 8:30am )
|ZUCA rolling bag|
5. I discovered the wonderful ZÜCA bag while waiting in line for a session to start. The woman who owned it raved about it, and showed me all the features. It is the ultimate gadget for genealogists at http://www.zuca.com/ This expensive rolling travel bag also comes in a carry-on size, too (but it’s even more expensive). It is very light (aluminum) and has a built in seat for waiting in those long lines, or to support a second load piled on top. This bag is perfect for the long walks in Salt Lake City between your hotel, the Family History Library and the convention center, or to carry all your stuff during the day. I saw two people using this bag at RootsTech. Beware - It costs as much as a new mobile device! But it is super cool. These are the things you learn while waiting in lines…
6. I learned that there are battery phone cases and capacitor chargers to extend the life of your mobile devices at conferences, in the FHL, on the plane with a capacitor that stores energy for hours, or a super capacitor that stores enough energy for days at a time. The battery mobile phone cases double the life of your regular phone battery and the capacitor chargers (also called external battery chargers) can be used on your laptop or tablet. Thank you to Jill Ball from Australia and Marie Doughan from Scotland for introducing these to me. They used them on those long airplane trips to RootsTech.
7. I also learned about the value of Blogger beads- You must wear them everywhere- to the FHL, to restaurants, around town to spark conversation (speak up at the first raised eyebrow) and be prepared with a ten second "elevator" speech and business cards with your URL. These beads are not just a fun accessory; they are a powerful media tool. The blogger bead subtle advertising is so successful that I am going to supply beads at NERGC 2013 in Manchester.
8. Be prepared to hug in the oddest places. Suddenly a complete stranger will come up to you in the restroom, or the elevator, or when you have your mouth full at breakfast and introduce themselves as a blog fan, Twitter follower, or Facebook friend.
9. Also be prepared to act like a complete fool and gush like a groupie when you find out you are sitting next to Cyndi Howell of cyndislist.com or MaureenTaylor, the “Photo Detective”. More hugs usually follow this encounter, too.
10. I learned that even when you fly across country to a national convention, there will always be a New England Yankee, or someone who lived briefly in your state, or someone with New England roots sitting right next to you at a session, or at the same table at the luncheons. This happened to me at all three luncheons, every session and even at the keynotes. Even at the FHL because it was busy and every table was full. A gentleman sitting right next to me at the NGS luncheon lived on Alexander Road, Londonderry, NH in the 1980s! Strangers from New England introduced themselves even on the street waiting to cross at the lights because apparently I have some sort of accent when I pronounce the word “car”…
11. Another important lesson- If you want to enjoy an adult beverage, be prepared to walk away from Temple Square to other hotels and restaurants. It is still possible to enjoy a lovely evening at the Roof with Pellegrino as the only bubbly in your glass.
12. I discovered the joy of belonging to the Geneabloggers community! Many, many times my fellow Geneabloggers have helped me solve technical problems on my blog, or helped me stop sploggers, or even gently suggested edits and corrections. I've also made cousin connections with dozens of Geneabloggers, and shared lineage information. We find time to share meals, cheer each other on before presentations, and support the newbies.
At RootsTech I found time, even with a busy schedule, to return the Geneablogger karma. I filled in on a panel that needed an additional genealogist, I found information at the FHL for someone who commented on Dear Myrtle’s HOA video show, and I was able to steer several other bloggers towards good resources for New England research at the Family History Library. What goes around comes around. And it’s fun, too!
Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo