Wednesday night, at the blogger dinner, FamilySearch made a number of announcements. First off, they released that there are more than 6,700 registrants in advance of the conference. This makes RootsTech the largest genealogical conference in North America. In only its third year that is a remarkable achievement. It has become the “not to miss” conference in the genealogical world. If you did not pre-register you can still register at the door. A one day pass is only $89. The exhibit hall is open for free.
There are also a number of free sessions for Family History Consultants and other family history leadership positions. To see the description of these sessions and the times for them visit http://rootstech.org/fhcallings#schedule. Among the speakers will be Elder Allan F. Packer, Elder Paul Koelliker, and Elder Bradley Foster, of the Seventy, David Beck, Young Men General President, as well as a devotional by Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women General President.
FamilySearch also announced a number of new experiences that will be soon active on the website. They include an interactive fan chart view to navigate the family tree, the new photos and stories and a step-by-step process to help with tree additions. Lastly, FamilySearch.org will shortly be working in ten languages.
FamilySearch indicated that sometime in the next week it will reach a milestone in its Internet Indexing software. It will reach the one billion mark for records indexed in this software by volunteers. A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers who give of their time so that all of us can find our ancestors.
The conference this year will be testing something new. It will be broadcasting portions of the conference to 16 locations worldwide. These locations will hold local family history conferences, but will participate virtually for some of the RootsTech sessions. If this goes well this year FamilySearch plans to expand the conference to many more virtual locations with their own small conferences and have more than 120,000 participants next year.
If you have time this weekend I hope to see you at RootsTech. Whether you pay for the main sessions and classes, have a walk around the exhibit hall, or attend the free sessions you will find the conference a great way to learn more about family history and energize you to go further in your family history endeavors.