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Dreamforce 2020: Things We’ll Miss and Things That We Won’t

Dreamforce, for many in the Salesforce ecosystem, is the highlight of their events calendar. Though with the Covid-19 situation affecting people globally, the conference this year will be re-imagined. Say ‘hello’ to Dreamforce To You 2020: ‘instead of everyone coming to Dreamforce, Dreamforce is coming to you — to your kitchen, to your living room, even to your own backyard.’

A few of us at Cloud Galacticos have been lucky enough to attend in previous years. This blog is about what we will miss, and not miss, about Dreamforce…

 

Paul Battisson Presenting at Dreamforce 2018

Paul Battisson, CEO

What I miss about Dreamforce:

The thing I will miss most is speaking and talking to other speakers. I love going to Dreamforce to share the things I have been working on over the past year, best practices I have found to work, as well as push the envelope with some strange and crazy ideas (I have spoken about VR in Salesforce and did the first talk on Machine Learning at a Dreamforce). I will miss learning from people and having these great conversations.

What I won’t miss about Dreamforce:

The flight. As lovely as a 12 hour flight, plus a connecting flight, and lots of time in an airport is, I will not be missing that part. I do like having some uninterrupted reading time, but the meal is never as good as food made nearer ground level.

 

Salesforce Conference in San Francisco

Trailhead at Dreamforce

Neel Meghani, CTO

What I miss about Dreamforce:

I have only done one Dreamforce trip so far. I had heard how big it is but experiencing it for myself it far far exceeded expectations. The biggest thing I miss is the atmosphere itself. The atmosphere can be felt as soon as you arrive in San Francisco. The coming together of so many people with a common interest just gives the whole town a big community feel making you feel at home! Obviously being there presents a big opportunity to learn, gain knowledge and ideas, but most importantly it’s the social side part that I’ll miss.

What I won’t miss about Dreamforce:

The travel, plus the fact it’s all go – full steam ahead as soon as you arrive. You have to ignore the jet lag and just keep going. This all means the sheer exhaustion you feel when you leave lasts a good week after you return. I needed loads of R&R when I got back. That feeling I will not miss. So Dreamforce To You sounds awesome to me!

 

Salesforce Ohana Golden Gate Bridge Walk Dreamforce 2019

Ben Duong, Head of Marketing

What I miss about Dreamforce:

Dreamforce is a unique beast. Bigger and brasher in real life than you can ever imagine – you have to be there to understand. What I will miss about Dreamforce 2020 going virtual this year is being in San Francisco itself. I have been countless times (due to my dad and family living there), but ‘The City’ never fails to amaze. From the skyline (Salesforce Tower joins the Golden Gate Bridge in iconic terms) to the diverse range of cuisines available, to the many cool venues, Dreamforce was made for San Francisco.

What I won’t miss about Dreamforce:

Having to travel over from the UK, with it’s 8 hour time difference, the jet lag is something I won’t miss. Even with the great coffee and sessions on offer, it always takes a few days to adjust. Dreamforce 2020 going virtual may take away the jet lag, but I’d be happy with the disorientation if it meant being back in San Francisco!

 

Baldforce at Dreamforce 2018

Phil Walton, CEO

What I miss about Dreamforce:

There is a real and constant ‘buzz’ at Dreamforce. Maybe it is just the warm weather, jetlag, and strong coffee? But it feels like there is ALWAYS something going on. It’s not just the sessions, the learning, the parties, it is often the bits in between. The conversation in a shared Uber, the chat in a lift, the friend you make whilst lost in one of the venues.

As well as bumping into friends, & colleagues, you always have your eyes peeled for ‘celebrity spotting’. Whether it is ‘Salesforce celebrity’, the VPs, the Community team, your AEs, or if you are lucky, Marc or Parker. But also (queue name dropping, sorry) I had a chance chat with David Blaine (who now follows me on Twitter!?), breakfast with Billy Connelly, and nearly knocked over Iggy Pop. You don’t get that on a Virtual presentation!

What I won’t miss about Dreamforce:

The downside of the great things, is that there is so much you can not possibly see. There are 1,000+ sessions, last time I think I managed to go to one! So I always have regrets about missed opportunities, missed learnings. I guess I will still have that, but I can sleep in my own bed when it is all virtual. 

 

Fleetwood Mac at Dreamforce 2019

ABOUT CLOUD GALACTICOS

Cloud Galacticos is a Salesforce consultancy, and a Salesforce Consulting Partner with an all-star team. We are user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs and all round Salesforce nerds. We have people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, York, Sheffield, and London. If you are looking for a Salesforce partner with experience who can help you make the most of your org, why not give us a call?

