Sophomore at Dreamforce: Preparation, Changes, and Expectations
This is my second year attending Dreamforce, the first being Dreamforce '11. A lot of preparation goes into this for Arkus, and I want to share a behind-the-scenes look at what we do to prepare, what I expect to gain from this year's Dreamforce, and some changes that Arkus has lined up and how I am personally getting ready for the convention.
A Years Worth of Preparation
What does it mean to prepare for Dreamforce? For those of us at Arkus, we have two separate roles; we not only are attending to learn more about new features and great AppExchange apps, but also to show our two free apps, Compliance for Chatter and The Permissioner. This year is our second having a booth in the expo area, and as part of this, there are months of preparation starting just days after the last Dreamforce. Our first and most pressing need is to design our booth. All of us at Arkus spent time pondering what our booth design would look like and what we were interested in showcasing. Jason and Larry sketched the ideal booth on paper while delayed at JFK, and that sketch came to me to produce digitally via Adobe Illustrator. While the first few proofs take a couple of hours, we ultimately spent ninety minutes ensuring everything is aligned properly and would have the best impact.
Our booth design is one part of the equation, the rest of which comes in the form of marketing collateral and swag that we give away at the booth. Similar to the booth, I design our small print collateral in Adobe Illustrator. Everyone at Arkus provides input and then we send our designs to the printer, review their print job, and ship it to Dreamforce. The swag is the final piece of the puzzle, and the last in our pre-San Francisco preparation. We brainstorm the things that we want to get, and then have various vendors create them and ship directly to Dreamforce. This is one of the easier pieces for me, because it involves less design work and more coordination in timing. You will have to visit us at the booth to find out more.
Changes from Last Year
Arkus is at a larger booth and we have a new app that we did not showcase last year called The Permissioner. We also have continued to evolve of Compliance for Chatter app based on feedback from our users and new Chatter features that have been released. For our podcast followers, Jason and Justin have both surpassed their 100th episode together and will have some swag giveaways for listeners. We are excited that we can show you our apps, give you demos, and let you take them for free as part of our giving back to the community.
With all of Salesforce’s social acquisitions over the last year, I expect Dreamforce '12 to be better than Dreamforce '11. I am truly excited to see the new features that they will uncover with respect to Chatter and social networks, and expect to see a couple of new features that will wow attendees. My greatest expectation is the large number of breakaway sessions, growing significantly from last year. Every user, administrator, or consultant involved with Salesforce can stand to learn a lot from these great breakaway sessions. Salesforce's focus on highlighting their best features with members of the Salesforce community truly empowers users to make the most of their Salesforce licenses.
Are you a Dreamforce newbie or headed to your tenth Dreamforce? What do you do to prepare? What do you expect? Leave me some comments below, via our Facebook page, or on Twitter @RogerMitchell. If you are headed to Dreamforce don’t forget to come visit us at Booth 334.