Besides the regular presentations at the RootsTech conference there were other things to do while there last week. In part because there were over 6,700 attendees, there were some things that were sold out way before the conference.
There were 16 free computer workshops over the three days where there were computer work stations to do hands on demos. They covered all kinds of topics from PowerPoint, Google Earth, SnagIt, digital photo organization, etc. Those workshops were booked up before RootsTech started. Still, outside of each of the workshops was a line of people hoping that a space would open up.
There was a opening social event at The Leonardo Museum on Thursday evening. They are currently having an exhibit on mummies from around the world. That event was also booked up ahead of time.
At the same time as the above social event was a short free concert from The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Part of the concert included a presentation on Irving Berlin while the choir sang his ”God Bless America.” The concert started at 8:45 but someone from Salt Lake City told me that at 7:30 that the choir was doing a rehearsal before the concert. So I got there early and got to see them practice songs that they will be preforming in the future. You couldn’t take photos or videos during the concert but they did let me take the video below during the rehearsal.
There was a special event at the Family History Library on Friday night. They were going to be open late (until 10:00) and again it was free but you had to register ahead of time. I had signed up and when I got there at about 6:15 the library was packed. There was hardly any computer stations that were available. I didn’t think that I had much to do but then I noticed that the library has free access to Newspaper Archive. I did a search for my grandparents and found that there were a lot of newspaper articles that I hadn’t seen before. I ended up with about 50 articles including a notice of the marriage of my grandparents in 1912. I ended up staying over 3 hours.
Another event that was was running at the same time as the library open house was “Story@Home Evening of Storytelling.” That 3 hour event was described as a storytelling “concert.” There were 5 people telling family stories; Ginger Parkinson, Jan Smith, Syd Lieberman, Kim Weitkamp and Teresa Clark.
People that are thinking of attending the 2014 RootsTech conference (Feb. 6 – 9) should plan months ahead tp get into the special events.