The results of the admin jury are in — those that were accepted are on top of the world, while those that didn’t make the cut are gutted.
It’s not the end of the road
Though it might be the end of the dream of attending Dreamforce, as the only way some companies will send their staff is if they are presenting. This sucks, but all hope is not lost — keep an eye out for the free ticket competitions — I won one of these a couple of years ago (and got a third free ticket, in addition to my MVP and speaker tickets!)
If it was a great idea, you can resubmit it for Dreamforce 17 , which will be on us before we know it. And it probably was a great idea, but there were too many great ideas to fit in — it turns out there were 800+ submissions for a mere 60 slots, so less than 10% could possibly be accepted anyway. Full details of the number of submissions and the selection process can be found in Mike Gerholdt’s blog post.
How we Picked Admin Track for Dreamforce 2016 - Salesforce Admins
WOW the Salesforce Admin community is amazing! On May 2, 2016, we asked you to submit your best ideas for presenting at…
This is something that anyone who has submitted ideas for the Dreamforce Dev Zone is familiar with, as …
Talk slots are always massively oversubscribed
Everyone wants to talk at Dreamforce — it’s the top event for anyone working in the Salesforce ecosystem and a testament to your leet speaking skillz if you get there. The Developer Relations team even put example abstracts and suggested topics in their call for papers to make sure as many people as possible applied!
Developer Zone Call for Presentations
Thank you for your interest in speaking at Dreamforce! Below are some guidelines on what are are looking for. Please…
There are many awesome people in the Salesforce community, all doing awesome things. Dreamforce is only a few days, so it’s always going to be a struggle to fit everything in.
It’s not the end of the idea
Just because your talk idea wasn’t accepted doesn’t mean it ceases to have a purpose. Developer, admin and user groups are always looking out for speakers, so you can still present it to an admiring audience. Salesforce World Tour events start straight after Dreamforce and there are admin and developer speaking slots in those as well. It might make a fine article for a newsletter or blog. You came up with a great idea that you wanted to share with the Salesforce community, so make sure you get it out there.
It is fair
A lot of attention is paid to making the evaluation process as transparent and fair as possible. As detailed in both the posts linked above, the first round is blind and purely based on the title and abstract. Only after that do the judges find out more about the speaker to narrow things down in round two.
I’ve seen a few comments on social media suggesting that things could be changed to make it fairer, typically by applying the following rules:
- Limiting the number of submissions an individual can make
- Prioritising new speakers to ensure that everyone gets a go
I don’t agree with this because …
Dreamforce is a paid event
Attendees pay anything up to $1,999 (although to be fair, anyone who doesn’t take advantage of the myriad discounts available should be attending a conference on not spending money they don’t have to!).
This means that attendees are expecting, and have paid for, high quality sessions throughout the event. Therefore it’s a meritocracy — the best ideas should get selected in round one and the best speakers should get selected in round two.
A great idea and abstract submitted by someone with no prior speaking experience should lose out to an equally great idea and abstract from someone who has successfully spoken at many events in the past. Dreamforce is the big event of the year for Salesforce, so they are going to be cautious and go with proven success.
Well known speakers will also tend to attract a crowd, and I’m sure that Salesforce want packed sessions everywhere.
I write this as someone who has been on the wrong end of this process myself — my talk was rejected for Dreamforce 15. I strongly suspect that this was because my abstract wasn’t compelling, so it was right that it was rejected. I did end up presenting, thanks to my lightning components work, but it wasn’t in the Dev Zone which meant I wasn’t speaking to my people! This year I spent a lot more time crafting my abstract — you only get one chance to make a first impression as they say.
It’s not an easy ride
As anyone who has presented at Dreamforce before knows, its not a walk in the park. There are milestones that you have to hit in terms of session planning, dry runs etc.
If you don’t hit the milestones without good reason then your talk will be cut (see Dreamforce is a paid event above).
If you submitted an idea that you haven’t yet built (which is something I’ve done a few times in the past), you’ve just made yourself a bunch of work that has to be done prior to the dry run.
You’ll be prepping for your talk during the event. I guarantee this means you’ll spend time that you intended to be learning from others practicing your own words or fixing last minute bugs.
On the day itself you’ll be stood up on wobbly legs in front of a packed house, wondering why this seemed like a good idea all those months ago.
And if you are anything like me, you’ll watch a number of great speakers and judge yourself harshly against them. Adam Seligman in the Developer Keynote is my nemesis in this respect — I always realise how much I still have to learn, so I hope that any of my sessions are done by then.
It’s a great experience
As long as you are properly prepared, you’ll crush it. You already know its a great idea and your speaker chops have the Salesforce seal of approval.
You’ll be assigned a mentor from Salesforce who will help get your talk into shape, so if you do miss milestones and your talk gets cut, you’ll only have yourself to blame. And you will blame yourself. Bitterly. So put the work in.
Once the lights go down and the audience look up expectantly, all your fears will melt away. Once you’ve tasted the applause of the Dreamforce crowd, you’ll want it every year, which means you’ll submit a number of ideas and turn into part of the problem!
If you had a great idea but didn’t submit it
because you were intimidated at the thought of speaking in front of a large audience, there’s still time to sign up for the course that we are running in London over the next few weeks. Its only an hour or so after work once a week, so well worth the effort.
You Want to Speak at a Salesforce Event? We Want to Help!
I hate public speaking. I absolutely detest it. I know these are strong words to describe something that I do quite…
Developer sessions are up next
We find out on Monday, so wish me luck with my submissions. I’m sure the competition will be intense.
I’m better known in the Salesforce community as Bob Buzzard — Umpteen Certifications, including Technical Architect, 5 x MVP and CTO of BrightGen, a Platinum Cloud Alliance Partner in the United Kingdom.
You can find my (usually) more technical thoughts at the Bob Buzzard Blog