Last month was the inaugural North Africa Dreamin event in Morocco. Here’s what our CEO, Phil Walton, had to say about his time at this new event…
The first African Salesforce community event” was too tempting a tagline to turn down! When fellow MVP Houssam SAOUDY invited me to speak, I was very excited about my first speaking trip to Africa, and being a part of something unique.
Immediately on arrival, Houssam, Doria, and Abdelhakim, introduced themselves, and I felt welcomed into the local Ohana of a country I had never visited, and a continent I hardly knew. Note, as well the main languages in Morocco being Arabic, Berber, and French, I had zero skills with Arabic and Berber, and my french is pretty awful. Thankfully we all spoke Salesforce, and had the combined skills of friendliness and openness.
On the day of the conference, I noticed many of the sessions were in French which made me worry that my session might need some local input… So Mehdi, one of the event volunteers (and Salesforce Consultant & Trailhead Ranger), joined me on stage for the presentation and helped with any translations and also helped chip in with some good content, thanks again Mehdi!
My session ‘The Free Stuff’ was an updated version of a presentation I have given a number of times, and seemed to be well received. The most important part of it is that it’s an evolving session, with different content depending on the audience and location, and feedback given. I made a point of prompting the audience to share their most useful Salesforce resources – in return for some Manchester United swag – which then helps the audience and helps me for the next version!
Any mention of North Africa Dreamin would not be complete without a (detailed) review of the food. I think this may be my 9th community event in five continents, and it may just have to win the Best Food prize! Lunch was a spectacular spread of Moroccan food which thankfully was spread over one and a half hours in two large banqueting rooms. The Moroccan tea in-between sessions was sweet, minty and refreshing. We then went out for an evening meal with some of the speakers, sponsors, and Salesforce visitors, which was immense; complete with belly dancers – thankfully I managed to avoid being dragged up to join the dance, others were less lucky, I think all social media evidence has since been deleted..!
So why should YOU attend a Dreamin’ event? You don’t need to travel to a different continent (although coinciding an event with a holiday/travels is a great idea!), but check out Dreamin events in and around your home country such as*
Singapore – Singapore Dreamin, 15th January 2020
Japan – Japan Dreamin, 25th January 2020
Canada – Banff Dreamin, 13th March 2020
UK – London’s Calling, 20th March 2020
Spain – DreamOle, 24th April 2020
USA – Texas Dreamin, 16-17th July 2020
France – FrenchTouch Dreamin, 24th September 2020
* There are many many more Dreamin events to choose from, plus new ones all the time, so keep an eye out and give them your #TrailblazerCommunity support!
In my opinion, these are the events when you can really learn new things. You can easily attend five or six plus sessions in a day, no queuing, no registering for each session in advance and joining a line to get your seat. No long treks against the tide to find the session location. It is also easier to meet people. With the average attendance being 200-300 people, you can easily introduce yourself to people, and get a chance to chat with speakers, Salesforce attendees, community leaders etc., that you struggle to do at a World Tour or Dreamforce. Hope to see you at a Dreamin event soon!