Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the Salesforce User Group meeting in Ft. Lauderdale and in Tampa with podcast co-host Gillian Madill. Going to user group meetings is a great way to connect with other Salesforce Admins, Developers, and Users- it makes you feel less like you are stuck on “Admin island” and more part of the community. So I thought it would be great to put together a quick checklist on how a Salesforce Admin can get ready for a user group meeting.
1. Make a list of the questions you would like to get answered.
I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rushed out the door of my office headed to a user group meeting and completely forgot what I needed to get answered. I’d suggest starting your list when you get back to your desk from the meeting. Use your favorite method of taking notes, just make sure you don’t forget it when you head out to the next meeting. A great place to start is the cases or issues your users have asked you for, or maybe an app that you need to work on.
2. Don’t be afraid to talk
Alright- with list in hand your are off. But when you get there don’t be afraid to talk. I remember the first user group meeting I went to in Des Moines and I was intimidated to pieces! There were all these really smart developers around talking Apex and Admins talking Cross-object workflows and I felt about 40 steps behind. But you know, after I got talking to a few people I realized they were just like me. So repeat after me- “No question is too stupid to ask.” Asking questions is how we learn from each other- we are all Admins and share a common goal. So speak up!
3. Have a mobile device or laptop
No doubt you probably will. But I can’t tell you how many times I have had other admins come up and ask me questions about a workflow or a validation rule and I really wanted to help but we didn’t have a device to work on to see and test our changes. Plus mobile devices are great for taking notes on.
4. Bring plenty of business cards
Think of user groups like a mini-conference. You wouldn’t forget business cards for a conference, so bring plenty for the user group meeting. That way if time runs out and you don’t get all of your questions answered you can follow up with people later.
5. Be gracious and volunteer
Salesforce User group leaders are some of the hardest working people so be sure to thank them for organizing the meeting afterward and volunteer to help clean up or prep for the next one. I’m pretty sure they won’t mind the extra hands.
That’s my quick list. What do you do to get ready for a User group meeting? Please share your thoughts with other Admins in the comments below.