How We Picked Admin Track for Dreamforce 2018


The Salesforce Admin community delivered again!

On June 15, 2018, we asked you to submit your best ideas for Dreamforce Admin Track presentations. 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 “Not Accepted”? What the heck is the “waitlist”? We love transparency at Salesforce, so here is the rundown on how the Admin Track came together.

Getting Started

Prior to launching our Call for Presentations, I recruited a group of 40 Salesforce employees from different departments to be session owners and submission reviewers. They are Salesforce Admin and Developer advocates from across the company who know the role of the Salesforce Admin very well. These 40 people not only helped review content but will also work with presenters to bring Admin and Developer content to life at Dreamforce this year.

But we didn’t stop there. In addition to Salesforce Employees, we opened up a call to our Salesforce MVP Community to help us with feedback. 95+ Salesforce MVPs signed up to help us review sessions! Now, we were ready for launch!

The Numbers

By the time we closed submissions on July 15, 2018, we had received over 930 Admin Track submissions- that’s 24% more than last year! And, between the Admin & Developer Tracks we had 1,900 submissions! That is a staggering number of ideas, in fact, that is so many ideas we could host an entire Dreamforce event!

Here is the breakdown:

  • 930 Total Submissions
    • 430 Breakout
    • 500 Theater
  • 125 Available Dreamforce slots

The last number is key: There were only 75 breakout and 50 theater slots total available for the Admin Track this year.

The Process

There were 1,900 submissions for the Admin and Developer Tracks this year, and we had close to 200 stakeholders (evangelists, product experts, session owners, and MVPs) reviewing each submission. That means in order to scale, we had to reinvent how we collected feedback.

For our core internal team, including evangelists and product managers, Developer Evangelist Josh Birk created an internal feedback app on Salesforce. This app asked each member to rate submissions on how well-written the title and abstract are, how useful the information is, and how innovative the submission was. The result gave each submission something we called a “karma” score.

For session owners and MVPs, Admin Evangelist Gillian Bruce worked with GetFeedback to create a custom solution to gather feedback on every session submission. For this part, only the title and abstract were shared, not the speaker name to make sure the submission was evaluated based on content only. Using GetFeedback meant it was easy for this group to review sessions while on a mobile device or while on the go.

After these rounds of feedback were complete, the GetFeedback results were imported so that the track leaders could see both the karma score and the GetFeedback score on each submission record to provide a complete view of feedback for each session. Each track owner then used our allocations by audience and product to select sessions based on both rounds of feedback for each track.

Selecting Sessions

With overall scores in hand, we began the final selection process. First, we looked at submissions that scored the highest in both karma and GetFeedback. There were so many great submissions, which means competition was intense. We slotted as many top-scoring sessions as we could first, and then reviewed the submissions for each category to fill out the mix.

In years past, the overwhelming feedback from presenters was they were overbooked. Dreamforce is a place for you to learn, connect, and have fun! So, we did our best to accept great content without overbooking our speakers to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to enjoy all that Dreamforce has to offer.

Here is how the session mix ended up:

  • 59 Breakout sessions were chosen (we need to account for repeat sessions, etc.)
  • 47 Theater sessions were chosen


If you weren’t chosen this year

First of all, don’t be sad! The competition was intense. I mean, after all, we got 930 Admin Track submissions! We still want you to present your content.

 There are literally hundreds of community groups and many community-led conferences happening all year around the world; and they’re chock full of Salesforce Admins who want to learn from you. Go here to find the closest group near you, jump in, and jump onto that stage!

Or, if you are interested in having us feature your ideas in our other outlets —especially webinars and blog posts on—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.

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

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