The 2016 FileMaker Developer Conference was held at the same location as last year – Las Vegas, Nevada – and the same hotel – The Cosmopolitan – so everything felt very familiar. I didn’t spend nearly as much time getting lost as I did in 2015. This was my 13th DevCon (out of 21) and the fourth time that Databuzz has exhibited.
After leaving Australia in the middle of winter and arriving in Las Vegas in the middle of summer the first thing you notice is the heat:
Most of the time at DevCon is spent indoors (I didn’t venture outside for a few days) so it’s only when you leave the hotel that it hits you and it got progressively hotter as the week went on. The Cosmopolitan has great views of the Las Vegas strip – here’s the view from my hotel balcony:
After setting up the booth on the Monday I gave a presentation at the annual Custom Web Publishing User Group meeting – this is the 10th straight year that the CWP group has met and it’s always a must attend session for me. Then it was time for the Opening Keynote presented by FileMaker Inc. staff, where attendees get a glimpse at the future product direction for the FileMaker platform:
The rest of the week was spent at the Databuzz booth in the exhibitors area, talking to developers from all around the world and doing lots of demos of our products. It’s also a chance to catch up with customers in person and put a face to a name that you’ve been emailing for many months.
As with past years the most interest from attendees at our booth was in fmSMS and we did lots of demos showing how you can use the FileMaker platform to send and receive SMS/TXT messages. Looking at the message logs I can see we sent a lot of messages to attendees from the USA/Canada, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Mongolia and Australia.
This year there was definitely more awareness of the Xero small business accounting platform compared to previous years and it was great showing our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution to developers from all around the world. North America is now Xero’s fastest growing market (the other main markets are Australia, New Zealand and the UK) so we will definitely see more interest in Xero in future years.
The venue for DevCon 2017 was announced at the closing session – DevCon is returning to Phoenix, Arizona and the JW Marriott Desert Ridge from July 24 – 26. That will also have a familiar feel to it – it will be the fifth time DevCon has been at this venue. The closing session was also used to announce the winners of the FileMaker Developer Challenge. This year Databuzz and our good friends at Goya donated the monitors that we purchased for the conference to some of the charities involved in the Developer Challenge – Foster Kinship and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth gratefully accepted these.
See you in Phoenix in 2017!