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How a Team of TS Employees Became Salesforce Trailblazers: A Dreamforce 2017 Recap

By, Nora Broyles

Last month, eight Technology Services employees were invited to attend Dreamforce 2017 (myself included), the annual Salesforce conference which draws executives, developers, engineers, and marketers alike from across the globe to San Francisco, California. Beginning as a dizzying array of registering for sessions and figuring out how to get from one workshop location to another, Dreamforce reminded me a lot of college orientation—that is, if you attended college with over 170,000 people and your classes were led by some of the most well-renowned professionals, politicians, and artists from around the world.  

In addition to the eager conference-goers, aptly named by Salesforce as “Trailblazers,” and inspiring keynote speakers, the four-day conference (hailed as the largest software conference in the world) was a whirlwind of sessions, hands-on workshops, and demonstrations that allowed our team to gain a better understanding of Salesforce and how to further integrate and implement the software within the city.    

In my role on the Denver Marketing Office team, and since the city’s January implementation of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform, the tool has become an essential part of my day-to-day work. I attended the conference hoping to learn how to better utilize these features as a government agency and, more importantly, to find new ways to reach our Denver residents in relevant and engaging ways. From learning more about email deliverability automation and next generation social media insights, to the new Einstein artificial intelligence (AI) features (which enable predictive marketing journeys and enhanced customization), the sessions really opened my eyes to the seemingly endless ways our organization can tap into the power of Salesforce. Not to mention, I was able to attend the Marketing Cloud keynote session and hear from some amazing industry leaders…with a special guest appearance by rapper Pitbull (a.k.a Mr. Worldwide).

Jenna Griffin, the Applications Manager for New Development in Technology Services (TS) and one of the eight in attendance reflected, “My goals for Dreamforce were to find out how to improve what we currently have, and to find opportunities for innovation with the platform in the future. I left the conference feeling extremely excited about the future of Salesforce.” 

Another attendee from the TS team, Jerome Martin, had the opportunity to meet with several other cities (including Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Salt Lake City) to showcase Denver’s progress surrounding the Salesforce implementation and our overall advancements in IT during a User Group session. As a Senior Applications Analyst at the city, Jerome’s goal for the conference was to attend hands-on courses centered around data management, set up meetings with consultants to discuss best practices, and obtain tools and training materials to prepare him for an upcoming Salesforce Administrator Exam. A conference highlight for him? Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s inspiring keynote speech in which she spoke about the power of influence, her advocacy for poverty awareness and nutrition, and what being a ‘changemaker’ really means. In looking back on his time at Dreamforce, Jerome expressed, “It was a great opportunity to meet other IT professionals from various industries. I was able to share and gather information about how they are implementing Salesforce and find out how they address some of the many challenges we face on a day-to-day basis.”    

All in all, Dreamforce was an amazing experience that left the entire Tech Services team feeling connected, engaged, inspired, and a little sleep deprived. In looking towards the future of Denver, digital platforms like Salesforce will be essential in helping to communicate and drive the city’s strategic priorities forward, and better meet the needs of our residents. With more hands-on training under our belts and an enhanced understanding of how to better utilize Salesforce, the city (and TS) can continue to blaze some seriously innovative trails.