To be part of something this giant was awe-inspiring. I was amongst a new city, 45,000 attendees and a sea of blue and white signage larger than most buildings in my town. It was Dreamforce 2011, run by Salesforce, my employer (parent company of Radian6).
This was big.
From the moment I arrived in San Francisco, I was in the land of Dreamforce. Airport signage welcomed us and billboards popped up along the highway as we drove through the mountains and into downtown San Fran. It wasn’t long before my lanyard of credentials was strung around my neck and I was regrouping with coworkers for a full day of work.
Yes, I was working at Dreamforce 2011.
It’s one thing to be an attendee. You visit the booths you want, the sessions you want and you get all the amazing food you want. At points I wished to feel that overwhelming sensation of what to do next. Which session to attend. But I knew what I was doing. And it was exciting. My role was engaging with the Dreamforce community on behalf of Radian6. The tweets, Facebook posts, blogs and forums that mentioned Radian6 popped up in front of me and my team throughout the week. We engaged and developed relationships with attendees. Some were familiar to us as we engage often from our Radian6 handles. But Dreamforce brought us a new group of people to listen to, learn from and engage with. That was the exhilarating part.
My role continued.
The Cloud Expo was huge with over 275 booths. I was fairly comfortable visiting the Radian6 booth as well as our mini command center where we engaged. But I was looking to meet and speak with the attendees. What were their experiences like? Were they overwhelmed yet excited like I was? We took to the expo floor for some man-on-the-street interviews. There, a coworker and I interviewed a number of customers about their experience at Dreamforce and what a social enterprise meant to them. To me, this completed the engagement circle. Throughout this conference I was engaging through the social web. Now, I was also getting some in-person, one-on-one time.
And still my role continued.
On the last day, I took part in a large Radian6 training session. Laptops, desks and chairs filled a conference room along with many attendees operating the machines. Today, they were learning the Radian6 Engagement Console and I was there to assist. As questions arose or individuals needed help, I’d step in and be a guide. Now that I work in the Engagement Console daily, it was great to share my knowledge with others. Watching people learn it for the first time brought back memories of my first few days at Radian6. It was a warm feeling and a great customer touch point.
Dreamforce flew by. It’s funny how Hurricane Irene felt like days (yet it was a matter of hours) and Dreamforce went for days but felt like minutes. I hope to be part of Dreamforce 2012 and watch for those wide-eyed first timers. I will do what I can to engage with them and share my experiences. After all, we likely have the same dreams.