Now that Dreamforce has ended, I can finally collect my thoughts into this third and final installment of my on-the-ground reporting of the Dreamforce experience (click here and here for my previous posts).
Even as of the second to last day of Dreamforce (a Thursday), it was readily apparent that the crowd had started to thin out. The Uber ride from North Beach to Market Street finally took less than 30 minutes as the crowds on the streets of downtown San Francisco were no longer packed like sardines and moving at a glacial pace. I could walk around the intersection of Yerba Buena, Moscone, and the Metreon without being constantly bumped into by gawking passerbys. Being surrounded by 170,000+ Dreamforce attendees (plus who knows how many tourists and Bay Area residents) in less than a square mile makes you appreciate personal space and time. There were several morning sessions that I signed up for too late but was able to easily make it in as a walk-in; ~20% of the seats for each session are reserved for walk-in’s but the lines for walk-in’s on Tuesday and Wednesday sometimes extended around whole buildings.
Friday keynotes were primarily dedicated to a relevant topic, but one that has little to do with Salesforce: mindfulness. From 10am to 1pm, myself and thousands of others enjoyed six different sessions that discussed mindfulness, which is defined as “intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment” (Wikipedia). After spending so many hours on more technical subjects, it was a welcome respite to focus on something that could not only improve my skills at work but also in my personal life. I have lot more to say here but you will have to wait for it in a future post!
The rest of my Friday was spent in the Admin, Lightning, and Developer Zones and the Cloud Expo. These areas were overrun in the initial days of Dreamforce so I had avoided them until now. The zones included break-out sessions, demos, and stations where you could refine or demonstrate your skills. If you completed certain tasks, you could even earn some Trailhead (https://developer.salesforce.com/trailhead) schwag.
I spent my final hours at Dreamforce in the Cloud Expo where Salesforce and other vendors had manned booths to sell you on why they had the best solution for solving your business problems.
The Dreamforce experience was magical (cheesy, I know) given the sheer number of sessions that touched on a seemingly endless number of applications of CRM, the connections built and strengthened with colleagues and other attendees, and the over-the-top set up of the whole event. I would highly recommend going if you can swing it. See you next year!