Dreamforce 2019 Reflections: Highlights from Community MVPs

By Lizzy Roberts | December 11, 2019 | Communities, Dreamforce, Power of Us Hub

Salesforce MVPs

Image Credit: Tami Lau. Salesforce.org MVPs gather at Dreamforce 2019!

Dreamforce 2019 has come and gone, but the memories are here to stay! We asked MVPs from the Power of Us Hub to reflect on their experiences at #DF19.

Tami Lau, Joanna Iturbe and Tal Frankfurt attended in person, while Nick Lindberg participated in Dreamforce virtually. Here’s what they had to say:

What were the top Dreamforce sessions you attended this year?

Tami Lau, Salesforce Developer, Presence Product Group: Meet the Developers is always at the top of my must-attend session list. I love the informal format, the chance for the audience to ask questions, and the honest conversation. I also loved the special sessions with Barack Obama, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and Megan Rapinoe, who are all so inspirational.

Joanna Iturbe, Salesforce MVP; Vice Chair, HEAC, Director of CRM, University of Colorado Boulder, Leeds School of Business: I was grateful to be a part of two panels this year, both focused around staffing your implementation and ultimate success with Salesforce. Change Management is where my passion lies so any and all sessions I can find that reiterates best practices in this arena are in my wheelhouse. I really enjoyed attending Barack Obama’s fireside chat with Marc Benioff, and I loved the Salesforce.org Lodge and Trading Post.

Panelists of “How to Market Your Digital Program Internally: Pitch the Move to Salesforce.”

Image Credit: Florence Parodi. Panelists of “How to Market Your Digital Program Internally: Pitch the Move to Salesforce.”

Tal Frankfurt, Founder and CEO, Cloud for Good: I was thrilled to co-host with Joanna Iturbe for an education demo jam this year. If you haven’t attended one of the demo jams yet, I highly recommend it. This year we had poetry readings, raps, fireballs, and chocolate-covered potato chips – all while learning about ways to strengthen your Salesforce instance with third-party app providers.

Nick Lindberg, Salesforce Admin, Carlson School of Management: The Admin Keynote was the top keynote for me. I always love attending (when present) or watching (when remote). The main reason I like to watch it is of all of the big keynotes, it is the most relatable for me. When I see the product demos such as the Salesforce Optimizer, I know it is something I have the capability and bandwidth to tackle. Plus the energy in the room is contagious. The other top session for me is True to the Core. I really appreciate how Salesforce hosts a session on the overall roadmap and also allow time for feedback on features we need.

What were your most valuable takeaways from Dreamforce?

Lau: I’m really excited about open-source base components and sandbox data masking. I’m also interested in learning more about Evergreen – there was definitely lots of buzz around that in the developer community!

Iturbe: I have so many great take-aways that I started an entire Trello board of ideas and things to research! I’m really excited about the products underneath Customer 360. We’ve been talking about a 360-degree constituent view in higher ed for a couple of years now, and it seems like Salesforce is developing the products within their ecosystem to make this possible. Another interesting thing I’d like to research more is the revamped Salesforce Optimizer via Salesforce Labs. Finally, I really liked the announcement in Salesforce.org’s keynote about being able to leverage components of Philanthropy Cloud for event management and payment processing.

Frankfurt: This year I was happy to hear about all the new and exciting ways that Salesforce is looking to increase engagement. Whether that’s by reducing summer melt for colleges and universities, provide pre-advising services to students or the new program management functionality for nonprofits. That new program management functionality helps program managers extend their programs and make better decisions by viewing their programs, fundraising and engagement data in a single platform. It is going to be game-changing.

Lindberg: I was not able to attend Dreamforce this year; however, I had Salesforce Live and Twitter playing video feeds and the news most of the week from my desk. Let’s be real for a moment: watching remotely definitely has an element of FOMO. What I learned this year from Dreamforce was you can still participate in Dreamforce from your office. The majority of the Salesforce.com keynotes and fireside chats are all streamed online, so you get a chance to see all of the new and exciting features in real time. Beyond the keynotes, I found myself joining in the #DF19 conversation on Twitter. I found interesting tidbits from keynotes/sessions they were attending or simply the silliness of Dreamforce.

Nick Lindberg live streamed Dreamforce from home!

What other Dreamforce experiences stand out for you?

Lau: As always, the chance to connect in-person with community from far and wide is the highlight of Dreamforce for me, and the main reason I attend year after year. The Powerhouse Together women in tech community event and Amplify breakfast were both great events that really emphasized community and connections. I also enjoyed all the impromptu conversations I had throughout the five days, and what could be better than eating lunch with a friend atop Yerba Buena in the beautiful weather?

Tami Lau and fellow community members at Dreamforce 2019.

Tami Lau and fellow community members at Dreamforce 2019.

Iturbe: I really appreciated how the Sustainable Development Goals were embedded throughout all of Dreamforce. I always enjoy hanging out in the Dream Park, and the entertainment was great. I enjoyed being able to be on the AppExchange Appy Street Team this year. And, as always, getting to see friends and colleagues in real life I don’t get to see very often and make new connections with others. Those ad-hoc conversations are always so full of knowledge – I love to share and love to learn.

Frankfurt: The best part of Dreamforce for me is being with 170,000 of my closest Salesforce friends. Having a place for the community to come together to reconnect with and learn from like-minded and passionate Salesforce users and champions.

Dreamforce 2019

Image Credit: Tami Lau. Dreamforce is a time to learn but also to connect with Salesforce friends!

Lindberg: During the week, I shared relevant keynotes with members of my team in hopes they would also watch and learn. I really enjoyed seeing Salesforce Live on team members screens.

What’s next for you? Are you taking anything you learned at Dreamforce and incorporating it into your work currently?

Lau: Mostly, I came away from Dreamforce feeling really energized and inspired for the year ahead. On a practical level, I’m looking forward to getting more details about all the exciting announcements that were made and catching up on all the sessions I didn’t get to, including the great mindfulness sessions with Plum Village monastics. Ironically, I found it hard to prioritize those while on site. That’s my personal goal for Dreamforce 2020!

Iturbe: We had several people attend Dreamforce, and since I get all of the requests, my list is long based on each person’s feedback, but what’s highest priority on our list is implementing myTrailhead (now we can do so alongside TrailheadGO). We are also diving head first into our Mogli implementation for SMS. Otherwise, I’m excited to see how some of these other announcements play out with Beta and GA and will continue to do trails to learn more. I’m excited for Higher Ed Summit 2020 in Indy!

Lindberg: For me, I plan to continue watching more videos from Dreamforce. Once the Salesforce.org keynotes and sessions get posted, I plan to watch at least one a week for a few months to continue and soak up the goodness that is Dreamforce. Also, with most of the keynotes, there is a Trailmix you can learn more about the key topics presented. I plan to work through Parker’s Trailmix for the Admin Keynote first.

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