This year I crossed something off my Bucket List; attending RootsTech. When I mentioned it last year my hubby told me to “just go for it”, but as I suffer with anxiety I was worried about (a) flying all that way alone (b) getting lost at the airport on the way home (c) not being able to find anyone to talk to (d) having a panic attack and making a tit of myself!
Well, I needn’t have worried.
My flight out was direct so there was no chance of getting lost, and my hotel was a 20 minute Traxx ride from the airport followed by a short walk.
Prior to attending I’d followed #RootsTech on Twitter and tweeted with a number of people so I felt like I knew what was going on. During this time I entered a competition run by Louis Kessler of Behold Genealogy and I won registration to both RootsTech and the Innovator Summit (which occurs the day before RootsTech). This was a great start to my trip!
Louis had entered the Innovator Showdown with his product: Double Match Triangular (DMT) which is a much needed third party product that compares two or more chromosome browser results (.cbr) files in order to find cousins. Kitty Cooper during one of her talks called it ‘Great’.
On my first night I attended The Commonwealth Dinner which was arranged by Jill Ball, better known as GeniAus, which provided me with a great opportunity to meet new people. Jill’s write up of the evening can be read here. Going to this dinner was one of the best things of the weekend. It enabled me to connect with people whom I talked to / sat with / ate with for the entire weekend. My special thanks to Alona Tester, Lilian Magill, Jennie Fairs and of course Jill for making me feel welcome and included.
There were a couple of people I knew were going, so it wasn’t totally terrifying, but Kirsty Gray was the only UK Ambassador so would be extremely busy, and Sylvia Valentine was volunteering on the CAIS: University of Dundee stall so I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick to them.
My favourite Key Note was given by LeVar Burton of, for me, Star Trek: The Next Generation fame.
He had me, and a number of other viewers in tears following his reaction to receiving details about his ancestry.
All in all it was a brilliant experience and if I wrote about everything we would be here all night.