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Dreamforce 101: Tips For Optimizing Your Experience

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again already. Salesforce.com’s annual Dreamforce conference is a month away. I’m not sure why, but I’m finding myself really excited about this year’s show. I thought it might be my 20 year crush on Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but honestly, I think it’s because I’m prepared. This conference has grown exponentially in the last decade and every year that Dreamforce improves it's performance, I try to as well. With that said I’d like to sDreamforce Logohare with you my tips for maximizing your experience at the Cloud Computing Industry Event of the Year.

1. Register for your sessions ahead of time. Rachel Thornton and her team have done an amazing job reworking the Agenda Builder. There are over 750 breakout and training sessions scheduled this year. Even still, they will fill up. Spend some time thinking about the areas you want to focus on, and book those sessions asap. Don’t think you’re going to wing it when you get there. This is a BIG conference. Sessions are varied and spread out, you’ll get a lot more out of these if you do some preparation in advance.

2. Network, socialize, network. This is the big show for us salesforce geeks and it’s not your typical 9-5 event. Rest up and embrace it. Seek out your Sales and/or Support reps, check out the Birds of a Feather lunches, join Chatter groups to connect with other attendees, participate in the volunteer activities, go to the partner sponsored happy hours and events. We'd love to see you at the ReadyTalk party! Don’t try to handle your usual workload while you’re out there. You, and your company, will get the most out of Dreamforce if you’re learning and focused on the conference, and not what’s going on back at the office.

3. Schedule time to visit the Campground and the Cloud Expo. Don’t fill up your session card to the point that you leave no time for the Expo area. Want to get a personal demo of that cool new functionality introduced during the keynotes? Head to the Campground. Got a burning platform question you need answered, again the Campground has got you covered. Same with the Expo. This is where you can get up close and personal with all of those great app venders/developers from the AppExchange. I'd recommend meeting with your company's stakeholders in advance to get an idea of what might make their lives easier when it comes to salesforce automation and integration. With 350 venders on hand it's easy to get overwhelmed. It helps to have a starting point in mind before jumping in. Be sure to plan on at least a couple of hours to explore the Campground and Cloud Expo. It will definitely be time well spent.

Editor's Note: While you are checking out the CloudExpo, be sure to stop by the ReadyTalk booth (#1429) for great prizes. Want to schedule a Dreamforce demo of ReadyTalk for Salesforce? Sign up now.

Warning: Hot Coffee Can Burn You! (Part I)

Do you remember when that woman sued McDonald’s because she ordered a hot coffee, spilled it all over herself and got burned? In addition to a significant financial compensation, the result of the case was that companies serving hot beverages must print on the beverage that it is hot and it can cause burns.

If you’re like me, and I know I am, you probably thought “are you kidding me!?!” and put a perplexed look on your face. This reaction is a result of something nearly everyone (with the obvious exception of the woman who sued McDonald’s) has — common sense. And in this case it is a combination of common sense and an expertise in how hot and cold work.

This article is the warning message on your conferencing coffee — if you don’t have an expertise in conferencing, these may not come to mind as common sense, but once you host a few webinars you’ll forget the time you didn’t know them.

1. Your audience cannot see you. You’re on the phone and you are manipulating a web-based application that they can see. As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t see yourself on the computer, your audience can’t see you either.

2. The chat feature is typed, not spoken. If your audience is in “Listen Only” mode, they can still chat — but only with their fingers!

3. If you are using Broadcast Audio (sending sound over the web), your participants are not on the phones and cannot speak to you. Hint: Do NOT ask the Operator to unmute Bill’s line — he’s not on a line!

4. The private speaker pre-conference is not heard by your audience — it is private, which also means it is not recorded.

5. ReadyTalk cannot screen your questions. We are experts in conferencing, not your subject matter. If you don’t want to answer certain questions, assign a co-worker to screen chat questions and you’ll be set up for success.

