This year, we were lucky enough to attend Connections 2018, and although the action wrapped up on June 14, we’re still digesting everything we learned at this amazing event.
In Part 1 of this three-post series, we offered you a sneak peek into what you could expect from Connections 2018. We then gave you the inside scoop in Part 2 and via the RelationEdge Twitter. What better way to end this series than with our takeaways from the event?
Read on to discover our thoughts on Connections 2018 — as a newbie to the Connections scene and a seasoned Connections veteran.
Ilana Plumer: Senior Director of Marketing and First-Time Connections Attendee
As a newbie to Connections and the Salesforce ecosystem, I didn’t realize how influential Salesforce is — both inside and outside the world of technology.
I was excited to discover the extent of the company’s engagement and leadership within the community, as well as their support for women and minorities in business. The Women Trailblazers series with Kerry Washington and Lucy Liu was a real highlight of the event for me, but that’s not all I learned at Connections 2018.
Finding out the Future of Marketing
Connections 2018 allowed me to dive deeper into Salesforce marketing capabilities and business intelligence products. Companies are spending an increasing amount of time and money on omnichannel marketing and artificial intelligence (AI) — one of the largest components of Industry 4.0. The move to intelligent marketing is predicted to be much bigger than the digital movement, so understanding how to leverage technology to drive future marketing strategies has become very important to me.
Salesforce research has shown that 72% of customers and 89% of business buyers expect companies to understand their individual needs and expectations — and many of them will give up their personal information for this reason. Clearly, now’s the time to get to know who your customers really are and what they want. By attending sessions and demos at Connections 2018, I got to see firsthand how Salesforce Marketing Cloud can be used to achieve this goal, which was an incredibly insightful and valuable experience.
Tips for Attending Connections for the First Time
If you’ll be attending Connections, or indeed any Salesforce educational event, in the future, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
- Salesforce conferences are so large that you really need to do your homework. My suggestions include:
- Making the most of the Conference Agenda Builder
- Registering for sessions that pique your interest (if you don’t, you’ll miss out — trust me, I learned this the hard way)
- Factoring in time to network, check out the booths, and engage in activities
- Don’t expect or try to do everything. From celebrity keynotes and sessions to fun activities and networking opportunities, it could be a month-long conference and you still wouldn’t be able to cross it all off your list. This is why strategic agenda planning is crucial.
All in all, my first Salesforce conference was a great success. I learned more about Salesforce technology, and got to connect with RelationEdge team members, fellow marketers, Salesforce representatives, and customers from across the country. I can’t wait to take the knowledge and inspiration that I’ve gained from this event and start applying it to our work at RelationEdge Digital Agency.
Karisa Booth: Director of Service Delivery and Seasoned Connections Attendee
I’ve had the privilege of attending multiple editions of Connections over the course of my career working with ExactTarget and then with Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Like most people in the Marketing Cloud community, I was disappointed that Connections was canceled last year, but the announcement of Connections 2018 was welcomed news. I was thrilled to be able to attend the event this year — especially since it was so different to past editions.
What Made Connections 2018 Unique
Connections 2018 was less centered around Marketing Cloud, but rather encompassed more of the Salesforce platform. As a result, the schedule was much more diverse and attendees were able to learn about other capabilities of this powerful technology, including some of its newer additions.
A wide range of informative sessions and events demonstrated:
- Typical uses of Sales Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Service Cloud, as well as Marketing Cloud
- How to leverage Salesforce Quip, a fully-integrated collaboration platform
- How to seamlessly connect all your systems to Salesforce with Integration Cloud
It was great to be able to spend this conference digging into Salesforce technology and finding out more about its current possibilities from industry experts. This is one of the first conferences that didn’t just make the splash announcements of products that leave my technical side wanting to know more, and I preferred it.
Key Moments from Connections 2018
As in previous editions of Connections, my favorite content was the Roadmap Sessions. I also learned more about G360 integration and Einstein Predictive Intelligence, which I’m particularly excited about. I can’t wait to keep working with the Salesforce platform as it continues to develop new functionalities and evolve in the future.
Like Ilana, I found Kerry Washington’s Closing Keynote from the Women’s Trailblazers series both empowering and inspiring. It was the perfect way to end a busy conference full of learning and networking. In many ways this event feels like a family reunion; I get to meet fellow members of the industry, long-term customers, and attendees who are hungry to learn more about the Salesforce platform. I’ve always appreciated this aspect of Connections and I can’t thank Salesforce enough for bringing it back in 2018.
Contact RelationEdge today to learn how we can help you leverage Salesforce solutions to drive transformative business value at your company.