Friday, 12 February 2021

Rootstech Connect 2021 – a global family history show

Rootstech, the world's largest family history show, will take place from 25th to 27th February. For the first time this year it is going online and will be completely free. This will be a truly global event with speakers from around the world and with talks in over 40 different languages. Over 250,000 people from 219 countries and territories have so far registered to attend. 

With the new online format, the talks will be done somewhat differently this year. There will be a main stage with talks from keynote speakers which will be streamed over the course of the three days in a pre-arranged schedule. In addition there are over 800 pre-recorded classes, the vast majority of which will be available online as soon as as the show opens, and you will be free to watch them at your leisure at any time of the day or night over the next year. Think of it as Netflix for genealogy. You will be able to pick and choose the content of interest and watch it at leisure from the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you with the added advantage that you do not have to pay a subscription.

Rootstech have followed the model of TED Talks and most of the presentations will be 20 minutes long, which is considered to be the optimum length for online presentations. There are some longer tutorials which have been divided up into 20-minute blocks. 

I am privileged to have been chosen as one of the speakers at Rootstech Connect and have recorded two presentations: "Genetic genealogy meets CSI" and "Secrets and surprises: uncovering family history mysteries through DNA". There will be an opportunity to chat with the speakers during the show. I'm not yet sure how this is going to work out but do come along and I will be happy to answer any questions arising from my talks. There will be moderators monitoring the chats who will alert us when we get a question.

The organisers have been working really hard behind the scenes to get everything ready for the event and to build the infrastructure for the website. The full schedule has not yet gone up on the website but they have shared with the speakers the schedule for the main stage and the English class catalogue and we've been given permission to share these.

Below is a copy of the schedule for the main stage. You can find biographies of the keynote speakers here

You can download a copy of the English class list from this link. (The pdf is now also available via a link on the RootsTech Connect home page.) These sessions are on demand which means that they can be watched any time throughout the conference or for the rest of the year. The vast majority of sessions will be available on the first day starting at a specific time. Here's a sneak preview of the start of the list.

There are lots of interesting classes which will cater for everyone whether you've been researching for many years or you are just starting your family history research. There are also lots of interesting DNA talks.

Lists of the classes in other languages should be available soon and I will share them here as soon as I have them.

There will also be an Expo Hall where you will have the opportunity to meet with the exhibitors via video or live chat.

If you've not yet registered for RootsTech you can sign up here.

RootsTech Connect promises to be a really exciting event. I can't wait to start watching all the wonderful talks.

Update 23rd February 2021
There are now 433,255 registrants signed up for RootsTech Connect from 235 countries and territories. For a sneak preview of the website check out this short video below from Jen Allen at RootsTech.

Update 24th February 2021

Check out my follow up blog post RootsTech Connect – the pick of the talks and the final countdown.

Also check out this detailed blog post from FamilySearch on Getting the most out of RootsTech Connect 2021

Further reading

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