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Three Tips for Agenda Builder Success at Dreamforce ‘19

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Ever heard of the idiom “play it by ear”? The dictionary defines it as “doing something without special preparation.” Lot’s of things are fun to “play by ear,” like going out with friends and deciding on a movie. Or choosing what to eat at a restaurant. But one thing you should not do as a Salesforce Admin is “play it by ear” at Dreamforce when it comes to your agenda. With 2700+ sessions and a multitude of hands-on experiences, my friendly suggestion is that you take a more diligent approach. With that in mind, here are my three best tips for finding Dreamforce success through the powerful tool that is Agenda Builder:

Review your bookmarks

If you have been scrolling through the Dreamforce Session pages bookmarking sessions, now would be a good time to prioritize them. Often I will bookmark sessions because the topic or speaker is something I am interested in. So in preparation for Agenda Builder take the time to prioritize your bookmarks.

Ask yourself this:

  • What are the cornerstone sessions I need to attend? (Hint: the Salesforce for Admins Keynote!)
  • What are the sessions that I should attend so that I can interact with the speaker?

 

Direction Sign

If this is your first year…

I have to tell you that I have fond memories of my first Dreamforce. One in particular that stands out is sitting in my hotel room with my coworker and the Dreamforce book of sessions (yes, at one time it was a book) sprawled out on the bed trying to pick what sessions I wanted to go to. This is not the optimal way to pick sessions and thankfully we get the sessions ahead of time. Instead of hoping we find the right sessions, let’s make a list and have a strategy.
So here would be my plan prior to choosing sessions:

  • Think about your knowledge gaps.
    Is it Einstein, Commerce Cloud, Mulesoft, or Quip? What products or features are you less than familiar with?
  • What do you need to know about?
    Will you be implementing Communities in the upcoming year or integrating with more systems? If so, look for sessions that will give you best practices or implementation tips.
  • Are there people you want to meet at Dreamforce?
    If so you can enter their name in the search box and see which sessions they are a speaker on.
  • Mix up your session types!
    My first year I made the mistake of only going to one type of session. This left me with big gaps in my agenda and if the session wasn’t what I was looking for, I didn’t look for an alternative. So mix it up! Theaters and breakout sessions are a great way to consume content with a variety of session times.
  • Browse the sessions by Role.
    Admin, Developer, etc. and bookmark or follow the sessions that you are interested in.

It’s no doubt you will have a list of sessions that outnumbers the time you have to attend each. You have to prioritize them. This is how I would set my priorities:

  • Non-repeated sessions: Some sessions at Dreamforce will happen twice. You will see it listed on the agenda with a “(2)” in the title. Prioritize the sessions that don’t repeat and sign up for those first.
  • Demo sessions: Read the description carefully- does it say something about a demo or a walkthrough? If so, go to those sessions.
  • Sessions that are presented by people you want to meet: Many Dreamforce sessions include Q&A time and the speakers will hang around afterward- this is your chance to meet some of the people you follow on Twitter or Salesforce experts.

If you are traveling with a group of co-workers…

Much of the advice above applies with a few extra caveats:

  • Meet before, during, and after Dreamforce.
    Meet before to talk about session schedules so you don’t duplicate them. Meet during—not for long but to check in and make any schedule adjustments. And meet after Dreamforce to exchange information, notes, and swag.
  • Make sure you don’t duplicate a session.
    If you are with a co-worker in a session you are doing it wrong. Divide and conquer, and take good notes.
  • Think about how you will stay in touch.
    Mobile Apps or group text messages work well to send messages to a group of people making on-site micro-scheduling easier. Also, think about how you will stay in touch with co-workers back at the office. I’m a big fan of using Chatter to post pictures and updates to help bring some of the excitement back to your co-workers who can’t attend.

Having trouble prioritizing? Check out this post to help you make a plan for Dreamforce based on your skills, goals, and stakeholder priorities.

So those are my tips. What are your tips? Tweet them to @SalesforceAdmns and be sure to use the hashtag #AwesomeAdmin!

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Ever heard of the idiom “play it by ear”? The dictionary defines it as “doing something without special preparation.” Lot’s of things are fun to “play by ear,” like going out with friends and deciding on a movie. Or choosing what to eat at a restaurant. But one thing you should not do as a […]

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Ever heard of the idiom “play it by ear”? The dictionary defines it as “doing something without special preparation.” Lot’s of things are fun to “play by ear,” like going out with friends and deciding on a movie. Or choosing what to eat at a restaurant. But one thing you should not do as a […]

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