Getting organised for RootsTech and the FGS Conference


The geneaglobe is abuzz this weekend with planning for the combined RootsTech and (US) Federation of Genealogical Society Conferences in Salt Lake City. While the start date is still more than three weeks away, we Antipodeans will likely be heading off a little earlier. For my part I’m leaving Mr Cassmob and the Furry Feline at home minding the house and having a few days in Brisbane en route. However, on the way home it will be a very long-haul flight from Salt Lake to LA to Brisbane to Darwin, a mere 33 hours in transit. Gee I’m glad I worked that out!

So what is on my planning list? This is all a bit nitty-gritty but it seems to me we often overlook the semi-obvious. With thanks to all those who’ve gone before me, and provided advice, wisdom and mateship.

TRAVEL

Flights booked and confirmed, and ESTA permit done

Hotel booked in Salt Lake.

Travel Insurance

Patience packed…oh well, this might be a stretch.

TECH STUFF

SIM cards for smart phone & iPad.

Laptop – to take or not to take, that is the question

Cash cards if required.

An amount of US dollars to pay for transit expenses, TRAX fare etc

US adaptors and charging cords.

ID protector pockets for passport and credit cards (thanks Gail for my birthday presents).

USB and backup drive.

In-flight reading, books and podcasts on iPad…oh yes, I’m supposed to sleep.

SOCIAL MEDIA and SCHEDULING

RootsTech App downloaded and profile updated. Thanks to genimate Caitlin Gow for helping me sort out my profile picture (click on the shaded face outline then load a photo).

Add friends as they come online: there seem to be huge gaps at present.

Work out which sessions to attend: lots of competing entries for me so far between FGS and RootsTech. It would have been ideal, as mentioned elsewhere, if the schedule had included the earlier FGS start.

Book and pay for lunches and computer labs if required/desired.

Sign up for the Geneabloggers at RootsTech Facebook group (I hadn’t known this was here but am now online, thanks Heather. You do need to be a geneablogger.) It’s a great way to connect with people in advance.

Sign up with Geneabloggers’ Thomas MacEntee for your blogging beads. (Thanks to DearMYRTLE and Russ Worthington for sponsoring the beads).

Download the Salt Lake City Visitors’ Guide to iBooks or equivalent.

RESEARCH

Save relevant documents to Evernote and sync if you have a full subscription, along with travel documents.

Prepare a list of things to search in the Family History Library: I’m focusing on books rather than microfilms which I can order in here and which take a lot of time to review thoroughly.

Work out my schedule so I can fit in more visits to the library after hours.

Pray for minimal jet lag so I’m functioning on arrival <smile>.

BITS & BOBS

Aussie souvenirs.

Business cards for my blog with family names on reverse.

Badges with my family names and places.

Bubble wrap and zip lock bags, as usual.

Dilly bag featuring my blog name (from Vistaprint).

Strong muscles for all the stuff I take and collect (hah!)

I wouldn’t mind seeing an at-home game for the Salt Lake City Jazz NBA team but don’t think that they’re around…shame.

CLOTHES

Boring but necessary. I’ll be going from 25-35C (or 85-95F) to -2 to about +5F so there’s quite a change. I’m telling myself we’ve often travelled in winter so it will be fine.

Lots of layers, a pashmina or two, coat, scarves, walking boots and hat: that should cover the extras.. a challenge for someone who lives in shorts and tank tops!

My genimates Jill Ball (aka Geniaus), inaugural Aussie explorer at the first RootsTech,  and Alona Tester (aka LoneTester) have also written posts about what to take to RootsTech and similar conferences (albeit with fewer numbers)

The good thing is all this will be good preparation for AFFHO’s Congress 2015 in Canberra.

I’m looking forward to it and it will be so interesting to see conferences on a scale which are impossible in Australia.

What have I forgotten? Any thoughts?

16 thoughts on “Getting organised for RootsTech and the FGS Conference

  1. RootsTech is definitely bigger but some of it is smoke and mirrors too as Congress gets about 600 people but we don’t recount for each day attendance whereas the US conferences seem to do this so a count of ten to fifteen thousand is over the time frame which may be x number coming each day rather than 10 000 coming each day.

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  2. There has been a lot of pre Rootstech action on social media this weekend.

    I can’t think of anything else but will post more short “Getting Conference Ready” posts to GeniAus as inspiration appears.

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  3. Thumb drive to save/swap images etc ?
    Is your laptop heavy?
    * Can be handy in FHL. You can hook into their free wifi.
    * Easier to blog from hotel room straight onto your laptop. .

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    • No one of my laptop selection criteria is weight, so thanks for the tips. I’d been contemplating using the tablet with mini-keyboard but laptop is still easier. Yes, had USB on my written list…will add.

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    • I certainly don’t feel well organised Judy – my list was an attempt to become so 😉 I liked your article and it was an excellent reminder about the research interests for Congress.

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      • Thanks Pauleen. I don’t know how many people have registered for Congress2015, but when I looked a couple of days ago, only a handful had entered their Research Interests. I started to add mine, but quickly realised that it would save a lot of time if I prepared them in a spreadsheet then did a cut-and-paste.

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      • You’ve given me a nudge so I think I’ll pass on the favour 🙂 If we don’t submit our interests we’re certainly cutting off options for ourselves.

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