Thursday, February 12, 2015

RootsTech's Innovator Summit and FGS

This was day two for my RootsTech activities. The conference is getting into shape and will officially open tomorrow. It's been a long day already for me.

I was able to attend the Innovator Summit and FGS classes. The classes were held in totally opposite sides of the Salt Palace. It was way to much walking for me. Happily there is a shuttle giving rides, but I only had the good timing to take advantage of that once. There are escalators now on the FGS side, where RootsTech was held in the first few years. Previously, climbing the stairs or waiting for one of two elevators was a nightmare. I think FGS is the north side of the Salt Palace. I was so turned around it was hard to know what direction I was.  I was so glad I attended the classes today because it gave me a chance to figure out how things are laid out.

At one point I finally checked out the Exhibit Hall. I wanted to get my Vendor badge but there was a mix-up with some of the company vendor lists. Thankfully, they let us in the Vendor Hall even if you didn't have the badge. I was waiting around for the RootsMagic group to arrive. We have a really nice location for our booth. I  had some time to snap a few photos of what things look like before it comes alive. The Exhibit Hall is just huge, totally, totally, impressively huge!

One thing I was really confused about was the time frame the Innovator Summit and FGS classes were held. They were not running on completely different schedules. I did miss class time because of it. The RootsTech Conference Guide doesn't have any of the Innovator Summit classes in it so refinement is badly needed in this area. Or maybe I just need some guidance on where things are.

I was able to attend the Innovator Summit Evening Social. Sadly I missed the opportunity to take pictures of the finalists. I'm not a good photographer so maybe nothing was lost in that fact.

The RootsTech Media Dinner is my favorite part before the big show.  That's because we get to hear what the theme is and hear interesting stats.  Here are some of them.
  • 20,000 people are expected. Saturday will be the largest day.
  • 30,000 people have registered so they are crossing their fingers that the rate of 25% no-shows holds true
  • There is over-flow seating available if everyone registered arrives
  • Attendees are coming from 35 countries around the world
  • There are people coming from every state in the United States except one - I believe West Virginia.
  • Last year they figure 200,000 people experience RootsTech - either by attending live, online, local fairs and family history audiences
  • There were 1183 locations - including Nigera were people experienced RootsTech 2014
  • There were 500 attendees at the Innovator Summit today.
  • RootsTech 2015 will be broadcast in 10 languages. They were preparing the translations and recording them today.
  • This Saturday there will be 5,000 youth between the ages of  12-18. There will be 3,000 children between 8-12 yrs old.  They will be attending in families.
This year's theme is "Who Inspires You?" We watched a really touching video with people answering that question. The last father & son to appear are my best friend Laura's husband Alfredo Chandia and son Sam. I just cried when he said his dad was his hero.  I think you will too.

What really brought me to tears was a music video done by David Archuleta that was sung in Spanish. It told the story on a young man finding himself through his ancestors. They said it will never be released in the US market, but David might sing it for us Saturday night. I can't wait!

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another RootsTech day!

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