Just in its first month of registration in October, RootsTech Connect 2021 had more than 111,000 people from 168 countries signed up for the virtual event. And 86% of them have never attended RootsTech before.
RootsTech Connect — a free, global family history conference with classes, keynote speakers and virtual expo hall — will be held Feb. 25-27, 2021. For the first time in RootsTech’s 10-year history, classes will be completely virtual and offered in multiple languages. Presenters will teach from international locations.
Of the more than 111,000 registrants, “nearly 10,000 in Europe, over 10,000 in Latin America, almost 90,000 in North America and nearly 5,000 in the Pacific,” said Tyler Stahle, RootsTech marketing manager.
“We’re humbled. We’re excited. And it’s just been really fun to see the growth that takes place when you can remove the barrier of time and location,” Stahle said.
Throughout the three-day event, livestream and on-demand content will be offered to accommodate participants’ time zones. Sessions will also be available to watch on-demand after the event concludes. Live chats and question and answer sessions will allow attendees to interact with presenters, exhibitors, and other attendees.
Stahle said RootsTech organizers have received submissions of class ideas and speakers from around the world. He emphasized that the approach to this virtual conference is localization, not translation.
“We’re not creating all the content here at headquarters, and then just translating all of it,” he said. “But we’re really trying to work with people throughout the world and area offices to help them create their own localized content. And then we’re just giving a place for it to live and be distributed through RootsTech.”
Though RootsTech has widely been known as a genealogy and technology conference, “it’s so much more,” Stahle said. “It’s about learning and gaining strength from our ancestors.”
“Everybody has a story. When we look to our stories, when we look to the past, that’s when we gain strength to face the challenges that we face today in our own lives,” he added.
RootsTech is presented by FamilySearch International. The goal of FamilySearch is to help everyone discover, gather, and connect families past, present, and future. The RootsTech event is dedicated to celebrating family, discovering family histories, and connecting the living to their ancestors and each other. The event is sure to have something for everyone.
Keynote speakers include former professional golfer Lorena Ochoa from Guadalajara, Jalisco; Italian pianist, composer and conductor, Francesco Lotoro; founder of OurBlackAncestry.com, writer and genealogist, Sharon Leslie Morgan; international motivational speaker and New York Times best-selling author, Nick Vujicic; British award winning actress Sunetra Sarker; Uruguayan footballer Diego Alfredo Lugano Morena; Philippine native, former Microsoft executive, and current Utah Valley University President, Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez; Broadway star and award-winning Indian-American actor, Erick Avari; acclaimed Brazilian soccer player, Tita; professional rugby league player from Australia, Will Hopoate; and soccer Olympian from Brazil, Bruna Benites.
Others include Bless 4, a chorus and dance group from Japan; and LadySmith Black Mambazo, a Zulu-style musical group from South Africa.
No matter what age, it isn’t too late to learn about your past. There will be plenty for you to see and hear at RootsTech Connect to help get you started or motivate you to do more. Remember this isn’t only for you, it’s also for your future, for your kids and their kids, and so on. Share your story, tell them your story and let your story continue.
For more information and to register for the free event, visit RootsTech.org.
Photo courtesy of rootstech.org. 2019 Keynote speaker Patricia Heaton.