Claris Engage 2020 Overview

In the 24th annual FileMaker DevCon, Claris International, Inc. had announced its new branding that included a name and another product. The original name of the company when it first began was Claris, then transitioned to FileMaker, so it brings back to what it once was called. To make it a brand name, they added the name Claris to “FileMaker” and the product they acquired, “Connect”. (Thus, Claris’s products are now “Claris FileMaker” and “Claris Connect”.) For the conference, they celebrate Claris’s 25th year of hosting one and with the name of “Claris Engage”.

Many were wondering what would come from the new format of marketing towards customers and beginner programmers. They did not forget those in the community that has loved and worked with Claris’s product, as they did include them in the conference. However, both who had attended or heard about FileMaker DevCon as well as the company of Claris did not expect that their first new convention would be virtual.

Claris Engage consisted of two days August 4-5, 2020, on a Tuesday and Wednesday. The format for each day starts with a pre-recorded video by Claris, a regular session, and then four panels, and the closing ceremony at the end. There was an extra session on the second day for those wanting to be Claris partners, and at the beginning of each day, there were the networking coffee hours hosted by Women Innovating Together.

The coffee hours were a good way to meet and talk to new people and learn more about Women Innovating Together. Many people attended but attendees were put into breakout groups to allow discussion.  On the same note, there was also great networking in a place called AutoEnter that created and hosted by Geist Interactive. AutoEnter being a virtual tradeshow that hosted different companies’ virtual booths, and we could chat about each session that was happening in real-time.

The pre-recorded videos by Claris were professionally done and packed with information, hence, giving ideas of what is to come. The next sessions were informative with well-known members of the FileMaker community presenting. Panels also consisted of great members of the community as well as some Claris employees to help moderate the discussion. There was the ability to ask questions during the sessions that the presenter or panelists would answer. The closing ceremony had “Winners of the Excellence Awards”, and it quickly concluded with photos of people toasting to Claris. So overall things went well despite there being issues with video not being able to show because of exceeded bandwidth with WebEx.

Recordings of the sessions were put on Claris Academy (also available on the Claris Engage webpage), and also a batch of On-Demand sessions that are being released weekly for an indeterminate amount of time.

I will be interested to see what will happen in the next Claris Engage, which will presumably be in person in San Diego, California.