A trip to the Expo Hall at RootsTech never fails to inspire some purchases. For next year, I must remember to buy early, because many of the designs I liked were no longer available when I went back on Saturday. Last year, I bought a couple of shirts and some earrings at Geneacreations; this year I treated myself to a beautifully scarf printed with a family tree motif. I also bought an “American Mutt” shirt at the WikiTree booth. I really wanted an Enjoy Genealogy shirt but they were out of my size in the red.
Might have to see what similar designs I can come up with on my Cricut. CelebrateDNA is going to mail me the two shirts I bought, because they were out of the one I wanted (their very popular Day of the Dead design), and the other shirt needs to be customized for my daughter’s ethnicity results. I feel like there weren’t as many booths wanting to put your ethnicity breakdown on a t-shirt, but CelebrateDNA had one of the few designs that could list more than half-a-dozen ethnicity regions.
As there were last year, this year there were a lot of jewelry options. I settled on these reasonably-priced family tree earrings from Pearls of Hope. There were a variety of booths offering different ways to display your family tree – from drawings of balloons, to fancy fan charts, CNC-cut metal trees to twisted wire display stands for photos; beautifully painted floral artwork to 3-D printed photo tags. There was also a row of family portrait studio booths.
Then there are the ephemeral services that one can purchase. I volunteered at the APG booth and helped someone join our association. I joined the Utah Genealogical Association (a group I’ve been visiting for webinar content for a long time now). I renewed my NEHGS membership for a special conference rate. The special conference price also convinced me to buy a Newspapers.com subscription. I also took advantage of AncestryDNA’s conference pricing to stock up on a few kits with which to test my dad’s cousins and my mom’s uncle (a plan inspired by Blaine Bettinger’s talk on Saturday about targeted testing).
Beyond the commerce, touring the Expo Hall is fascinating. Every booth has something to teach, or a technological product to explain. I learned about DNA testing from old envelopes, personal archiving, virtual museums, photo scanning, memory capture for senior care facilities, and family-history-inspired travel, among a lot of other things. One of the big reveals at the conference was MyHeritage‘s new photo colourization software. If you colourized a black and white photo, you could email it to the folks at their booth to print onto a magnet for you. Unfortunately, I didn’t have many photos accessible on my phone or online.