We bloggers started at 7:30 this morning with a guided tour of the Exhibit Hall. It was amazing to see how vast it was, and how many vendors' booths we would have to explore.
I marked my Expo Hall map with stalls I would like to visit later.
After the tour, we were escorted into the main hall where the morning keynote would be held. At this point, I was enjoying the experience of looking at fellow bloggers' faces or name tags and saying, "I know you!" It's a great pleasure to meet those you have only "known" on line to this point. We bloggers were given special seats near the front, which was wonderful. Soon the program started, and we all turned into cheering fans when Josh, Kenyatta, and Mary from the Genealogy Roadshow were introduced.
So much fun to see them!
We were also treated to excellent talks by Dennis Brimhall from FamilySearch, Mike Mallin of MyHeritage, and Tan Le of Emotiv Lifesciences. Tan's story of her early life in Vietnam, her escape with her sister, mother, and grandmother to Australia, and her relocation to the U.S. was extremely moving and inspiring.
I attended a very interesting talk on digital scrapbooking with Artisan. As someone who has not yet scrapbooked, whether digital or on paper, I was encouraged enough by this presentation to download the trial version to give it a spin. I could see right away that it's a complex program yet one that's not difficult to master.
I also enjoyed the only lunch I'd signed up for, one hosted by FamilySearch. I wound up at a table with a lively group of genealogists who all shared their research, travels, and experiences with a rapt audience of fellow genealogists -- I ask you, how often does that happen? We enjoyed a good lunch and an even better talk by John Huff from FamilySearch who was very funny while conveying his message of uniting family. I think we all appreciated it very much.
John Huff, way off in the distance.
Following lunch, I decided to walk through the Exhibit Hall and wound up spending more time than I'd intended to. I visited many different booths, signed up for the new Ancestry beta, talked with the head of Ancestor Cloud, promised myself I'd return to Genealogy Wall Charts with a GEDCOM tomorow, watched a couple of demos, and visited many more interesting exhibits. It's a treasure trove --
So after that, I have to own up to it, I was toast. I made my (long) way back to the Radisson and wound up crashing until dinnertime. Tomorrow I think I'll sleep in a bit and head for a full day of sessions. But for a first day of RootsTech, this was pretty great.