This time next week 30,000 clouderati will descend on the Moscone Centre in San Francisco for what’s billed as the Cloud Computing event of the year - Dreamforce.
Now in it’s ninth year the Salesforce event has come to sum up all that is exciting and different about the cloud industry. In this post I’ll look at five reasons why this is no ordinary ‘technology conference.’
It’s often said - but cloud is about people not technology. It’s about changing the way people work, and giving them ideas to enable them to be more productive. So at Dreamforce you’ll find marketers, sales managers, customer support directors, sales operations, finance managers - as well as Salesforce.com Administrators and Developers. There is no barrier to entry at Dreamforce. If you passionate about what you do, you’ll get value from your trip.
Most conferences are thinly veiled advertising tools, and whilst Salesforce is in a league of its own when it comes to marketing, Dreamforce has one of the widest range of training sessions I’ve ever seen. Over 425 sessions cover topics as diverse as running a commission scheme, implementing volunteering, or moving from administrator to developer. I am really looking forward to the sessions I've booked into, including an Introduction to Heroku for IT Architects, and a session on Chatter best practices.
Have you ever taken someone else along to a conference so you have someone to talk to? Or worse still, have you gone alone, sat alone, eaten lunch alone, and then left without actually speaking to anyone. What a waste. Dreamforce provides attendees with the Dreamforce App - a customised Salesforce Org where attendees can network, subscribe to sessions, join groups and post up questions and discussions well in advance of the physical event. Ahead of time I’ve been able to meet people with similar interests and have got meetings and get-togethers booked up that would never have happened without the Dreamforce App.
Culture is such an important aspect of business. Culture seeps out of every pore of your Company and it is picked up by customers, partners, prospects, analysts and competitors. Are you someone I’d like to work with? Are you ‘my kind of company?’ Dreamforce oozes fun and excitement, with a succession of evening parties to complement the day's events. This year Metallica headline the Global Gala with will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas playing after. This evening gives everyone the opportunity to let their hair down and realise that whatever your role at work, we are all people at home that like to have fun. Enterprise technology does not have to be painfully boring.
There is no point going to a conference if you don’t come back with at least one idea, new partnership, new strategy or new contact that you can start work on straight away. This year will be my first Dreamforce and I’m confident that I will return with some really exciting ideas about how we use Salesforce ourselves, as well as for furthering our integration with Salesforce. Because of the way Dreamforce is created, because of the Dreamforce App, because of the wide variety of sessions I'm booked into, I'll be arriving with an open mind, an empty notepad, and a lot of enthusiasm!
If you cannot attend Dreamforce then many of the keynotes and top sessions will be streamed live using the Salesforce Facbook page.
Whilst NewVoiceMedia will not be exhibiting at Dreamforce this year, we will have a team attending. Just tweet me at @iamcharliecowan if you’d like to meet up. In particular I am interested to meet if you are implementing Service Cloud into your clients.
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