 

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Preparing for the Annual Pilgrimage to San Francisco for Dreamforce 2019

With Dreamforce 2019 starting next week, our head of marketing, Ben Duong writes about what he’s looking forward to as he gets ready to go to San Francisco…

‘Glastonbury of the Tech World’

This year’s Dreamforce will be my fifth time in attendance, and I’ve seen it grow year-on-year to the ‘mega-conference’ that it has become. Each year is unlike the year before, as Salesforce is a company that embraces change and the latest technological advances. I guess as our CEO, Phil Walton, once described it, Dreamforce is the ‘Glastonbury of the tech world’.

With around 170,000 attendees from across the globe, over 2,700 sessions and workshops, plus hundreds of parties, and much more spread over four action-packed days, it can be pretty overwhelming. As you can guess there are plenty of great blogs from the Salesforce ecosystem highlighting their tips on ‘how to survive Dreamforce’. My blog is more about what I’m looking forward to and of course a couple of tips…

#FlyingSolo

This year I’ll be #FlyingSolo and representing Cloud Galacticos – a Salesforce Silver Partner consultancy. It’ll give me a chance to go out of my comfort zone and try things I haven’t done in previous years.

Golden Gate Bridge Walk Dreamforce

Photo Credit: Zachary Jeans

Salesforce Ohana

Meeting and connecting with fellow trailblazers outside of the sessions/parties is always one of the highlights. So I was excited to hear about the Dreamforce Ohana Golden Gate Bridge Walk (which has been going since 2014). What a great chance to get up close to an iconic San Francisco landmark, get some exercise and meet new people?

UK & Ireland Ohana

With hundreds of thousands of people coming to Dreamforce, you could be talking to someone from New York one minute, then someone from Japan or Morocco the next. It’s also nice when you do meet someone from your own country. That’s why the UK&I Reception event is always one of my highlights, not just because it’s normally in amazing venues (this year it’s in a historic bank building considered to be ‘the finest building in the City’), but it’s a chance to catch up with your peers as well as meet new ones.

Inspirational Speakers

Alongside the thousands of awesome sessions, there’s also a few high profile speakers attending the conference. The one thing they have in common is that they are doing amazing things in their field. This year we’re spoilt for choice, with Tim Cook (CEO of Apple), Megan Rapinoe (World Cup and Olympic Champion), Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women), and of course, 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

Dreamforce 2019 Speakers

Photo Credit: Salesforce

Dreamfest

As well as all the learning, networking and walking, Dreamforce is a great chance to let your hair down and enjoy some great music, and all for a good cause. Previous years have seen the likes of the Foo Fighters, Blondie, U2, and Metallic entertain the crowds. And this year is no different with Fleetwood Mac. Expect lots of singalong crowd-pleasers. All the while raising money for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

All in all, this year’s Dreamforce continues the conference’s programme of amazing speakers, sessions, parties, and much more. If you’re lucky enough to be attending – and #flyingsolo – come and say ‘Hello’!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TheNorth / @CloudGalacticos for live Tweets during the conference!

Finally, here are some tips from the CEO and COO of Cloud Galacticos:

Phil Walton, CEO

“Don’t be afraid to travel around Dreamforce on your own. I used to do a lot of backpacking around the world, and when I travelled on my own I met people all the time – when I travelled with a partner or friends I met hardly anyone else apart from those friends! Especially at an event like Dreamforce where there really are lots of ‘friends you haven’t met yet’, people are welcoming if you can pluck up the courage to say ‘Hi, I’m [insert name here], I don’t know anyone at this event, what do you hope to learn here/where are you from/how long have you been working in Salesforce’ etc. Be brave!”

“Don’t expect a holiday! By the time you arrive you will probably be tired and possibly jet-lagged. For me the time difference is 8 hours, it’s like travelling to Australia. There will be early sessions, a full daytime schedule, many miles of walking, then the evening partying starts. Repeat that for four or more days… Oh, and don’t forget the jet lag, and not sleeping properly. You will be shattered – if you do it right!”

Paul Battisson, COO

“If you enjoy a session or feel you have learned something from it, try and find 2 minutes to wait around after the session is done and thank the speaker. It can be hard for speakers to know whether the session they’ve just given has been well received or not. Taking that time to say thanks can make their day. And don’t feel shy about waiting to ask for questions or advice! Speakers are only too happy to help and you may end up making a new friend!”

“Enjoy some of the more relaxing elements of the Dreamforce experience. Sit in the Dreamforest (the blocked off block of Howard) and enjoy the live music, meet the Pawdot Puppies, and attend a meditation session. It doesn’t have to be all mayhem and madness!”