It Might Look Like Dreamforce, but TrailblazerDX is Even More

TrailblazerDX, one of the biggest events of the year, lands at Moscone Center in San Francisco this March. I know what you might be thinking — it’s San Francisco; it’s Moscone Center; it’s Salesforce… this sounds really familiar! And while TrailblazerDX might look a little like Dreamforce and sound a little like Dreamforce, it never FEELS like Dreamforce. Dreamforce is the largest software conference in the world and brings with it big announcements, big budgets, and big audiences. I look at Dreamforce as inspiration and TrailblazerDX as how to get there.

Dreamforce has been around for 20 years, but TrailblazerDX started just 7 years ago in 2016, originally branded as TrailheaDX. It started as a developer conference, and I actually didn’t go to my first one until 2018 because I didn’t consider myself a developer and stayed away. The language started changing and they developed an admin track and then an architect track and now it’s really geared towards anyone who customizes Salesforce. This is the first difference between Dreamforce and TrailblazerDX: the people who attend.

Dreamforce is for anyone and everyone who wants to be part of the Salesforce ecosystem in one way or another — there’s executives, salespeople, marketing people, board members, consultants, partners, builders, students, aspiring admins — you name it and they’re there. At TrailblazerDX, everything is geared towards learning and is more technical in nature, so you’ll see fewer executives, fewer end users, fewer people who aren’t actually builders, and just way fewer people in general. And since you are then surrounded by a bunch of other builders, it’s a totally different vibe! Everyone is there to learn and figure out how to make their ideas come to life. It means networking in a line feels more like a brainstorming session, and everyone knows what you’re talking about when you ask about adding a pause to a flow canvas.

I think this gives a whole different vibe to TrailblazerDX sessions, too. I find that there is less marketing fluff and more hands-on learning — which is exactly what you’d want from the developer and learning event of the year. There are definitely still big keynotes with big announcements, but everything else you’ll find is dedicated to getting down and dirty with the platform. When I’m planning which sessions to go to, I like to use a rule of if its 20 minutes or less, I’m getting a high-level overview and some inspiration to take home for further research. If the session is longer than that, I’m seeing and touching something hands-on and learning an actionable skill that I can start using right now.

I mentioned there are fewer people at TrailblazerDX compared to Dreamforce, and you can really feel this at the Trailblazer Celebration concert! Instead of Dreamfest in a stadium, you have a more intimate theater setting where you are close to everyone and especially the artist — which this year is Fall Out Boy! It’s like going to an awesome concert with 5,000 of your favorite people. I know I keep saying this, but totally different vibe from Dreamfest! Even though there are fewer people, plan to get there early because there will still be a line and they still check ID’s because — open bar!

TrailblazerDX and Dreamforce have one more thing in common — you can attend both virtually and in-person! In-person tickets are super reduced from Dreamforce rates, and hotel rooms in the area are much more affordable too. I’m so excited to be attending in-person this year to experience the vibe, the learning, and the celebration that is TrailblazerDX.

If you’ll be there, catch me on March 8th along with Tracie Hart for some Salesforce true crime in our session “Debug Like a Detective and Find Out Who Dunnit”.

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