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Why I’m Going to my 8th Dreamforce

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my 8th dreamforceThe first few Dreamforce experiences are great—there’s so much to see and do, so many people to meet and mingle with, and, of course, all that swag. But after a few years, is it still worth it to attend the annual Salesforce conference?

I’ve talked to people who have been around the space for a while, and we all agree: Once you’ve been to Dreamforce a few times, you start to debate whether or not it’s really worth attending one more time. That’s certainly the case for me: I only booked my flight to San Francisco last week!

In my case, this week marks my 8th year of attending Dreamforce. It’s hard to believe, but it really has been that long. And I can say that I’m just as excited to go now as I was back in 2009—but for different reasons.

I realized that, to me, it’s all about the intangible takeaways. The tangible benefits of Dreamforce are obvious: The breakout sessions, hands-on training, interesting keynotes, and so on. Those things are great, and I’m looking forward to that part of the experience. But a lot of these things are available in Trailhead modules, broadcast online for free, or learned through day-to-day client work. So the training isn’t the reason I go anymore.

What I love about Dreamforce is the unparalleled feeling of being totally immersed in the culture of Salesforce. You just don’t get that anywhere else. Sometimes it’s nice to refocus on how truly big this whole thing is, on the huge number of people in the space and on the size of the SFDC community. That’s important to me because I sometimes feel like I’m in my own little world and I ask myself “Does this really matter?” As Salesforce consultants and architects, it’s hard to explain what we actually do to others who are not in the space. So being at Dreamforce and just taking in the culture of the event is a nice—and often necessary—break from the everyday.

That’s what it comes down to, for me. I really enjoy wandering around and chatting with all the friends and acquaintances I only get to see once a year. There is so much camaraderie at the event. Yes, I sometimes roll my eyes at the hyperbole of it all (“Benioff for PRESIDENT!”). Still, this is the only atmosphere where you can get the kind of experience that recharges and motivates you. This is what’s really made me love the space.

Will you be attending Dreamforce this year?

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