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


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?



Paul Battisson, COO – Meet the Galacticos

This is the start of a new series in which you get to meet and learn more about the Cloud Galacticos team. We thought we start off with our COO, Paul Battisson, who is fast approaching his third year with us. I caught up with Paul via email to find out more about him and his experiences.

Paul Battisson, COO

Paul, thanks for volunteering to be the first participant in this series. Can you give us a bit of background about you and your history with Salesforce® ?

Sure, my name is Paul and I have been working with Salesforce now for the past 11 years. I started off in Salesforce® as a developer at FinancialForce where I got to learn about the platform from some of the best developers around. Andy Fawcett (now VP Platform Product Management at Salesforce) was my manager and showed me a lot. I also had the pleasure to work with other superstars like Carolina Ruiz, Stephen Willcock and Agustina Garcia which helped me pick a lot up fast. I then moved on to a consulting role as a senior developer focused on financial services. Since then I have held a number of different roles for different partners across product management, architecture, innovation and delivery management. I’ve been lucky enough to work on a variety of roles and get to see most of the platform.

You’re also a Salesforce® MVP and lead the Leeds Developer Group in the UK?

That’s correct. I am fortunate enough to have been awarded as an MVP for the past 7 years. I have been running the Leeds Developer Group for about 8 years now. It was through the group that I first met our the Cloud Galacticos CEO Phil Walton. I also run a site called CloudBites.tv where I share videos about Salesforce topics and am midway through writing some books on Apex.

Paul discussing the Blockchain at a Leeds Developer Group

Paul discussing the Blockchain at a Leeds Developer Group

So with all that going on I’m not sure you have time for anything else, but in the time you do have outside of work what do you enjoy doing?

Haha, yes it is a bit full on. At the moment a lot of time is spent on writing, blogging etc. but I do really enjoy that. I also love reading although I am a bit of a nerd and it is a variety of non-fiction topics. My PS4 is my go-to relaxation device, as well as cooking. I try to exercise a bit as well but I can’t say I am consistent in that as I am with playing the PlayStation!

A nice mix of things there. Can you share a little more about your role as COO and what you enjoy most about it?

I describe myself as “everything other than delivery – most of the time”. We are still a growing organisation so I do spend my time moving across a few things. Primarily my role is a combination of sales, marketing, strategy and back office stuff. I also help clients on a number of projects as an architect as well. I like a good mixture of things and my role definitely gives me that. In one day I can be discussing a new marketing campaign, talking to potential clients, discussing an integration between systems and then reviewing our HR policies. It can be a bit manic but I love it.

A nice variety there. To me you are the ‘travelling Galactico’, and I know your role and work involves a bit of travel. Where has been your favourite place to visit with work?

I am definitely on the road more than the rest of the team, but that’s because I get to meet new customers and telling them how wonderful we all are! I visit Leeds, Manchester and London a lot. Manchester has a special place for me, it is a big city but a nice community feel to it. To me it also feels open and spacious more than many others. I have also been lucky enough to head to Malaga, San Francisco and New Delhi with the Galacticos team and would recommend them all. I have been to San Francisco many times and can always find something new and interesting to enjoy. It is such a crazy place so definitely worth going if you can.

I know you have visited San Francisco for Dreamforce, what has been your favourite Salesforce event?

Yes I have been lucky enough to attend and speak at Dreamforce a number of times. It probably is my favourite event overall because of how long it is. You have enough time to attend a number of sessions, meet people from all over and generally have fun. I do have a soft spot for the community events that have sprung up as well – in particular London’s Calling and DreamOle. They are smaller in scale but have always have great talks and are much easier to get to!

Paul Speaking at Dreamforce 2018

Paul Speaking at Dreamforce 2018

Obviously at the moment everyone is working remotely but you have been working remotely for a while. Have you got any tips for everyone?

My biggest tip would be to have a dedicated space. I’ve got an office where I can work away and focus without disruption. It can be tough to switch off if you always have the laptop around and also hard to resist looking at another email. Having a dedicated space means you can focus when needed and close the work away at the end of the day.

Paul's office setup

Paul working from his home office

And finally, what tips would you have for someone starting in the Salesforce eco-system?

Join your local Trailblazer Community groups! They are full of knowledgeable and friendly people who want to be your friends. You will also get to hear a much broader set of talks, topics and ideas than you would otherwise and really ramp up your knowledge. Plus most provide some free food and drink!

Thanks Paul for your time and an insight into your life. We’ll be chatting with some of the other team members at Cloud Galacticos in due course. Watch this space!