I’ll never forget attending my very first Dreamforce in 2009. At the time I had been a Salesforce Administrator for about 3 years, and I had no idea what was in store for me. Back then Dreamforce was a smaller event only 10-15,000 people (only). So it was pretty manageable but still completely overwhelming. Looking back at that Dreamforce and seeing where I am today one quote comes to mind from Steve Jobs that I believe completely encompasses my journey from that 2009 Dreamforce to now.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”
– Steve Jobs [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]
The one thing you should do at Dreamforce
Network like crazy.
In 2009, I knew this was the space I wanted to be in, it just wasn’t my job. So I networked with everyone that I could introduce myself to and then I listened. I met a lot of great people that year- and turns out I met my future boss (pictured). But what I would say is the key for forming all those relationships is that I listened first and followed up later.
It’s a rare occasion that you will have that much Salesforce talent around you at any one given time so take advantage of it, but don’t abuse it. When I was networking that year at Dreamforce I looked for any shared experiences, problems, or topics to talk about. I spoke to a ton of people that year and my main goal was to understand how they got to where they were and what they did to get there.
So back to the dots. Could I have imagined that the person I would have a picture next to would one day be a co-worker? In no way can you make that connection, but looking back four years later that was a very productive networking session for me.
Will Dreamforce change you life immediately? Maybe. Will it impact you forever? Most definitely!