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Road Trip to RootsTech

I’m heading to RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah in 22 days.(can you hear the squeal of excitement.)
I have registered for the conference, booked my hotel room and this week my must do is book the airline tickets.

I’m excited about this conference. As someone who watched from the sidelines last year, I was really compelled to attend this year. I love the forward thinking of this conference, and since my budget for conferences is limited I had to think long and hard before I made the decision. You can read more about my dilemma in  Help, Which Genealogy Conference Should I Choose. I believe I chose well.

Like I said, this will be my first time at RootsTech , therefore, to mark the experience, I would like to begin a new series Road Trip to RootsTech. During this series, I will convey my plans in preparing myself for the event, and of course report back to you as we get closer. I will report from and during the event and all through the eyes of a newcomer.

I think this could prove both beneficial to readers who haven’t attended RootsTech and are contemplating whether it’s the kind of conference for them. It may also prove beneficial for the RootsTech planners. Besides my goal of convey the pros and cons of the RootsTech conference, I hope to convey the benefits of attending any conference. They truly are motivational.

If you want to join me there is still time, early bird registration is in place until Friday Jan 13th. If you're still not sure about which conference is right for you, read Genealogy Conferences - Who Deserves Your Money? . You can find a round-up of this year's announced conferences at 2012 Genealogy Conferences.

Let’s start with preparation for the conference schedule. This past week a conference schedule was posted, I have briefly perused it, although I hear that a revised one is coming down the pipeline, so I will hold off on choosing exactly what I want to attend until that happens. I just checked, a new schedule is up therefore I need to take some time and decide what I want to see. I'll report back to you on my choices.

I am booked at the Hilton, I’m hoping it’s a few short blocks away from the event at the Salt Palace Convention Centre. At least that’s how it appears on Mapquest. My thoughts now turn to how cold an snowy it will be and whether I’m going to need to tromp around in ugly boots or I can wear more appealing footware. Yes, yes fess up your thinking it as well.

I’m also contemplating what electronics I will bring. My netbook, smartphone or good old paper and pen. My smartphone is set up on a Canadian account so I will have to look at setting up something to use in the States that won’t cost me a fortune in roaming charges to tweet and text. My netbook will be great for posting, I may use it for note taking in the lectures.  I’m still mulling this one over. Pen and paper may work fine for me. I do like to have the syallabus in front of me during lectures, I like to highlight and make notes on it. I’m going to presume those will be available for download closer to the date. 

Next, up this week, book my airline flight, direct out of Detroit looks to be my best option at the moment. Buffalo is slightly closer but no directs and Toronto well just way too expensive, airport taxes are equal to the cost of the flight.

My husband and daughter are coming with me, maybe daughter #1 one as well, we will know better this week when she gets her school schedule. They love to ski and I would have real guilt leaving them behind when I am in one of the ski capitals of the world. However, the ground rules are clear, we will meet for dinner but that might be the extent of our time together. I love that we are able to both enjoy our passions and still come together at the end of the day. I just don’t want Mother's guilt by not spending time with them. They know why I am going and so I don’t think this will be a problem. Well, as for me and skiing, those days are over.

At some point during my quick trip I need to schedule sometime at “The Library”. Flying in on Wednesday evening and returning on Sunday leaves me little room for research. I hear that the FHL will be open late on Friday evening. Therefore, that is the plan. I need to make some time to get on Family Search and write down the microfilms I need so I am ready to move quickly when I get there.

Amy Coffin, from We Tree Genealogy suggested the other day, I go in with a list, and just keep knocking off the films until they kick me out. I’m going to take her advice. Having never been to FHL, I am a little anxious and having limited time I really want to make the most of it. Nancy Shively and I bonded over this on Facebook and now we have a date for that Friday night…looking forward to it.

So the road to RootsTech has become, plenty of things to think about, plenty to prepare for before we leave in 22 days. Anything I’ve missed? What else should I be preparing before I head out? I know some of you have this down to a science. All advice is welcome.