I'm just one more sleep--as Jill Ball would say--from heading out to Salt Lake City for RootsTech. Normally I don't plan too much for a conference, but the location, content and proximity to the Family History Library have compelled me to budget my time in an attempt to do everything I want to do. Here is a list of what I hope to accomplish.
1. Try not to get food poisoning this time. Yeah, it was bad last year. I missed a part of the APG Professional Management Conference. I bought out all the ginger ale in the hotel store and generally tried not to hurl in front of my friends all week. Good times.
2. Get an education on British genealogy resources. I'm a whole lotta French and German, so that's what I tend to research. However, I have a project that requires me to research an English line and I need to get my bearings as soon as possible. If I think you have knowledge of Cornwall (especially Tintagel) I will pester you for assistance.
3. Get my book editing questions answered. I have another project in the pipeline and I think I need an editor for this one. I'm going to seek out Biff and Nancy Barnes at the Stories to Tell booth and get their advice.
4. Work through my FHL list. In the days leading up to RootsTech, I've made a list of all the books and films I want to view at the Family History Library. The list is pages long and includes two projects for others. I want to do at least a couple hours of research for my own family tree, too. I have half of Tuesday and all of Wednesday to make it happen.
5. Learn something new in some sessions. This could take some effort. There are a lot more beginner classes this year. While that is great to get more genealogists tech savvy, it points out that the intermediate offerings are fewer in number and the advanced options are even smaller. I'll probably stalk Curt Witcher and Josh Taylor from the audience, as they preach the same things I believe.
6. Be a good Official Blogger. The kind folks at FamilySearch were generous enough to make me a special snowflake. In return, I will try to cover the conference as best I can for those at home.
7. Find out the latest on FamilySearch Family Tree. One of my projects is heavily dependent on this new-ish and slowly developing tool. I need a timeline for adding photos and documents. I need to fill in the gap between what LDS members see and what I see. I need to be assured that this is the best choice for my project.
8. Network like a crazy person. Someone at FGS 2012 said to me, "Every time I see you, you're in the hotel bar." The backhanded inference was not lost on me, but what that person didn't realize is that the hotel bar is the best place to get genealogy industry news, gossip, and more. It's also a great place to meet other professionals, set up a potential subcontracting network, and generally have fun after a long conference day. I will be at the conference hotel bar this time, and I don't care what you infer from that.
9. Do 5 new things. I will attend a new event (the Mormon Tabernacle Choir mini concert). I will learn about a new product. I will meet a new person. I will try a new restaurant. I will attend a session in a subject about which I know nothing.
10. I will have fun.
If you're at RootsTech, come find me and say hi. With the exception of Wednesday night, I'm free for all meals. Message me on Twitter at @acoffin, or just yell my name around the Salt Palace if you want to meet up.