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Making Social Connections at Dreamforce 2012

Posted by Susan Ulrich on
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If you're like, me you're still sorting through YouTube videos, Chatter postings, whitepapers, hand-outs, and business cards from this year's Dreamforce conference. With so much excitement leading up to it, I can't help but feel a little sad it's all over so quickly.

The overriding theme for this year's conference was without a doubt "business is social." Salesforce's introduction of the Marketing Cloud spoke directly to managing the social side of business. Tools for enhancing social engagement, social content and social measurement were in the spotlight this year. This is all very exciting stuff, but we should never forget that our customers are more than connections, fans, and followers. At ReadyTalk, we still believe in the power of personal interactions. When you call our help desk, a real person answers the phone. If you need help with a big webinar you're hosting, one of our dedicated web event coordinators will guide you every step of the way. With that said, I want to talk about the social connections who made the biggest impact on my Dreamforce experience this year, no login required.

Chante was one of the temporary workers hired to help answer quChanteestions and direct people where they needed to go. For four days, she stood on the corner outside of my hotel in that bright turquoise shirt with a smile and a kind word for everyone who walked by. She was there every morning when I left and every evening when I returned. It must have been long days but you'd never know it from her demeanor. I honestly felt like she was looking out for for me throughout the conference, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. To me, she represented the very best in customer care. After chatting with her briefly one afternoon she mentioned that she would LOVE to work for a company like Salesforce. Mr Benioff take note, you need to hire this woman!

My favorite session at this year's conference was the two and a half hour "Apex Coding for Non-Developers." Sounds daunting doesn't it? It flew by because of one very dynamic, funny and intelligent woman, Leah McGowen-Hare. It took me a minute to stop envying her super toned arms and four inch heels, but after that I was all in. How do you describe coding classes, attributes and methods to a packed hall of non-developers? You throw up a slide of the human body and it all comes together very nicely thank you. I also happened to sit in between the other two smartest woman in the room that day. Thank you ladies for getting me through my first Apex Trigger!

Apex Classes Explained


If you've ever attended a business conference out of town you know there's always a chance you'll find yourself on your own for dinner. This year,I picked a fancy seafood restaurant and jumped at an open spot at the bar. Lucky for me, I sat next to Rosana. Originally from Northern England, she has lived in San Francisco for 20 years and works behind the scenes at one of San Francisco's local television stations. She was smart, empathetic, and engaging and we hit it off immediately. It's astounding how much common ground you can find when you take the time to have a real conversation with someone. I'm already looking forward to a tour of her studio during next year's conference.

I was really excited about this year's keynote with Richard Branson. Admittedly I didn't know a whole lot about him personally before the conference. His
unparalleled business success and reputation for extreme adventure defined my superficial image of him. What I didn't know was that he's actually a dedicated father and husband of almost 35 years. What also resonated was his commitment to finding the best in people, his empathy for others, and how he's thinking outside the box to solve a myriad the world's social issues. I probably could have looked that up online, but it was much cooler hearing it in his own words.

So hats off to everyone at Dreamforce for another amazingly successful, and amazingly social, experience! #DF12 Rocked!

Who made your Dreamforce experience memorable? Take a minute to share your social connection stories with us.

 


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