RootsTech 2012 is still several months out, but it continues to generate buzz around the blogisphere and throughout most major social media channels. The researcher in me is always monitoring the conversation, studying the market and checking the pulse of the genealogy field.
I love reading about what others think of RootsTech. The vast majority of feedback is positive, but there is a small hesitation that exists in the corner of the discussion. Here are some of the reasons I've encountered for why some folks won't be coming to RootsTech 2012.
"I'm not a techie."
RootsTECH: the name alone is enough to scare off folks who feel their technological expertise is not adequate for the event. But look at the banner above. It says "family history and technology conference." It is a mix of these glorious things. If you're not a techie, this is the best place to get an introductory look at these tools that can help with your family history. The RootsTech "user" crowd is not a group of experts who speak a strange language. They are all regular people like you and me who enjoy family history and want to learn how to improve the experience.
"I don't want to deal with the snow."
Who does? When it comes to cold weather, I'm quite the sissy. Last year's RootsTech was surprisingly warm. The days were in the 40+ degree range, but the sun made it feel warmer. On the chance that it does snow, it generally doesn't stay down long, and the kind folks of Salt Lake City have the sidewalks cleaned asap. This I learned from another trip to town. While it is possible for a snow shower, the chances of an all-out multi-day blizzard are slim. Don't miss out on the opportunities in life because you're worried about what *might* happen.
"It's just not for me."
Yes it is. I've heard this statement in several discussion venues and to each and every one of you I say "yes it is." If you use a computer in any way, shape or form (even just barely), this conference is for you. Do you use family tree software? Do you have opinions on this software? Do you ever wish the developer would fix or improve certain features of the genealogy tools you use? RootsTech gives you the chance to interact with these people face-to-face. You don't have to understand the code or fancy language, just give them your feedback and suggestions. What other event allows you to do this?
Are you a professional genealogist (or on the path to being one)? Then RootsTech is for you. Part of being a researcher is being aware of the latest tools and technology available to you and your clients. Researchers in other fields understand that staying current is necessary to remain relevant and competitive in the industry. The same goes for professional genealogists.
"I can't afford it."
I get this one. When money is tight, conference attendance is but a dream. However, you can accomplish this goal with patience and determination. If RootsTech 2012 is out of the question, get out a coin jar and label it RootsTech 2013. Start putting your spare change in there now. Next year at this time, count that change. If you have enough, then you're good to go. If not, re-label the jar RootsTech 2014. You will get there, trust me. Recently, I rolled over $200 worth of coins.
The RootsTech Early Bird rate is $129. Loyal readers of my blog know at one point, the rate was $99. That's $33 per day for a national genealogy conference! They even have a sharply discounted $35 student pass. You can't beat that, folks. Time to get out the jar.
One last thought:
I really believe in the RootsTech concept. It emphasizes discussion and exploration in a field that is ready for the mainstream spotlight. You don't just *attend* RootsTech, you participate in it and your input is greatly desired. You're presence makes it better.
[Disclosure: I am a RootsTech 2012 Official Blogger. However, this post is not influenced by the fact. These opinions are my own. --Amy]