I recently attended the Salesforce World Tour Atlanta, which is conveniently in my neck of the woods down here in Georgia. If you are not familiar with the Salesforce World Tours, they are a series of free events across the country that bring together Salesforce current and prospective users, employees and partners for a packed day of learning and mingling. I’ve been to a number of these events and wanted to share some reflection on and insight from the December 9, 2015 bash.
1) Communities are gaining momentum
I had the honor of presenting to the user/admin community in the Admin Zone in Atlanta this year. I delivered “Create a Community!”, a demo-packed presentation in which I created a community from scratch in twenty minutes. As you can imagine, this presentation was no cakewalk and required some serious prep and fine-tuning.
I’ve done a number of presentations at Salesforce events over the years, so I have a fairly good gauge of what is trending and/or being received well. My Communities presentation was a solid hit. I’d like to think that the delivery was engaging, but I have to give credit where it’s due: to the Community Cloud team. They have built a powerful product that is changing how companies are looking at customer engagement.
2) Trailhead has taken over
If you think Trailhead is a gimmick or a fad, think again. It’s pretty amazing to see what Salesforce has done with this undertaking. They have caused thousands and thousands of people who haven’t owned a stuffed animal in many years to desperately seek a large Tanooki doll and tweet volumes of selfies with their new plush friend for the world to see.
The trend was in full force in Atlanta. The Trailhead “base camp” was packed and people were busy soaking in Salesforce platform knowledge and skills and picking up swag along the way. The Trailhead craze is definitely a phenomenon, but I can understand it. Salesforce has built a free, fun, easy-to-use learning application that provides an appropriate level of challenge and verification. By adding in gamification and related swag, they just put the icing on the cloud-based cake.
*Photo credit: Salesforce Developers Facebook
3) Salesforce’s growth is blatantly apparent
Before Salesforce’s visit to Atlanta a few weeks ago (December 9, 2015), it had been almost five years since I attended the local Salesforce “mini-Dreamforce” event. Back in 2011, during my tenure as a Salesforce administrator for Silverpop, I attended Atlanta Cloudforce. Cloudforce has since been renamed to “Salesforce World Tour” and the tour has spread to a slew of cities around the US and the rest of the world.
It’s one thing to hear about growth in quarterly earnings reports and it’s another thing altogether to see it first-hand. Observing the growth of the Salesforce ecosystem was unavoidable a few weeks ago as I sat in the keynote and thought back to the successful, but modest, held event back in 2011 at the Hyatt in downtown Atlanta. Kudos to Salesforce for proven and steady growth over the last five years!
*Photo credit: Salesforce
The Salesforce World Tour in Atlanta was the last stop for CloudCraze on this year’s World Tour circuit. We will be at it again next year when the World Tours kick off in March 2016. Which cities are you heading to?