Thursday, April 8, 2010

SFDC Cloudforce 2 NYC—a Review

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I just got home from Salesforce’s event, Cloudforce 2 in New York city.  Following is the good, the bad, the ugly, and my suggestions.  Disclaimers:  I attended this event last year in NYC, spoke at this year’s event, and have spoken at the last two Dreamforce’s.  My company uses Salesforce, I am a certified administrator, and have drunk the Kool-Aid; I love the Force!

The Good

The product is amazing.  And by amazing, I mean freaking amazing.  When I compare it to what we signed up for only five years ago, it’s like it isn’t even from the same family tree.  They are evolving it faster than the H1N1 virus.  The Content piece is an out of the park homerun.  Chatter has a creepy logo (lose the anthropomorphic dentures), but is probably a game changer on the order of Microsoft Windows.

More good:  The presentations were delivered in top notch fashion.  In the past, some of the SFDC presenters struck me as amateurish, but this year, they were polished, precise, and on script.  For the most part, the sessions were reasonably tight and packed with information.

The Bad

Marc, I love you, you’re my Facebook friend, your company’s product keeps me employed, but please consider shortening the keynote next year.  This is the Twitter generation.  Thnk txt msgs.  Short attention spans.  Maybe consider one hour keynotes.  Yes?

Same for the sessions.  They were good, but how about one hour sessions that cover a broader range of topics?  By the nature of the beast, a one day conference isn’t conducive to a deep dive, so it wouldn’t be like we are missing much.  Tighten the presentations, then tighten them again.

Speaking of presentations, do you know what prospective customers and new customers crave?  No, it isn’t listening to marketing guys go on and on, even when they’re decent speakers.  They want to hear from current customers.  Let’s face it, no one trusts vendors.  Nothing personal, Salesforce.  I’m sure my company’s customers don’t trust us fully either.  What they do trust is the word from the guys and gals in the mud and blood.  How about having kiosks in the expo hall where they could talk to customers?  Perhaps allot 40 of the 60 minutes in a session to Q & A, instead of tacking on 15 at the end.

The Ugly

Friends at Salesforce, I hate to break it to you, but your family is growing.  That means that you need to consider larger, better designed spaces for events.  Elbow to elbow, so tightly packed that people can’t walk freely, and with a noise level that precludes conversation is no way to run an expo.  Toilet facilities designed for half the number of attendees do not add to the ambience.  Registration lines that wind down the hall, around the lobby, and down the stairs, are not cool.  You guys brought burst capacity to CRM, surely you can do better with your own show.

Overall, I give the event a solid B.  Very worthwhile, fun, and something I look forward to next year—once I forget about the overcrowding!

2 comments:

  1. Great blog man, I agree that the show was awesome, a little long, and a little crowded. My biggest beef was the overlap between the keynote and the sessions not the length. Also, lack of food and coffee! You can't have 2K caffeine addicts without supplying a coffee drip! :)

    Garry

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  2. Thanks for the comments, Gary. You're right about the (lack of) coffee. I ended up buying it in the lobby downstairs, but I'm think that accounting is not going to be happy with me for spending the same amount on caffeine as I did on transportation to and from the city.

    Agree 100% on the problem of overlap. Either make things run on time or allow a buffer. This is a problem at every SFDC function to the point that people expect it to happen. Maybe they should hire you and me as event planners! :-)

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