Dreamforce Debrief

Two weeks later, and I feel like I’m finally back in a routine. That’s what Dreamforce does to me. The weeks leading up to it are filled with anticipation and excitement, and then afterwards, it takes me two weeks to digest and absorb everything that I learned. It’s a bit crazy if you think about it.

So what did I learn?

First – I learned what an amazing community exists around this product. Yeah, I already knew it, but I was reminded and inspired by how amazing the people actually are. From helping a new admin study for & pass her certification, to helping out someone in a crisis, to volunteering hours on hours for charity, we are an incredible group of people and I feel so lucky to be a part of something that is obviously bigger than the software. And I will be eternally grateful for that.

Second – I learned that I am no longer nervous about presenting to a crowd. In 2008, when I first presented at Dreamforce, I was terrified and you can hear it in my voice (if you can dig up that recording – good luck). But with six appearances on the dock this year, there was no time to get nervous & I breezed through those sessions like a pro. My advice? If you are ever given the chance to present at Dreamforce, do it! They do a fantastic job prepping their speakers & will make you feel at ease.

Third – I learned that they are listening to us! Last year’s Dreamforce was all about social, but this year it was obvious that Salesforce is taking their own advice & engaging with their customers in the conversation. Their social media command center was featured in one of the high-foot-traffic areas. They had a True To The Core session (addressing one of the all-time top ideas on the IdeaExchange) and the ever-popular Q & A with Marc – both of which started as impromptu session (2011 and 2010, respectively). They even offered free head shots, which I think was an idea that started on Twitter but brought to life at Dreamforce. All proving that social is real & it works!

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I got to problem-solve with friends, meet some of my readers, visit Salesforce HQ, dance to MC Hammer, chat with senior executives from Salesforce and learn some amazing techniques from some of the smartest Salesforce minds in the world. Yes, I get jazzed up for Dreamforce every year, but only because I gain so much from it.

And it doesn’t end when we all fly home. The session decks are all post now, and all of the recordings have been uploaded to YouTube. There are weeks worth of content that I still need to digest, and I can’t wait!

And the really fantastic part? I get to do it all again in 408 days!

Photo credit to David Armano for the Social Media Command Center image.
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