How we Picked Admin Track for Dreamforce 2016

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WOW the Salesforce Admin community is amazing!

On May 2, 2016, we asked you to submit your best ideas for presenting at Dreamforce 2016 in the Admin Track. Gillian & I even shot a video during the World Tour in Amsterdam to get the word out. And then we waited… But not for long! Within the first 48 hours we couldn’t refresh the dashboard fast enough to keep up with your submissions. It was so fun to see them roll in!
Many of you submitted ideas, and now you probably have a few questions, like: Why did your session get picked? Why did your session get rejected? What the heck is the waitlist? We love transparency at Salesforce, so here is the rundown on how the Admin Track got created.

Getting Started

Prior to launching the Call for Presentations page, I recruited a group of Salesforce employees from different departments to be session owners and submission reviewers. They are Salesforce Admin advocates from across the company who know the role of the Salesforce Admin very well, and most have created Admin content themselves. These 14 people not only help to review content, but work with presenters to bring the content to life at Dreamforce. So with session owners ready to go, we launched the Call for Presentations!

The Numbers

My early goals for submissions was a (now) modest 500, which would have been a 150% increase over 2015. But the Salesforce Admin community far exceeded that goal! By the time we closed submissions on May 31, 2016, we had received over 855 submissions! 855 is a staggering number, considering we had less than half of that the previous year.
Here is how the numbers broke down:

  • 867 Total Submissions
    • 328 Beginner
    • 449 Intermediate
    • 83 Advanced
    • 7 uncategorized
  • 648 Speakers submitted
  • 75 Available Dreamforce slots

The last number is key: There were only 75 total slots available for Admin track this year. You might be thinking, “That sounds like less sessions than last year, what’s the deal?” Unless you are in San Francisco, you may not have seen the huge hole in the ground where Moscone North used to be. That means the overall Dreamforce campus is a bit smaller this year, and thus all breakout session tracks lost some slots. That means we were only able to accept 60 (we intentionally repeat some core sessions to make it 75 total) of the 867 sessions you submitted for the Admin Track. It was a really tough process, since there were so many incredible ideas.

The Process

We spent over 350+ hours reviewing each of your session submissions. We wanted to make sure our whole team had the time to look through each idea, knowing how much time and effort each of you put into your submission.

The first round of evaluation was “blind,” which meant that the reviewers had access to the session abstract, but the speaker names and company information was hidden. Each reviewer was asked to vote “Yes” or “No” as to if the session should be part of the Admin Track. To ensure that everyone had adequate time to review each session, this round went from June 1 through June 10th.

During the second round, the reviewers had access to the primary speaker’s name and company, in addition to the abstract. Like the first round, each reviewer was asked to vote “Yes” or “No”. Reviewers did not have access to the first round of voting results. To ensure everyone had adequate time to review all of the information again, this round went from June 13th through June 24th.

After the two rounds, each proposal had a possible percentage score of yes versus no which were averaged into an overall score. For example, if a session received 4 yes votes and 1 no vote in round 1, it’s R1 score was 80%. If in the second round it received 6 yes votes and zero no votes, it’s R2 was 100%. That would make it’s overall score 90.91%.

Selecting Sessions

With overall scores in hand we began the final selection process. First, we looked at sessions that scored 100% in both rounds of voting. There were so many great submissions, which meant competition was intense. In fact, there were so many submissions with 100% scores after both rounds of voting, that we had to even reject some of those to make sure we had all our content areas covered. Otherwise, the whole Admin Track would be about Process Automation! We slotted as many 100% sessions as we could first, and then reviewed the top-ranking sessions for each category to fill out the mix. There were a couple of sessions that were great but were repetitive – those are the ones we put on the waitlist. That way we have great content lined up in case a submitter can’t make it to Dreamforce.

Here is how the overall track mix ended up:

  • 60 Breakout sessions chosen
    • 35 of those sessions scored 100% in both rounds
    • 94.34% was the average score of accepted sessions
    • 18 Beginner
    • 31 Intermediate
    • 11 Advanced

If you weren’t chosen this year

First of all, don’t be sad! The competition was intense. We still want you to present your content! We are so excited about what you submitted, that we want to find a way to feature your ideas on our other outlets – especially webinars and blog posts on admin.salesforce.com. If you’re interested, please fill out this quick form and we will see how we can help you bring your amazing idea to life for the #AwesomeAdmin community. Not sure? Fill out the form and we will be in touch to help you figure it out.

THANK YOU for being the best, most inspiring, and dedicated community!

#AwesomeAdmin

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WOW the Salesforce Admin community is amazing! On May 2, 2016, we asked you to submit your best ideas for presenting at Dreamforce 2016 in the Admin Track. Gillian & I even shot a video during the World Tour in Amsterdam to get the word out. And then we waited… But not for long! Within […]

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