Rootstech Conference Chair, Anne Roach, in her blog The TechnoGenealogist today wrote a post RootsTech: A Replacement for Genealogy Conferences? in which she posed a few questions.
I am posting the rather lengthy response that I wrote here for the interest of my readers.
"There is no way I would have travelled from Australia to the US for a regular genealogy conference, I can satisfy my appetite for these nearer to home.
Rootstech, with its mix of tech and genie sessions, suited my particular interests. The range of topics was also of appeal to an international audience. The content of some other educational events you have mentioned is often UScentric.
Rootstech can provide both the skills training for beginners interested in technology and challenges for the tech-savvy who wish to further embrace the application of new tools in genealogy.
One downside of Rootstech 2011 was that the sessions were not clearly designated as to content level. I went to a couple of excellent classes where I learnt nothing as they were directed at beginners (you did provide classes for techie beginners). I felt cheated at these because I could have been elsewhere learning something and not just enjoying myself. There was one speaker I heard who should not have had a place at the conference. She was demonstrating software that belonged in the 20th century and the poor beginners in the class were drinking in her every word. I felt like standing up and shouting out "Don't listen,this is so old hat and counter-productive."
I enjoyed the roundtable sessions that discussed issues rather than promoting new products or demonstrating skills. The opportunity to discuss issues and ways to apply technology is invaluable.
I would have enjoyed an opportunity to complete a more comprehensive feedback document than the one that was used. I know many people don't share my enthusiasm for evaluative instruments but perhaps you could offer attendees the opportunity of completing either a short or more comprehensive evaluation.
The conference was superbly organised. You have already recognised some of the areas that need improvement. Rootstech 2012 should be awesome.
The opportunity Rootstech provided for me to meet and network with like-minded individuals was the highlight of the conference for me. I was honoured to be an official blogger (and Tweeter).
I hope to return for Rootstech 2012"