Saturday, February 12, 2011

RootsTech Success

I imagine with all of the official bloggers for the RootsTech conference going on right now, we will hear quite a bit about it.  So, I won't ramble on here.  What I would like to say is that I was quite pleasantly surprised.  Having come from the meeting planning industry I didn't hold out much hope when I heard last year of their plans to pull both developers and users together into one big conference.  To do something on the scale of what they have accomplished normally takes an 18-24 month planning and development time frame.  To completely revamp an already existing conference at least 13-18 months.  I hear they pulled this one off in seven!

So, the planning part--getting the sponsors, setting up a large trade show, running a program with many concurrent tracks, and developing special events--would have been quite a feat.  But to pull two such disparate factions of the genealogical community--the developers on one hand, and on the users on the other hand--seemed like a far reach from sanity.  But it worked!  At least from what I saw.  (Due to an unplanned surgery in the family, I was only able to attend Thursday.  Today I plan to review the presentation syllabus on CD to catch some of what I missed while the wounded one rests.)

I guess the jury will render their verdict after all the bloggers, associations, journalists and others have aired their opinions on the issue.  But from my point of view, RootsTech is not only a smashing success, but may have just put us all on the track toward much more open communication and collaboration in the refinement of the genealogical community of resources for the future.  Kudos to the planners.  Thanks to the sponsors.  I'm really looking forward to attending next year's conference when it rolls around.

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