Midwest Dreamin’ 2016

This was my second time attending this community event. What a week.

Thursday

I am the person who arrives too early. I just do. It’s bad. I was at Navy Pier by 09:30. I got some work done, drank some coffee, and then joined the Women in Tech Diversity group for lunch (thanks to SaaSy Sistah for arranging!).

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After lunch, it was off to register and start my first round of volunteering. I met so many people. So. Many. People.

The weird thing is that I was meeting pretty much all of these people for the first time in person, but it felt so much like seeing old friends for the first time in years – not at all like meeting brand new people.

Volunteering was fun; it was time to chat with people and also help a great event be successful. Wandering around was fun. The Expo Hall was fun. All around fun. Apex & the Limits was SUUUUUUPER fun.

There was a great tribute to the wonderful Tami Esling, who touched so many lives in the community.

And I capped off the evening at dinner with part of the Michigan Nonprofit User Group.

When I got back to my room, I remembered I have a job and had to get to it for a bit, but it didn’t feel so much like work after such an inspiring day.

Friday

Friday was down to business. The opening keynote by Vala Afshar was fantastic – so many gems, but perhaps my favorite was “company culture is what your employees do when the manager leaves the room.”

More volunteering. I missed some of the sessions I wanted to see, but I’ve made special arrangements.

#awesomeadmin trivia, anyone? Team SAAS took home the gold, and we didn’t have to swim in bacteria-infested waters to do it, which I view as a plus.

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My own session went well, although I definitely know to choose a less broad topic next time. Who knew that all of the things that one needs to know about Marketing Automation took up so much space?? Want to see the list? You can go here (requires Salesforce Community login).

I had to miss Peter Coffee’s keynote in order to make the trek to Union Station. It was stupid hot out.

But overall…

It had that sense of community that Dreamforce lacks. Yes, Dreamforce is an amazing shindig and well worth a visit. But these regional gatherings are safer spaces, where people new to the platform, new to the community, can go and learn and feel welcome.

That was what I experienced last year, and through putting some time in, something I hope I was able to offer to those visiting this year.

This wasn’t a long post, not very detailed, but there are other reviews out there, run-downs, and snippets, and this time…selfishly, I wanted to keep some of it to myself.

Regardless, I hope to see many of you there in 2017.