This year I attended my first Dreamforce. Hopefully, it was the first of many.
Dreamforce in one word? Overwhelming. I experienced major sensory overload. Everything lights up and blinks and plays loud music. I felt like I wanted to be in five places at once. I was constantly doing session math in my head…If I’m in session A at 1:30 and session B is at 2:00 will I have enough time to walk to the Hilton to get there? If I get there late will they let me in? Or should I go to session C at 2:00 because it is a shorter walk? It reminded me of an adult version of Disney World. I wanted to do everything but I knew I couldn’t.
Overall, I was happy with the sessions I chose. There were a few that were full so I couldn’t attend, even though I had registered for them. I attended several sessions that focused on women in technology. At first I felt a little guilty about spending so much time on this track, but now I’m glad I did. It gave me the opportunity to see other women in the Salesforce industry and helped me realize how much I want to be a part of it. I’ve even found two other women in Rochester who are interested in starting a Girly Geeks chapter with me!
THE WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY SESSIONS I ATTENDED
- Salesforce Women’s Network & Girly Geeks Panel
- Women in Tech: Making Waves & Inspiring Careers
- Estella’s Brilliant Bus: Closing the Digital Divide
- Just Say Yes: Negotiation Skills for Women
- Kicking a Hole in the Glass Ceiling
- Girly Geeks: Chapter Update
- Salesforce Women in Tech: Overcoming Impostor Syndrome
I also attended three of the keynotes at Dreamforce. They were huge, exciting, and more impressive than anything else I’ve ever attended. But they also took a huge amount of time. Since this was my first Dreamforce, I’m really happy I went to the keynotes. They were an amazing experience. That being said, I don’t know if I would do it every year. Just the hour and a half spent waiting in line for the main keynote could have been put to better use. However, I would absolutely attend the Admin keynote again. It was a lot less flashy than the others, but also more targeted and relevant to me.
DREAMFORCE KEYNOTES I ATTENDED
- Salesforce Partner Keynote: Lead and Innovate in the #1 Cloud Ecosystem
- Welcome to the Customer Success Platform with Marc Benioff and Special Guests
- Admin Keynote
I attended a variety of other sessions also. I found the very specific sessions to be most helpful. My favorites were those related to hands-on training, visual workflow, and making the jump from Salesforce user to power admin. These were the sessions that felt most relevant to me and that I learned the most from.
OTHER DREAMFORCE SESSIONS I ATTENDED
- Getting to Know Visual Workflow
- Build Customer Engagement with a Strong Community
- Tony Robbins Presents: The Power to Break Through: Your Ultimate Edge!
- Make the Jump from User to Salesforce Power Admin
- Hands-on Training: Automate Processes with Trigger-Ready Flows
- A Conversation with Marc Andreessen
Dreamforce is more than just sessions. There are plenty of networking opportunities, the gala, and parties. My favorite, by far, was the Dreamforce newbie breakfast! I’m so glad I signed up for this. The food was great, but this was also one of the few places I could have a quality conversation with someone. I would recommend this event to everyone who is attending Dreamforce for the first time.
WHAT I LEARNED TO PREPARE ME FOR DREAMFORCE ‘15
- Don’t Fly United – small seats, no snacks, changes in flight times
- Bring Several Pairs of Comfortable Shoes – one pair of comfortable shoes will give you blisters after a few days
- Registering for a Session Does Not Guarantee You’ll Get In – so get there early
- Sign up for More Hands-on Training
- Carry Snacks and Don’t Count on the Free Food – lines are long
- Bring Ear Plugs – quiet spaces are scarce
My first Dreamforce was an amazing experience, and I’m already looking forward to next year. Does anyone else out there have feedback on their first time at Dreamforce? What did you love? What tips do you have for fellow newbies?