August is coming to a close, the temperature seems stuck on ‘broil’, and the back-to-school slog is in full swing. Now seems like the perfect time to reflect on the summer Salesforce events we’ve attended.
In August, we attended Midwest Dreamin’ and WITness Success in Minneapolis. These back-to-back community-led, community-hosted events are designed to bring hundreds of local Salesforce users together for a few days of learning, networking, career development, and more.
Midwest Dreamin’ is an excellent alternative to the global phenomenon that Dreamforce has become in San Francisco.
Instead of Dreamforce’s superfluous glam and glitz, and 180,000+ attendees trying to see everything you want to … oh … and the Foo Fighters, Midwest Dreamin’ is perfectly poised as a smaller scale, regional Dreamforce of sorts, which featured on-point session content (AI, DevOps, Nonprofit Cloud, Admin/Architect Best Practices, etc.), a fantastic roster of Fortune 500 attendees, and a more intimate, professional, and attendee-focused environment that we found incredibly advantageous.
Why did we like the smaller scale so much?
Quite simply, it is the quality of the networking and subsequent conversations had over the quantity of conversations to be had at a larger production, which could end up lost in all the noise of the event. As sponsors AND attendees at Midwest Dreamin’, we had the opportunity to connect and have meaningful dialogs with Salesforce Celebs and Influencers, community MVPs, other app developers, consultants, and more.
It also allowed our team to discuss different products in the ecosystem in greater detail and hear some incredible outside-the-box use cases for products, including our own, that we might not have heard or seen otherwise.
As with any event of this kind, and, honestly, most things in life, time was a factor.
Sessions hit all the right notes with respect to subject matter and focus, we just wish we had more time to fully engage with the material and presenters.
Would having fewer sessions and allowing more time to present and answer questions resolve that issue? Maybe. But it might also provide a much narrower content variety and appeal to a smaller crowd.
We found Midwest Dreamin’s attendee pool to be a broad spectrum of experience levels, career focus, industry, and otherwise. We spoke with everyone from entry-level admins to tenured consultants, Salesforce app developers, and more. It was a fairly technical crowd.
All in all, we enjoyed the opportunity for some of our local team to network and grow with other Salesforce users in their area. We found the Midwest Dreamin’ organizers struck a nice balance and put on a quality event that we anticipate sponsoring and attending again.
Piggy-backing on the tail-end of Midwest Dreamin’ was WITness Success, a one-day Salesforce Women in Tech (WIT) career development event planned in the same venue.
Since the events were co-located, and empowering and supporting Women in Tech is a passion and mission of ours, we decided to check it out. While some attendees and presenters were the same, the tone was considerably different.
For WIT, the speakers and sessions were geared more toward personal and professional development within the Salesforce community, with a focus on female empowerment.
With this smaller event, our conversations throughout the day were high quality, with more time to answer questions and cultivate relationships. We found the audience less technical and targeted overall, with more consulting firms, business coaches, and Salesforce admins.
It was a great experience to be a part of this intelligent, driven, and empowered group of women striving for success and raising the bar in the Salesforce ecosystem.
At both events, we hosted a Demo Jam to showcase our native Salesforce App, FirmWorks Files. A Demo Jam is a super quick speed-demo in which participants have exactly 3-minutes to introduce their brand and demonstrate to the audience how their product works in action.
While we did not take home the trophy, we found both audiences interested and engaged, and we enjoyed the opportunity to introduce a product we have worked so hard on.
With Midwest and WIT done, it is time to continue the march west for Mile High Dreamin’ and then the Foo Fighters … I mean Dreamforce.