I've been spending a fair amount of time in the RootsTech exhibit hall this year. Instead of rushing off to a luncheon each day, I packed my own lunch and ate in the exhibit hall (usually while hanging around the demo area (see picture of awesome couches). Also, I traded going to one session each day with wandering around, talking to vendors and spending money. It worked out well in that I found myself re-energized because I had been moving around instead of sitting.
The soda counter has been much appreciated. Did I mention the sodas, lemonade, etc. is free? Also, they have water stations out in the halls. It's easy to get dehydrated in Salt Lake City with the low humidity and high altitude.
One thing I noticed is that when I make a purchase, the vast majority of the time, the receipt is emailed to me. No paper receipts to keep track of. Also, I don't feel the vendors are pushing as much paper in the way of brochures and fliers. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of brochures and cards to be picked up if you want but I'm finding that I have less paper at the end of the day than in years past and that is just fine by me.
I visited with the folks at Archives.com and People Finders. Renewed subscriptions with GenealogyBank and Fold3. Gotta love the conference specials they offer. I also ended up getting a subscription with Newspapers.com. I'd been thinking about it for a while anyway. While I was chatting with Peter Drinkwater about my new subscription, he mentioned he was giving a demo in the demo theatre shortly. (See above picture of super comfy couches and you'll know where I headed next!)
The National Institute for Genealogical Studies also has a booth. I'd been contemplating signing up for some more classes and ended up buying another package. It turns out I'm not all that far from earning my PLCGS from them. So now I'm committed!
No genealogy conference is complete unless you visit Mia's Books and Family Roots Publishing. The later has a small booth this year and a large room over in the Plaza Hotel. On the way to the Family History Library. Yes, I bought a couple of books.
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