RootsTech is not just a genealogy technology conference. It is THE genealogical social event on the calendar. So many of us are connected through social media and our blogs but we have never met in person. You know names but not faces. You know blog names but not the person behind them. You have heard a speaker present a webinar but never heard them in person. This is the opportunity that RootsTech provides. The chance to put a face to the name and to meet in person.
I find it easier to get to know people in person than through social media. There is nothing like sitting down and having a natter about our favourite topic – FAMILY HISTORY! And you will not find a glazed look amongst them! We get excited about each other’s stories. As one is sharing their story you may find some commonality with your own family story. Maybe they came from the same place, have the same name, you may even find a collateral connection – unfortunately I haven’t found this one – Yet!
One night all the bloggers from the Commonwealth countries got together. We may be from different areas of the world but our one commonality is our countries connection to Britain.
The next day all the GeneaBloggers got together for lunch. This brought together people from a wider range of countries.
The RootsTech Ambassadors were from around the world. The attendees came from around the world as did the speakers and vendors.
At the “Music – It Runs in the Family” event I was sitting next to a lady from Australia whom I hadn’t met before. There were other people around me that I had just met the day before and some I have known for a while.
The RootsTech Welcome Party, MyHeritage Party and the GeneaBloggers’ Dinner hosted by DearMYRTLE were similar times when we sat around a table and talked with people we wouldn’t normally get a chance to speak with.
It is RootsTech that brings us all together. This time I made new friends Marie Cappart from Belgium and Lilian Magill from Australia. I met Jennie Fairs for the first time but I have known her for a while through the Surname Society. Met many new friends and caught up with old friends from the UK, Australia, Canada and the United States.
This year we also had a large Canadian contingent at RootsTech. We are hoping for a larger one next year. It was difficult to get us all in one place for a photograph so this is a small part of our group.
Collecting ribbons for your name badge has become quite a thing at RootsTech. I remember as a Girl Guide collecting and giving away badges during trips. At one time it was the thing to collect pins. We all had our own ribbons to give away and they were flying fast during the dinner and lunch gatherings before RootsTech started.
I would almost say that the social part of RootsTech is right up there with the keynotes, lectures and expo hall. The world is shrinking and we are trying to make connections with people who may live in another hemisphere. It is easier to socialize without a 16 hour time difference. Genealogy is a global pursuit and RootsTech is a global conference.
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