6. If your participants are in Listen Only mode or listening via Broadcast Audio, don’t do a soundcheck as a part of your introduction. “Hi everyone, thanks for being here! So can everybody hear me okay? … hello? …is this thing on?”  It is — they just have no way of speaking back at you!  On a similar note, don’t tell call-and-response jokes like knock-knocks either! For whatever it’s worth, we appreciate the desire to do this, which is why we conduct a formal soundcheck during pre-conference!

7. If you don’t tell people about your webinar, no one will attend. Send invitations, publicize the registration link do it all ahead of time!

8. If you have international speakers, you must book an international speaker dial-in number because they cannot dial US 800 numbers. Similarly, if you have an international audience and you are not using Broadcast Audio, you must book international participant dial-in numbers for each country that might be dialing in.

9. ReadyTalk has a built-in player for sharing video clips with your audience — use it!  If you try to share a video by sharing your desktop and pulling up YouTube, the only way your audience can hear the audio is by you putting the phone up to your computer speakers — which will make for poor audio quality.

10. Present ideas in numbers people are used to — 3, 5 and perhaps best of all, 10!

So don’t get burned because you didn’t think through your webinar — keep reading the blog for more great ideas on setting up and running your ReadyTalk webinars and call your Account Manager to set up your event today!

Good luck and thanks for reading!

Getting the Best Use Out of Video Clip Playback

Today's post is provided by Brittany Jones, ReadyTalk product marketing intern.Video Reel

The market is buzzing about the creation of ReadyTalk’s video clip playback functionality. This feature was implemented to enable rich video content sharing to engage and capture your audience’s attention. Video clip playback allows you to easily upload and stream short video clips with a one step process. What many of you may not know is this feature can be used by several different users for various use cases to meet your business’s web conferencing needs. We’ve noticed the following users produce more effective and engaging presentations when applying video clip playback:

 

  •        Webinar organizers and presenters
  •        Online Training utilizing subject experts
  •        Marketing and Public Relations professionals
  •        Collaborators and Sales Executives

Webinars:

Marketers and webinar organizers will find video clip playback to be a very useful tool for presenters to help keep their audience engaged. With the ability to reuse video content in webinars, you will recognize more ROI on professionally created video content. Marketing and PR professionals have seen significant positive audience reaction when using the tool to incorporate commercials or share a customer testimonial.

Online Training:

The video clip playback feature has seen vast success with producing highly engaged and interactive audiences during online training sessions. We believe video clip playback is most useful during the training process when using video training and process training clips to keep the audience’s attention throughout the conference. By combining video clips with your presentation, your audience will get the repetition it needs to better comprehend and retain your trainings.

Collaboration:

Sales executives can build stronger leads when using video clip playback as a demonstration tool in a sales presentation. Incorporating short video clip demos of your product or a targeted customer testimonial can make all the difference when trying to pass leads through the sales funnel.

With ReadyTalk, you can rest assured that our reliable service will create the highest quality experience for you and your participants. These specific video clip playback uses can help accommodate the desired needs of your business’s webinar, training, and collaboration goals. Taking these ideas and implementing them into your web conferencing process can aid in producing greater sales results and higher satisfaction from your webinar and training audience.

 

 

Meet Tracy Williams, Channel and Partner Marketing

Tracy Williams, Channel and Partner MarketingTracy focuses on channel and partner marketing at ReadyTalk, building out marketing programs to recruit channel partners and reinforce engagement with them. She works closely with the strategic partner team to build successful partnerships that align with customer needs.  Tracy has more than 10 years of experience in startup marketing for online and software B2B companies, where her roles were diverse and included demand generation, events, corporate messaging and channel program development.

When she’s not coming up with marketing plans she likes to compete in canine freestyle Frisbee and ride her Ninja motorcycle.

Connect with Tracy on LinkedIn

 

Meet Anita Wehnert, Director of Strategic Partnerships

 

Anita Wehnert

As ReadyTalk’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Anita is focused on understanding market needs and working with partners to solve customer problems through integration. Before joining ReadyTalk, she gained first-hand experience with the challenges of running a webinar program while serving as director of marketing at an IT analyst firm. When she’s not thinking about conferencing, she likes to ride her bike, travel, and spend time with her dogs.

Connect with Anita on Twitter, @AnitaWehnert.