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Any one coming to Rootstech?

Posted: 18 Oct 2019 11:47
by Jane
Calico Pie will be there and I will be helping out with demonstrations so feel free to come along and say Hi. You might learn something new :D

Re: Any one coming to Rootstech?

Posted: 18 Oct 2019 12:44
by davidf
I have um'ed and ah'ed about going but:
  • London is a hell of a trek from English/Scottish Borders
  • ExCeL is a struggle to get to
    • either by Underground/Docklands Railway with Rucksack(!)
    • or by car (London does not like Cars)
  • It's a multi-day event so
    • either expensive semi-local accommodation
    • or another trek in and out of East London
To make it tolerable it gets expensive and ultimately I gave up looking through the programme (continuously clicking in and out of that wretched online agenda) to decide what I wanted to see.

It highlights to me that the Family History market has a range of offerings.

There used to be Family History Fairs in Newcastle - but I think they said that WDYTYA at the NEC clashed and that killed it off. They were small and would take a few hours to cover - so a long half-day and if it was disappointing you had not lost much.

The York Family History Fair is logistically sensible (fits in the one-day format, two hours there and back by car, free parking on site) but a rather limited range of talks (covering familiar ground) and a fair number of stands that were of some personal interest*.

* FH Societies for areas where you have an interest are useful if they are doing more than just flogging CDs of census transcripts. For a one-day event you can take sandwiches with you and sit outside (in the race course stands) and just take a moment to consider what you have covered and what you still want to cover. It is reasonably relaxed and a worthwhile day out. I suspect that it is also affordable for voluntary societies wanting to exhibit - which means you get a fair number attending so you can find the few that you might want to talk to.

Who Do You Think You Are at the NEC was a stretch (needed two days, travel down night before, so two hours in local B&B/Budget Hotel, parking on site), but it was a lot more comprehensive with interesting range of stands and talks. I suspect that it is also too expensive for voluntary societies wanting to exhibit.

The balance of talks and stands was good and there were experts available (seem to remember someone on the FH stand urging me to try FH under Wine!) and you left with a number of notes / leads that you would then need to follow up. Fairly intensive but not a real hassle logistically.

Now if Rootstech was at the NEC (or similar out of London - where?) ...

Re: Any one coming to Rootstech?

Posted: 18 Oct 2019 19:30
by TimTreeby
Yes will be there for all 3 days. Hopefully will get time to visit the Calico Pie stand as well as other stands and attend various talks. But will be on the GOONS (Guild of One Name Studies) Stand for most of the time,

Re: Any one coming to Rootstech?

Posted: 20 Oct 2019 15:59
by E Wilcock
I thought that I might manage one day - but I too am staggered by the cost.
Sorry to miss you, Jane
I first got an offer last April but, being elderly, one never knows for sure how things will be that far ahead.

Re: Any one coming to Rootstech?

Posted: 20 Oct 2019 16:42
by davidf
E Wilcock wrote:
20 Oct 2019 15:59
I first got an offer last April but, being elderly, one never knows for sure how things will be that far ahead.
I know the feeling - but it is interesting to note that 25% discounts were available last week; possibly that was always planned or possibly ticket sales have been disappointing?

I have never wanted to register for so called "Early Bird" passes as in previous years I have not been able to project my parents' health that far forward - now I can't project my own!

It will probably be magnificent, but trying to plan what of the huge amount on offer you want to see/hear is exhausting in itself (Oh for old fashioned flyers!) and just going on spec for at least two days (to justify the logistics) is just too expensive and too much hassle. (My rail fare if I was able to commit to going now would be at least £150 (inflexible) or £230 (flexible) - flights would be about £200 one way plus travel from that god-forsaken place near Hounslow, then travel to overnight accommodation + the accommodation itself - £100/night?)

Perhaps I'm just not in the right type of demographic or I'm getting to old or both!

Re: Any one coming to Rootstech?

Posted: 23 Oct 2019 08:26
by martync
Hello, I will be there all 3 days, catching the train after work tonight. I will certainly be visiting the stand.

On the subject of the cost I don't know if that referred to getting and staying there or enterance. If it was enterance there have been, and still are, deep discounts available and this I think it is bit a bit different type of event than we have been used to. Most of our events have been primarily an exhibition with some very good presentations available. I see this as primarily an educational event with an exhibition attached. Running the number of courses is a significant expense and I think represents good value for money but is different to what we have usually previous had.

Anyway that is just my thoughts on the issue.

Re: Any one coming to Rootstech?

Posted: 23 Oct 2019 15:58
by Paulinelp
I’ll be there. Ancestry were offering a three day pass for £50 so I decided to give it a whirl. I bought an advance train ticket and booked the second cheapest place on which is surprising good. Still expensive, but should be fun.

Re: Any one coming to Rootstech?

Posted: 27 Oct 2019 23:39
by trevorrix
We attended RootsTech London for all three days for £49.50 entrance. Good Airbnb nearby with free parking outside the door, tea, coffee, kettle, toaster, microwave, fridge, hairdrier, wifi, lift etc for under £240 for the three nights. Travelled to RootsTech on the DLR for £1.70 each trip.

ExCel was an excellent venue. Superb organisation by FamilySearch. Great talks/lectures!!! Lots to see in the exhibition hall. Wonderful vibe and buzz. Good refreshment choices at reasonable prices. Unlike the Salt Lake City version this event was without hype and had lots of tech to keep me happy. Even the keynote sessions and entertainment were really good.

An unexpected bonus was watching the Comic Con attendees which event occupied the other half of ExCel on the Friday and Saturday. There was a downside however in that Comic Con had exclusive access to half of the food hall.

All in all for me it was a must-do experience. I hope it is repeated in 2020. It blew the other two 2019 major events out of the water. I thought it was great value for money.