It’s wild that Claris Engage 2024 has come and gone. Over 600 of us gathered at the Apple Austin Campus February 6-7, 2024, surrounded by leaders, developers, and an excited community. Here’s my not-so-quick recap.

A passionate community

The energy at Claris Engage was visceral. Claris provided a long-awaited opportunity to reconnect and surround ourselves with people who share our passion. While long-time experts filled the halls, there were so many new faces too. In-house developers, one-person shops, and consulting/services companies of all sizes participated. After years apart, it felt so fresh and new! This was a smaller event than previous DevCons because of the venue, yet it felt fully energized and highly concentrated.

Proof+Geist wins the Claris Innovation Excellence Award

Although I’m trying to limit exclamation points here, a row of them could convey Proof+Geist’s excitement for receiving the Claris Innovation Excellence Award. While an award doesn’t define our success, it reminds us that Claris and the FileMaker community recognize our work. Ernest Koe wrote a separate post about the award and why we’re so excited. A heartfelt congratulations to the other award winners, too!

A community filled with superpowers

Because the FileMaker community is full of superheroes, we created custom trading cards at our booth, where attendees added their own special powers. People identified themselves as cat herders, plate spinners, data wranglers, and more. (Aleks Malinovic from Claris dubbed them “FileMaker Pokemon Cards” and is rumored to have traded his with Brad Freitag, CEO of Claris.)

Improvised excellence

Speaking of superpowers, we could pretend everything goes perfectly at big events, or we could just own the truth. While we don’t need to focus on the flaws, some of the less-than-perfect moments create some of my best memories. Shout out to Angie Wong at Claris. When the overflow room suffered from sound issues and could no longer hear the keynote, Angie jumped in front of the room and filled in the words spoken by Brad Freitag, Andrew LeCates, and others. It was an impressive live translation of the keynote that I’m sure no one planned for. After, people raved about her ability to save the moment and provide great information when things didn’t go as planned. Superpower activated, Angie!

New and fun tech

Providing a break from the digital, we offered TileMaker Pro Starter Kits for attendees – a tactile time management planner that connects physical tools with the online world.

We were also thrilled to share up-to-the-minute insights with attendees on a Vestaboard. The beautiful split-flap display is both informational and so cool to watch! Don’t be surprised if we post more about our experience with the Vestaboard and how we controlled it with the Claris platform.

Special thanks to Joe Simpson with FMLayoutLens who helped attendees visualize their layouts in virtual reality.

Pause and have some chocolate

During the event, PauseOnError had its own room where attendees could relax and take a break. We put together a puzzle showing people who attended the last event in the fall and listening to low-key tunes to help us recharge for upcoming sessions. It also gave people a break from the traffic in the hallways. A not-so-subtle reminder: the next PauseOnError Summer Camp starts October 7, 2024.

WITfm also had a community room and sponsored a chocolate party! If I could beam you some of those delicious treats, I would.

A little after-hours fun

Thanks to great weather, over 200 people attended a Community Party at the Lone Star Court. Old and new friends clinked glasses and celebrated being together.

The party was made possible by sponsors:

We had a blast planning it, and it felt awesome to see it come to life.

Our sale continues!

While Engage is over, our products are still on sale, and for hosting, whether you’re a new customer or an existing customer, we are still offering a $300 credit through February 29, 2024, toward new hosting services and instances. Learn more here!

A Proof+Geist event for the history books

I had the honor of choreographing the Claris Engage effort for Proof+Geist, and I’m so proud of our team’s work. Everyone contributed something to this event.

  • Todd Geist and I (Martha Zink) led training sessions alongside Soliant Consulting and iSolutions.
  • Alo Torres-Navarro, Barbara Cooney, Brian Ouimette, Dirk Reynolds, Eric Luce, Ernest Koe, Heather Williams, and Peter Vinogradov delivered amazing sessions on varying topics.
  • Angelo Luchi and Jesus Madrigal talked with attendees at the Ottomatic booth and during the vendor session, sharing their work and passion for our modern FileMaker hosting platform. Danielle Hieronimi and Mike Lee supported the infra team at the Ottomatic booth.
  • Dave Ramsey and Joe Simpson offered countless demos for FMPerception, FMComparison, and FMLayoutLens.
  • Krissy Ferris helped the community pause in the Pause room.
  • Corn Walker offered technical mentoring while Marcia Conner offered speaker coaching for our team.
  • Ric Merrifield brought a broader tech industry perspective to our booths.
  • Than Linzey and Jennifer Vokoun designed the booth and trading cards alongside so much marketing and booth content.
  • Andrew Koller, Andy Chase, Chris Corsi, Jason Frey, Kyle Duval, Liv Fitzpatrick, Chris Maddox, Steve Ritchie, and Taylor McGuire supported our hosting/product customers and services clients while serving as our cheerleaders leading up to and during Engage.

A collaborative effort throughout

The community always shows up in such big ways. Here are a few highlights: 

  • Our neighbors at the booths brought their A-game and enthusiasm showing the richness of the Claris ecosystem.
  • FMBetterForms (Charles Delfs) created a beautiful Genius Bar app for the event.
  • Informing Designs (Lisette Wilson) gave attendees a moment to relax by sponsoring meditation during the extended lunch break.
  • Our client and friends at Prodigy Promos created the Claris swag for the event.
  • The Claris team put more people on stage than ever before, showing their commitment to the growing platform. They also put countless hours into making Engage a success. Specifically, Julie Sigfrinius put her heart and soul into taking care of all the attendees and vendors at Claris Engage, and it showed!


The Claris community is vibrant and excited. Claris is committed to the developer community. A lot of work went into this event, and it paid off. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth or talked with us in the hallways. It was a gift to learn more about you and how we can be curious, do good work, together