4 Genealogy conferences to check out in 2020

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The big genealogy conference that most everyone has heard of if they’ve been doing genealogy for a while. Usually goes on during the last week of February or the first week of March. (This year it is from February 26 to February 29, 2020 in Salt Lake City.) This year is especially cool, as it is RootsTech’s 10th anniversary.

If you can go in person: Passes start at $99 (except for the Family Discovery Day pass which is FREE!) for a 1 day pass. The general RootsTech pass is $229 (as of writing this post) and gets you access to just about everything. (And for the majority of people going, this covers everything they want or need to see.) RootsTech’s priciest ticket is The Ultimate RootsTech Pass at $799 and gets you into everything and then some.

Family Discovery Day is February 29th and a free day for people at the conference or in the area to come and experience a slice of RootsTech without having to shell out a lot of money. (Especially if it’s your first time going and you’re not sure what to expect.) There are a couple of speakers in the morning and a few afternoon sessions but for the most part, people taking advantage of Family Discovery Day will get to browse the Expo Hall and browse a bit of what is available at RootsTech.

If you can’t go in person (like myself): RootsTech offers a virtual pass to 30 of the classes (which are recorded), so you can watch them at your leisure during the next 12 months.

If you’re interested in registering – they allow two options: If you have a FamilySearch account, you can use your login information from that to sign in OR you can create a new RootsTech account. Once all that information is put forward, you can then select which pass (or passes) as well as any add ons you would like to purchase.

National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference

Another big genealogy conference that is happening this year in Salt Lake City is the National Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference. This one jumps from city to city each year, so if you are in the Utah area and want to check this conference out, this is the year to do so. This year’s theme is ‘Echoes of our Ancestors’ and the conference runs from May 20-23, 2020 and offers a lot of classes, workshops, and other opportunities to hone your genealogical skills.

If you can go in person: Passes start at $215 for an NGS member registering BEFORE March 17th ($250 for a non NGS member) and then go up to $250 for an NGS member registering AFTER March 17th ($285 for a non-NGS member) for the full conference. If you want to go for only 1 day, it is $115 for Early Bird and $125 for Regular Registration regardless of your membership in NGS.

More information on the conference can be found here.

If you can’t go in person: While there isn’t a virtual pass like with RootsTech, it seems like many of the sessions are recorded for later use. There are also 10 live stream sessions available for up to $149 (depending on whether you choose 1 or 2 days). If you decide that there are sessions from previous conferences (or sessions from the 2020 conference after it has happened) that you wish to see or listen to, they are available at varying price points. (Ex. St. Charles 2019 conference) The farthest back that I can find is the 2016 conference and it seems that the further back you go, the cheaper the packages get.

FamilySearch Family History and Genealogy Expo

Another genealogy conference to check out if you aren’t able to make RootsTech or if you live in the South is the FamilySearch Family History and Genealogy Expo. Hosted/run by FamilySearch, it is in Athens, Georgia this year on July 25. Slightly different from the first two conferences, in that it is a one-day event that precedes IGHR 2020 (a yearly training institute for genealogists) and it is FREE!

If you can go in person: It is at the University of Georgia’s campus and contains both classes (on using FamilySearch’s resources) and an expo hall to check out various genealogical companies and societies.

If you can’t go in person: Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they are going to record any of the classes. However, since many of the classes seem to be on how to use FamilySearch’s resources, you’ll probably be able to find similar education on FamilySearch’s website.

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

Lastly, the National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair is a yearly online genealogy conference that the National Archives in the United States puts on to celebrate National Archives month (which is October). While the specific day hasn’t been released yet, it is usually some time in late October.

If you can make it in person: Since it’s a virtual fair that is live-streamed on YouTube, technically everyone can ‘make it in person’. Yay! Usually, there are opening remarks, closing remarks, and six sessions on a variety of topics.

The National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair has been going on since 2010. Since 2013, it’s been virtual, so if you are interested in checking out sessions from 2013 forward, those are available (for free) on the National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair’s website.

Questions? Comments?

Questions or comments about this post? Know of any other good genealogy conferences? Let me know in the comments! And if you like what you’ve been seeing on Tenacious Genealogy – please subscribe to our email list. Not only will you stay up to date with the latest blog posts, but you’ll also get freebies such as ‘10 Tips For Starting your Genealogy’ and other fun ‘subscriber-only’ items.

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