I Spoke at Dreamforce and Now I Need a Nap

Wow, what a week! I’m sitting at the airport, fresh from the last day of Dreamforce 19. I’m still on kind of a conference high right now, but the longer I sit here the heavier my eyes are getting. It was a whirlwind of a week! From a purely physical perspective – my FitBit step count for the week is 95,241. That’s 39 miles! 39 miles of walking back and forth between sessions in Moscone West, sessions in Moscone South, the hotel, and the various campgrounds. And beyond the physical exhaustion of Dreamforce (or any conference), there’s the mental exhaustion. You learn SO MUCH in every session that it starts taking a toll. My mind, as I sit here, is both racing with ideas and drowning with ideas.

It takes a lot of energy to keep up. And on top of the usual conference madness, I delivered FOUR sessions, did a volunteer shift in the Admin Meadow and moderated a Circles of Success. Oh, and hosted Analytics Champions office hours. Oh, and I did a mentoring session to help prepare students and job seekers for the career fair! But, all of these things, that I wouldn’t change for anything, on top of spending the last 2 months preparing for all of these things, is EXHAUSTING, and I’m ready for a nap. It was such a wonderful week of Traiblazer Community involvement. Here are my favorite things from DF19!

MONDAY

Monday was Dreamforce pre-gaming! Even though Dreamforce didn’t actually start until Tuesday, it doesn’t mean there was a shortage of things to do! We started at Salesforce Tower at noon and didn’t leave until after 7:00! We went to a Women in Technology meet-up where we bumped into lots of Twitter friends and heard about awesome stuff that our favorite groups are doing. Groups like Ladies Be Architects and Rad Women Code. I think my favorite thing on Monday though, was a mentoring session I did to help prep people for a job in the Salesforce Ecosystem. I was invited to help with this event as a KOA member and really hope I can start doing more of this. The format of the event was pretty neat too. We started in one big group with a presentation and panel discussion on teh Salesforce Student program, and then we broke up into smaller groups of MVPs and mentees so that we could answer questions and give advice. I think everyone got a lot of out of it! Later in the day, we also got to go to the Speaker Reception and we collected and traded lots of #Trailmoji stickers!

TUESDAY

It’s here!!! Dreamforce is here! Dreamforce is CRAZY. It is SO COOL to walk down the street with 100,000 other people who are your people. Everyone in Salesforce swag and talking shop. Its a culture. I started my day at the Analytics Champions breakfast with old friends and new friends, and my Einstein Pancake, and then headed to the Metreon, for a session on how Salesforce handles Analytics for their renewal teams. It was awesome and I was texting my renewal manager the whole time sending slides and coming up with ideas. That’s how sessions work… you learn so much and have so many ideas that you can’t even wait to start talking about it with other people!

Tracie and I spent a good deal of time in the Speaker Work Room on Tuesday. This was our first time speaking at Dreamforce, so we wanted to make sure we were going to do the best job we could. I sort of feel like we missed out on a lot of other things at Dreamforce because we were practicing so much, but it all paid off. This was just going to be a different kind of Dreamforce for us.

I also completed my Quest on Tuesday so I could get Yeti Astro! It was a fun day! Tracie caught me later in the day still carrying around my Einstein Pancake from breakfast… it was too cute to eat and too cute to throw away!

WEDNESDAY

Oh my gosh, Wednesday already? What did I even do on Tuesday? I almost don’t even remember. Wednesday was a big day for both of us! Today is the day that will go down in history as the day Tracie and I both became official Dreamforce speakers! I delivered a session on Wednesday morning about How to Build Apps in 30 Minutes or Less. It was super fun because I got to feature my team members and their love of Ping Pong. Tracie presented on our successes with Lightning Adoption as part of a Change Management session. Damn, that felt good! We did it! But the work was just starting. We still had 3 more sessions to do on Thursday. The rest of Wednesday was pretty crazy and I honestly can not tell you what I even did. I know I went to sessions and I have a whole notebook full of ideas, but it is all such a blur still.

My absolute favorite part of Wednesday was my Analytics Champions office hours. It started out slow, not many people coming over, but then this woman came up and I could swear I was looking at myself 3 years ago. She had just started with Analytics not too long ago and she had a whole laundry list of things she needed to learn and things she had questions about. That was totally me 3 years ago. I was at Dreamforce, being ushered around by my Account Executive who was trying to find me all the answers I needed, and that was this woman. It felt SO GOOD to be able to listen to her needs and help her with what she needed. It made me realize just how much I’ve grown with the product and the platform over the years.

Oh, and Tracie had an impromptu dance party in the lobby.

THURSDAY

Thursday is our big day! All we did on Thursday was prepare to speak, then speak, and then prepare some more and then speak some more and then prepare to speak again and then speak again. It was AWESOME. Our first session was at 10:00 – during Obama’s keynote and we were so scared that no one would come. But they did. We had a full house! And we KILLED it! This was our Top 5 Tips to Build Your First Flow session – and it was really all about Tracie. Tracie learned Flow over the last year out of necessity when she got an assignment to automate super manual processes for our team in China. And this was her time to show off all of this hard work that she’s done and all that she’s learned during the process. We showcased her first flow and gave tips along the way. She was a SUPER STAR. I was SO PROUD of her! And of course, we wore matching Bitmoji shirts and our Force For Fun jackets. Best part? Someone came up and told Tracie it was the best session they’ve been to in 10 years! How cool is that?!

Next up was my Trailblazer Spotlight. I was super nervous about this session because its MY STORY. Like, ABOUT ME. But what was I worried about? It went great! People even laughed at my jokes. But at the end of it, a woman came up to me and let me know how inspiring it was. That made me feel so good. Really. Like, ecstatic. If I can inspire at least one person, then I’ve done my job.

And then we had our last session – How to Transform Your Reports and Dashboards with Lighting and Einstein Analytics. It went off without a hitch, and we got really great questions afterwards. So many people told us how much they enjoyed it. Later in the day, we’re walking through a hotel lobby and someone shouted out to us how great we were and that we were the dynamic duo! Needless to say, we were riding a high ALL NIGHT. Actually, not all night because we were SO EXHAUSTED it was hard to even go out to celebrate! We were home and asleep by 11!

FRIDAY

With our sessions over – today was a really relaxing day. We slept in a little. I went and took a certification exam that I failed but will retake again very soon. We went to actual sessions. It was so nice. And I led a Circles of Success on org customization that was super fun. I have 2 favorites from today though. The first was the open mic hour at the Trailblazer Theater. People got up and told their stories and there were some really good ones! So inspiring, and a great reminder of how amazing the Trailblazer Community is. My second favorite was how I ended the day. The very last session at Dreamforce was a guided meditation and mindfulness discussion with the Plum Village Monastics. It was such a refreshing way to end such a stressful and busy week. I’m going to try to do that every year!

Well… my plane is about to start boarding so I’m gonna go. Thanks for an amazing Dreamforce. Let’s do it again next year!