December 9, 2017

Going to RootsTech for the First Time: Questions Answered

Going to RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah for the largest genealogy conference in the world can be a bit overwhelming! First-time RootsTech attendees have questions and we have answers. Learn what to expect, where to go, and other must-know details.

RootsTech questions answered

RootsTech Questions

Recently, Lisa received a message from a Gems listener who was concerned about navigating RootsTech for the first time. Vicky writes:

I am excited to say that my husband and I are going to Roots Tech 2017. I want to be prepared as much as I can be.

I’m sure Vicky isn’t the only newbie seeking answers to make her first trip to RootsTech smooth sailing. I too had questions my first time out about the venue, the classes, transportation, and even the weather! Lisa has taken the time to answer Vicky’s questions and we want to share it with you:

RootsTech Answers from Lisa Louise Cooke


  1. Lisa answers your questions

    Lisa Louise Cooke answers your questions about Rootstech

    Will you be selling your book about “Google” at Roots Tech? Will you be there so I can have you sign the book?

Yes, absolutely!

  1. What are your thoughts on Evernote? I think I saw you give a classon this. Is it worth using or is there another program that does about the same thing? Would it be worth going to the Evernote class or going to “Beyond Digitization: How to Index & Search Your Own Records”?

I think Evernote is great. Here’s a link to a few videos on my YouTube channel about Evernote. I plan on teaching a session in our booth at Rootstech about Evernote, as well. We will announce the schedule in our weekly newsletter and on our webpage for RootsTech here.

  1. Will there be maps of the Convention Center, so we know where we are going?

Yes, there will be a map on the RootsTech website in January, as well as on our Genealogy Gems RootsTech page. Additionally, you will have a map provided to you when you pick up your things at registration.

  1. Are the labs in a different building or the Convention Center? Are they worth $19?

The labs are in the same building as the Convention Center. If this is your first year, I think you will be more than busy (and happy) with all the sessions included in the regular registration and the exhibit hall. Personally, I would save the extra cost of labs for a return visit.

  1. Does it sound correct that classes are not held on Wednesday until 3:00 PM?

Yes, because they want people to also consider attending the Innovator Summit. The Innovator Summit is a one-day event being held on February 8th, 2017. The Summit is designed for innovators, entrepreneurs, and developers interested in giving their creative ideas a spotlight in the industry. RootsTech encourages attendees to enjoy the Innovator Summit and learn and support the new technology being developed for the genealogy community. For additional information about Innovator Summit, click here.

  1. Do they have vendors to purchase food (not the $32 meal) or must you leave the Convention Center?

Yes, there will be a food area with several meal options. There are also a few small vendors with sandwiches, coffee, and candy, just outside the hall. You might also like to know that there are several nice restaurants just across the street or within minimal walking distance. Though the lines are a bit long at times, you will find there are several options.

  1. How long are the classes? How much time do you have to get from one class to another?

Classes are 1 hour and there’s typically 30 minutes between.

  1. Could you tell me if the syllabus contains info on the class if I cannot attend the class?

As an attendee, you will receive a digital syllabus with outlines for all the sessions, regardless of which ones you actually attend. You may wish to print your desired class outlines before coming so that you can take notes on them.

Looking forward to seeing you there, Vicky!


We hope this has given Vicky, and you, a little more confidence and insight in attending RootsTech. It really is an amazing experience. For even more information about RootsTech, view their website and our Genealogy Gems RootsTech page. While you wait, here’s a link to several video interviews Lisa has done over the years at RootsTech. See you there, friends!

RootsTech questions regarding expo hall

RootsTech Expo Hall


About amietennant

Amie Bowser Tennant is a passionate genealogist, speaker, and writer known worldwide. Along with being a dedicated wife and mother to three, she stays rooted in her local genealogical community by serving in many capacities. Amie shares our goal to inspire others with savvy know-how and great finds!


  1. I am! Thanks! Saving this post too!

  2. Marina Dececo says:

    If your next seminar speaker is very popular, you might want to hustle right over to that class, as they can fill up rather quickly. Also, wear comfortable shoes, and have some water with you.

  3. Great tips, Marina! You are right about the classes filling up quickly and comfortable shoes are a MUST! Thanks for reading!

  4. Excellent suggestions!

  5. I clicked on the link for the RootsTech web page and it said that the domain is for sale?

  6. Tammy, that link should be ORG instead of COM. Thanks!

  7. Thanks so much for these helpful hints. I will be attending my first RootsTech in 2017 and can’t wait to go!!

  8. Next year will be my first time at RootsTech. I definitely want to hear Liz Wiseman speak. As suggested by Lisa (above) I won’t be attending any of the labs. Which ticket should I purchase? Thanks so much!

  9. genie stansbury says:

    I am considering attending, however, I will be by myself. Is there a “bulletin board” or way to find a room-mate to share a room and share cost?

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