Midwest Dreamin’ is an annual conference created and led by the Saleforforce Community to facilitate collaboration and learning. Unlike other Salesforce conferences, this event is known for providing a more intimate experience with sessions led by passionate leaders from the Salesforce community, including Salesforce MVPs, partners, users and even a few Salesforce executives as keynote speakers.
This year I had the pleasure of attending this exciting event for the first time and experiencing the warmth of the Salesforce Community first hand right in my backyard in the city of Chicago.
During the day and a half conference, I was able to attend a number of sessions to get up to speed with industry topics including Lightning Experience, witness live demo jam sessions, and finally learn more about the topics of equality, growth and humanity, which are very characteristic of the Salesforce “Ohana”.
A big focus of the admin/developer sessions was on making the switch to Salesforce Lightning and preparing users for the move. There was as strong focus on shifting from a “Do I have to?” attitude to more of a “Why wouldn’t I?” attitude. One of the sessions called “Lightning Myths” was particularly interesting as it was set up Mythbusters style and it cleared up a lot of the confusion and hesitation that still exists around lightning. The main idea conveyed was that you can leverage what you have already built when you switch to lighting while also making it more relevant as you configure your lightning pages and components.
Even though this conference thrived on friendliness and community warmth, that is not to say it was lacking on the competitive side. Perhaps my favorite part of the event was their famous “Demo Jam” sessions, where different app vendors had the opportunity to showcase their products in intense 3 minute rounds to earn the title of “Midwest Dreamin’ Demo Jam Champion”. Not only was this a great opportunity to learn more about some of these products, but it was also fun to see how creative some of these vendors can get to show the most functionality in such a small timeframe. Some of the vendors included CloudCraze demoing an eCommerce solution built natively on Salesforce, FormAssembly with a form solution that streamlines processes with conditional logic and fields and the winner, Own Backup with a data backup and recovery solution for Salesforce, among many others.
One of the quotes that resonated with me was “It’s not just about what you do, but how you do it” delivered by Product Marketing Manager on Einstein, Ayori Selassie. During the opening keynote, she talked about the importance of not just having a vision and “blazing your trail”, but also how to show empathy to others and staying true to yourself along the way.
This seemed to be the common theme throughout the entire conference echoed by James Loduca, Director of Equality Program, who emphasized the importance of inclusion and equality in the Salesforce Ohana by “Bringing your full authentic self” every day and creating an environment where people take care of each other and have fun together. Finally, Peter Coffee, VP for Strategic Research as the final keynote speaker took diversity a bit further and emphasized how “Tomorrow’s teams are defined by diversity of knowledge” expressing the importance of having exposure to different areas to be the most successful in today’s ever-changing technology driven world.