For 2024 Claris decided to keep the ball low and pick an Apple owned facility to run the conference. Sure, that saves a lot of money, which previously went to Marriott, but it separates the conference a lot from the hotel. Attendees are asked to pick a hotel in the The Domain area, a development in north Austin with a lot of shops and restaurants. It should be easy for us to meet there at various hotel bars or restaurants after the show.
The Claris Engage conference will take place one day in the Apple Campus (6900 West Parmer Lane) for training and keynote. After the keynote, we'll have a party (reception?) with food and drinks. Plenty of time to welcome old friends and talk about the keynote content. The other two days are on a different Apple Campus (5505 Parmer Lane). All the sessions will be there with lunches and refreshment breaks. Since there is no bus shuttle, be sure to organize car pools with your fellow developers.
Since the conference is going to be smaller, we attend just with one person and that is me. Not sure if we get a booth this time. As the conference is basically only 2 days plus keynote on the evening before, we expect quite a few Europeans to skip the conference this year. They would be traveling longer, then they'd be at the conference! And of course Europeans may prefer to just got to EngageU in Europe (12th - 14th of November 2023 in Antwerp, Belgium). February in Austin may not encourage attendees to stay longer and make it a little vacation.
The conference ticket is $1399 USD plus optional a $449 USD training day ticket. The early bird offer sold out the first day, so 200 people got their ticket already. If you stay at home, there is a $99 option to get just the recordings. No idea whether recordings may eventually go to Claris' channel on YouTube like the years before.
Some decisions are hard to understand. We hoped for the Nashville conference plans to be executed for 2024 (after being cancelled in 2020), but that didn't happen. I really hope for a bigger conference in 2025, maybe in California, if Apple has bigger facilities there? The yearly conference is the show case of the platform. It shows how many people are interested in the products, it brings together the developers to share knowledge, it lets Claris show off their new stuff and it creates high level content to show and publish later.
See you in Antwerp and in Austin!