Throughout my career, I have been to many events for Salesforce. Whether it’s a community event, Salesforce User Group, World Tour event, or Dreamforce—feeling like you rocked an event doesn’t just happen. It takes planning, strategy, and a little bit of luck. I can only help you with the first two, but with the right planning and strategy, I think the luck will all fall into place. If you’ve never attended a Salesforce event, you have a lot to look forward to!
So, before you head out to your first, or next event, here is my advice on how to be awesome at it.
It starts with a plan
Of course, it starts with a plan, you say, but how detailed is your plan and do you really know your goals? I like to plan my events with a goal statement. For instance, “I’m going to learn more about Salesforce Einstein, see a demo of Lightning components, and network with Admins.” Your goal statement should list in order of importance what you are doing that day. That way if something or someone becomes distracting your goal statement can help get you back on track.
Do your homework
Now let’s take our goal statement and break it down so that we can prepare for the event. We said that “learning more about Salesforce Einstein” was our first priority. Before you leave for the event, write down specific topics or points you want to learn about while you’re there. If there are specific questions you have or scenarios you would like more information on, list those too. This will help you avoid asking “So what can you tell me about Einstein?” which is too broad a question for anyone to answer.
Networking at events
Besides learning about new technology, we also listed networking in our goal statement for our attendance. So what does that mean? Let’s jump into that now:
Have you planned for networking opportunities? Can you confidently answer questions about yourself and the work you are doing? Networking is a skill. It takes practice and time. Here’s how I generally plan for events where I know my goal is to interact with community members:
- First, have an elevator speech ready. Confidently be able to answer “What do you do? Do you like working for the company? What projects are you working on now?” All are helpful in keeping a new conversation going and avoiding awkward pauses. These are also perfect questions to turn around and use on someone new if the conversation hits a lull, or gets taken on a tangent.
- Second, find people I know. Networking is easier if you have someone friendly to talk to first. They can often help introduce you to someone else and conversations can take off from there.
- Third, find relatable topics. Our Ohana is always doing something amazing, and they are excited to share their knowledge. Maybe the last piece of content a session speaker produced helped you with an important project, or you had a question for a community member after hearing them speak on a webinar or podcast. Connect, learn, and be part of the #Ohana!
Handling the post-event
To recap, you started off by making a goal statement and doing your homework prior to the event. At the event, you networked and met a few people you were excited to connect with. So what now— put our feet up and move on? Not exactly. Now it’s time for post-event follow-up.
As you network or ask questions, be sure to get a card from the person you speak with. It’s pretty difficult to remember whom you handed cards out to, but having their cards handy will help you remember who to follow up with. The next 24-48 hours is a good time to send a quick follow-up email. This gives them, and you, a chance to catch up and organize your thoughts, while still reminding them about your interaction.
One last piece of advice…
Enjoy yourself! You’re interacting with your #Ohana here. There is so much knowledge to be experienced, and so many different things to see and do. Have fun!
Want even more resources to help you get ready for upcoming events? Check these out…
- How Salesforce Admins Can Prepare for Dreamforce 2016
- How to Be a Successful Admin at Dreamforce 2016
- Get Ready for Dreamforce Trail on Trailhead