I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week at Tahoe Dreamin’, a Salesforce user group regional meeting, in S. Lake Tahoe. I hadn’t been to any of the UG community events like this and I was interested to see if they would be valuable for nonprofits. I was not disappointed! Here are a few reasons your nonprofit should consider attending one of these events in your area:
- Nonprofit driven content – If you submit content for nonprofits, the community organizers are likely to pick it up! At Tahoe Dreamin the day kicked off with a session led by Vered Meir of Year Up and Tracy Kronzak of BrightStep Partners speaking about how to build and navigate a successful relationship between a nonprofit organization and a consultant. Their session alone, called “Successful Salesforce for Nonprofits: Costs, Considerations and Cautionary Tales” was worth attending the conference for! Other sessions, like “Salesforce Career Success Stories and Advice” starring David Liu and Kyla Longe or “Visualizing Your Business Data…in Minecraft!” starring Pat Patterson and his awesome kids were completely on point for anyone using Salesforce. All in all, even the sessions that weren’t specific to nonprofits could be used effectively by NPOs.
- News and Info directly from Salesforce! The keynote at Tahoe Dreamin’ was presented by Shawna Wolverton, SFDC VP Product Management, Platform; and Adam Seligman, Senior VP Developer and Admin Relations. Besides being amazing people and speakers, we got to hear them talk about the Lightning Experience, Trailhead, and new things coming down the line. Unlike Dreamforce, where it’s nearly impossible to interact with Salesforce senior staff after presentations, the intimate size of the gathering allowed the audience to ask questions and speak with Shawna and Adam afterward!
- Networking, networking, networking – whether you’re a nonprofit who wants to increase their skills and make contacts with people who can help, or if you’re looking for a developer to volunteer some time at your org, these community events are a great resource for connecting to others in the Salesforce world! The collective brain power in the room was astounding. From admin level to developers to AppExchange partners to consultants, free advice and help was flowing from every crevice in the conference space. It was well attended by Salesforce MVPs and rockstars as well, and it matters who you know. The vendor booths were easy to approach and other attendees were helpful and ready to point you in the right direction. Built into the conference were plenty of opportunities to gab about Salesforce while stuffing your face with food. Since the conferences are regional, you can maintain those relationships after you leave and come back for seconds on the free advice.
- FUN. Outside of all the learning opportunities and news and networking, fun abounds at regional conferences. At Tahoe Dreamin’, a fun day was planned for the day after the conference and you could let your hair down and just chill with some of the coolest people in the Salesforce community. There was skiing and snowmobiling happening, or, for those of us who are opposed to frostbite, shopping and local fun and entertainment. This Texas girl wasn’t about to throw herself off the side of a mountain covered with fluffy cold white stuff, so I opted for the indoor activities.
At the end of the day, regional user conferences are a great way to stay connected and in tune with the Salesforce community and the latest and greatest news, info, and learning opportunities. I highly encourage nonprofits to show up in force at these events! Check with your local User Group leader to see when an event is happening in your area!! And thanks, Sacramento User Group and Bill Greenhaw for an amazing community event at Tahoe Dreamin’!!! And if you need pictorial proof, here you go: