Dreamforce is the big annual convention held by salesforce.com. Anyone who has been a member of Salesforce community has heard of Dreamforce by this point. This year will mark my sixth consecutive Dreamforce attendance. Why do I keep attending? Well, you can read a little bit of what I experienced last year at Dreamforce on my Dreamforce Recap post. What do I think you should attend? Good question! Keep reading!
Why You Should Attend – It’s not just for Admins & Devs
I believe that anyone that has Salesforce as part of their job should attend Dreamforce at least once. I especially believe this for managers, executives, even end users like sales and customer support people, and of course the developers and administrators.
Dreamforce is a week of excitement. It is a critical mass of knowledge that explodes into your brain. Everyone should walk away from Dreamforce energized, excited, and completely overwhelmed from the knowledge. A manager can learn new ways to take advantage of the platform and manage his team more effectively. An executive can network and see how the platform can be weaved into the enterprise to be a more powerful tool for the company.
Then there’s you. Yes, you. I’m assuming if you’re reading this blog you’re either an administrator, developer or my Mother (Hi Mom!). You have more reasons to attend Dreamforce than anyone else. As an admin or dev you embody the junction between knowledge of the platform and the ability to bring its power to fruition. Attending Dreamforce will give you new ideas, solidify your skills, and give you access to people – just like you – that will support your through the rest of the non-Dreamforce season.
No Really, Why Should I Attend
“That sounds great Brian,” I can hear you say, “But that’s pretty prose heavy. How about some specifics?”
I know what you want. You want one of those lists of top ten reasons to attend. Very well:
- Roadmap Sessions – There will be many sessions – that will not be recorded – that will give you insight to upcoming features and the general direction of the platform. This is a great opportunity to break open the crystal ball and start planning for what (Safe Harbor) will be.
- Access to Product Managers – You know those Road map sessions I just mentioned? Well often at least one of the speakers is a product manager. These people don’t magically disappear off the stage when the session is over. Many of the sessions will have room for Q&A at the end. Take advantage and ask them your questions! There may be even be sessions specifically intended to give those product managers some tough questions. Here’s an example from 2013: MVP Throwdown 2013
- Access to many many experts. This is a well attended event. There will be plenty of extremely experienced and knowledge people from salesforce.com. There will be even more experts who are consultants and customers just like you. Take advantage of this! It won’t be difficult to find them. Salesforce MVPs like to hang out in the community zone. This year, you’ll likely find a bunch of MVPs at the new Admin zone.
- HOTS HOTS HOTS – Hands On Training. When I first got started with Salesforce I didn’t have the budget to take any of the week long trainings. Dreamforce HOTs were my best avenue to get some training. These are amazingly well put together and the subjects range from basic administrator to developer features.
- Thousands of other Sessions – It doesn’t matter what industry or role you are in. There will be hundreds of sessions for you to attend. Here’s another opportunity to get access to experts. Many sessions will have Q&A and it’s not uncommon for speakers to hang out a few minutes after their presentation to talk to audience members.
- The Expo – there will be hundreds of vendor booths. There are many solutions to everyday problems that can be solved with a vendor that is either built on salesforce.com or integrates it. It’s worth at least a cursory look; you might even snag some cool free stuff.
- The gigantic salesforce.com booth area – I don’t know what they’ll call their area this year. It’s historically in the expo hall in Moscone. Here you can see demos of new salesforce.com features and existing ones. One of my favorite spots lets you watch salesforce.com employees answer Dreamforce questions coming in from multiple channels. It’s quite amazing.
- Networking – This event is a prime networking opportunity. In addition to meeting with experts already discussed you can meet with other people similar to your role. This is one of the few events where I can walk into a room and say “Multi-Select lists” and people with either start laughing on the edge of insanity or cry. I have met people at Dreamforce that I stay in regular contact and help each other throughout the year. It’s like being able to start my own mini-support group.
- The Parties an Music – I have to mention this. While it’s not the primary reason to attend, there’s nothing like closing a long day of learning awesomeness by celebrating at many vendor hosted parties. Plus there’s the big gala hosted by salesforce.com. This year the musician will be Bruno Mars
- The Developer & Admin zones are going to be amazing. Last year, the developer zone in Moscone West was gigantic. There were many activities for people to do there including a hands on “Internet of Things” device lab.
— ericakuhl (@ericakuhl) July 22, 2014
So there’s the top ten list. No go and register you haven’t already done so! I’ll see you at Dreamforce.