Our 3 Favorite Dreamforce Sessions


By Erik Eklund

The curtains are closing on #DF2018 and all we have to say is, “Brava!” Our longtime friends at Salesforce put on the performance of a lifetime, yet again. Our brains have reached serious levels of information overload, and we feel even more equipped than ever to tackle consulting challenges for our clients. Dreamforce 2018 will be a tough act to follow, but you can bet we’ll bring the orange again next year.

To get inspired for the year ahead, we book our Dreamforce sessions as soon as the Agenda Builder goes live and becomes available for attendees to register for different forums. With thousands of intimate breakout activities available, consultants, developers, marketers, e-commerce strategists, entrepreneurs and executives are able to explore and pour themselves into a wide range of topics, including:

  • Salesforce Lightning Deep-Dives
  • B2B Commerce and How You Can Better Drive Your Path to Purchase
  • Sales Leadership Advancement
  • Custom Website & Portal Building
  • Front-End App Development
  • Expert Tips & Tricks on Acing Anyone of Your Salesforce Exams
  • And much, much more.

Not only can you tailor your Dreamforce schedule to every digital transformation topic under the sun, but Salesforce provides you with the option to build your schedule based on industry, your categories of interest (i.e., hands-on workshops, keynotes, etc.) and your level of experience with the Salesforce platform. Whether that’s Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced, you’re bound to leave more educated upon your departure than on your arrival.

Erik Eklund, Canpango’s VP of Professional Services and Dreamforce vet, speaks to the profound impact these sessions have on the event’s attendees to spark innovation within their future CRM endeavors.

 

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Over the past eight years of attending Dreamforce, my focus has shifted from end user-based to partner-based. My early Dreamforce days were packed with back-to-back conference sessions, trekking all over the notorious Moscone Center and its surrounding area to learn how to be a strong “button click admin” and pick up the best tips and tricks from others in the greater Salesforce community. But within the past few years, my team’s experience has been meeting intensive with Salesforce Account Executives, Vice Presidents and Partner Alliance team members, in order to ensure our continued growth as a trusted, vital partner in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Any Dreamforce attendee’s schedule is typically filled to the brim with these types of meetings. However, it still remains a top priority for myself and my team members to stay plugged into Salesforce community developments by taking the time to listen to and learn from Awesome Admins and other Salesforce community members who are dedicating their time and resources to building unique, exciting and creative solutions on the CRM platform. They’re changing the course of the way digital transformation is achieved and it’s a thrilling process to be a part of and register ideas for future solution inventions.

Here are a few of my favorite sessions from Dreamforce 2018:

 

1| Announcing the Pardot Lightning App

The Pardot Lightning App launches in Winter ’19, exact date to be determined, and it’s a release that I’m really eager to begin introducing to our clientele. No longer will Salesforce admins have to manage two user bases and navigate two distinct user interfaces. Now, Pardot will have the ability to be incorporated directly into Salesforce Lightning – providing a more seamless admin experience. Not only that, but introducing this type of integration lays the groundwork for a more unified solution that allows for an increased granular level of control over Prospect and Asset access. While there is still a few months of work to be done on this feature’s release, it’s enormously encouraging to see the investment that Salesforce is making to marry Pardot with the Salesforce platform.

 

2 | Whose (Dead)Line Is It Anyway? Using Improv Techniques to Further Your Career

This session had fun written all over it. I’ve long believed that people from creative backgrounds make for the best Salesforce admins and solution architects, and the team members we’ve hired at Canpango have proven that theory time and time again. Confidence and a comfort in taking risks and putting ideas out there are essential skills for our team members to have. In this session, speakers from the Salesforce community (some from Milwaukee…so perhaps I’m a little biased 😎) presented a series of improv techniques (think “Yes, and…”) as fundamental skills to coach your consultants, business analysts, solution architects and developers alike on how to refine. Similarly, session leaders advised to keep a keen eye out for behaviors in your project stakeholders that may throw an improv-driven scenario, or worse, push a project deployment off its rails, through “blocking” or “canceling.” This parallel was really interesting and a method that I’ll be taking back to our delivery team for a greater discussion. Fostering creativity and taking risks can be good. Not understanding how to do it or doing it in front of the client is bad. 

 

3 | Indiana Pacers Winning with Digital Transformation

Some of the most rewarding Dreamforce moments I’ve had are when our own customers have the opportunity to share their success stories with the Salesforce community, and this year was no exception. One of our recent clients, the Indiana Pacers, shared their journey with event attendees using their old-way, time consuming, manual marketing processes as a jumping off point and concluding with how they worked with Canpango to leverage the power of Marketing Cloud in order to better take advantage of automations, like data segmentation and customer journeys. By having the ability to see their challenges resonate with members of the audience in real-time, up close and personal, it made realize that the impact of all of the planning and working sessions is so much more far-reaching than just within the Pacers organization. It was a great reminder that people utilize these sessions to get their wheels turning on how to best apply their session knowledge, and it’s exciting to know that others are learning from and being inspired by the work that the Pacers and Canpango partnership generated.

 

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Being picky about the Dreamforce sessions you choose to invest your time, money and resources in is crucial for the way you stage the roadmap for your organization’s short and long-term goal planning. Every organization wants to win big. Big wins typically warrant big process changes, and big process changes start with a carefully crafted transformative digital solutions. Dreamforce offers the crash course sessions you need to better understand how to hit those goals and outline the project objectives you want to achieve when you collaborate with your preferred consulting partner.  

 

Want more details on how to get the ROI from Dreamforce 2019 or Salesforce itself? Contact one of Canpango’s expert consultants today.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Erik Eklund, VP of Professional Services

Erik oversees Canpango’s consulting and delivery teams, relying on his multiple Salesforce certifications and years of experience administering and implementing Salesforce for both large and small organizations to ensure success. His 10+ years of experience executing business software implementations in various industries such as automotive, mortgage banking, and VoIP give him a firm understanding of what companies look for in their Salesforce solutions.

 

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