We are nearly in December, Dreamforce has been and gone, and now we are getting back to our usual work life. I have finally recovered from a very crazy week and wanted to share my thoughts.
This was my first trip to Dreamforce and San Francisco. So there were many new experiences for me to have, and lessons to be learnt for next time around.
First up, if you get advice listen to it! One of the things that many people stressed when I mentioned it would be my first time was to wear comfy shoes. Boy were they right! On the 2nd day of Dreamforce (Tuesday), I walked a total of 12 miles! If I did not have the comfiest pair of trainers that I own on, I would have felt it the next day. Also, don’t forget to eat and drink I took a few snacks in my bag each day (Always forgot I had them) and then would sit in a session and feel a bit hungry, those snacks would then make my day.
Dreamforce is BIG!
I think we tend to underestimate how big Dreamforce is. With over 170,000 people in attendance (That means 1 in every 5 people in the whole city are attending the event) and over 3,200 sessions to attend. It is no wonder Salesforce can pull in big names such as Michelle Obama, Natalie Portman & Ashton Kutcher. Especially when they are encouraged to speak on topics that they are passionate about.
Even though Dreamforce is so big, it is easy to feel lonely at times. Even if you are not a solo traveller like myself, you spend a lot of time by yourself, surrounded by large crowds of people. This is because everybody has different sessions they would like to attend, and if you are going from the same company, it does not make sense for everybody to attend the same sessions. You have to divide and conquer! I was fortunate that after attending many user groups in London, and meeting a lot of people over the last few years and I was able to bump into a few of them throughout the week. There was also a WhatsApp group set up of UK Dreamforce goers; this made it easier to find people I knew and also find out about other things going on that I was not aware of.
The big announcements
For the first time in a few years, there was no leak or a sneak peak of the announcements that would be coming out of Dreamforce. One of the major things that were announced during the keynote was around personalisation, and my my my did they deliver. The announcement of My Trailhead, where you can create your own content and badges. (Something I have wanted from day one.) My Salesforce & My Lightning, giving you new tools to brand Salesforce even more. Create your own personal app and change more elements of Salesforce or desktop & mobile. My Einstien & My IoT giving you AI & IoT capabilities that you can build yourself not just use out of the box.
Some things that may not have grabbed the headlines but got my attention where:
- Pardot starting to migrate onto the core platform, with campaigns merging and reporting available with standard reports in Salesforce
- Lots of changes to the Flow UI being worked on, something that looks like it will check a lot of boxes for what I felt needed to change
- Lots of reporting changes including field to field filtering, Row-level formulas, Multi-column sorting & Report subfolders
Dreamforce is BIG; there is a lot to do, you could never do everything you wanted to do. There are a lot of exciting talks, and there is a lot more going on than just the platform itself. You need to make a plan for sessions you would like to attend. A backup plan if you get off track. And be prepared that you will get off track a lot.
Am I planning on going next year? Lets just say II have already blocked out 25-28th September in my diary!
Also published on Medium.