Once again, kudos to RosemaryTietge and the rest of the FileMaker crew for putting on a great ”con”. Any negative comments from me are pretty minor and are basically nitpicking or illustrate that there’s always room to improve.
The Gaylord Texan is huge. They hosted us with room to spare easily hosting another large “con” that overlapped ours. It was a bit of a hike to the Tate ballroom for general sessions and the Party but the hotel staff did a great job of directing us to it for the keynote. (And we were warned to wear comfortable shoes...)
A few negatives: The exhibit/dining hall needed better sound deadening—maybe by covering the entire floor with carpeting instead of just the center exhibit space. It made it hard to talk to vendors.
The Gaylord is a self contained resort. Any meals not part of the convention or those consumed by family members had to be eaten at these rather pricey establishments. These same places would give you a “doggy bag” for leftovers but the absence of a microwave in the room meant that you couldn’t reheat them. We were very thankful that a coworker who made DEVCON part of a large road trip, loaned my wife her car so that she could make a shopping run for some sandwich supplies.
The food: well I cook a lot and am spoiled by great produce from family garden and trees of the family farm so I get a bit critical. The food overall was great and plentiful but strangely, a few items such as salad dressings and fruit juice pitchers went unlabeled leaving you to guess at their contents. Some of the afternoon snacks tried too hard at being healthy at the expense of being bland.
I’ve only made it to four DEVCONS and missed the party in Phoenix due to a headache, but for me, it was the best so far with lots of great food and lots of different activities. It was a bit noisy, but you could also step outside the room to find a few more games and a bar in a much quieter setting if you wanted to network or socialize without shouting in an ear.
The sessions were great and taught me new things. Rosemary shared some exciting stuff on the future of this forum so stay tuned for some big changes here. In particular, we’ll be able to nominate ourselves and others for MVP so keep an eye open for that. The NDA stuff in the keynote promises that some really dramatic improvements are headed our way. The one complaint I had was that the fireside chat session ducked what I thought was an important question: What does the future hold on the run time issue? Will we get something new that allows us to produce demos that help us sell both FileMaker and our services or will we just see the current run time option be increasingly marginalized while listed as “deprecated”?
But above all, the biggest positive was the PEOPLE. The chance to meet my friends that work at FileMaker, the chance to meet community friends, many for the first time to put a face to the name was great. And if you sat only with coworkers for your meals you missed out on the chance to make new friends with people from around the world who also speak "FileMaker".
And yes, it was very nice receiving thanks and recognition for all the replies that I’ve posted here in the forum. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it was a thrill to be “mobbed“ by people expressing thanks after Rosemary’s ”Community Roadmap” session. And getting a trophy during the closing session was nice too: