Last night I returned from a trip to Madrid to attend the first community-led Salesforce event in Spain: DreamOlé. I had decided to attend this event instead of this year’s World Tour stop in London (for the reasons I outlined in this post) and I can tell you that I was extremely pleased with my decision! It was a fantastic day with many standout moments – but here I wanted to share with you my five absolute highlights of the event. Starting with…
1) Witnessing such a well-organised, impactful event
DreamOlé was made possible by a number of community superstars – and you could really tell that it had a great team of organisers behind it. The day went very smoothly, and even when faced with having to quickly turn around rooms between sessions and ensure everyone was in the right place at the right time, the team were on top of everything and – to my untrained eye – didn’t even seem overly stressed by it all. Maybe that’s the southern European attitude coming into its own?!
The huge amount of effort the organisers put into the day resulted in a successful event which, I believe, will have a great impact on the Salesforce community in Spain. This was the first event of its kind on the Iberian peninsula, and from the conversations I had with attendees, it was clear that it was an event that was in-demand, well appreciated and which will serve to engage the Spanish community even further. Everyone, including me, left the event on a high and already looking forward to DreamOlé 2018 (more on which later!).
Photo credit: J-Michel Mougeolle
2) Seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends
One of the reasons I gave for choosing to attend this event above the London World Tour was that its lower capacity leads to a more relaxed atmosphere where one can actually speak with one’s fellow attendees without too much distraction and – let’s be honest – marketing noise getting in the way. That made this a fantastic opportunity to catch up with Salesforce friends from around the globe.
As well as a welcome chance to see some of my Spanish Salesforce friends once more (including Alba Rivas, Agustina García, Julio Fernández, and Salesforce Weekly’s very good friend Ines Garcia!), the event also attracted attendees from around the globe, meaning I also got to chat with some of the UK crew I don’t get to see too often (like Simon Lawrence, Peter Chittum, Will Coleman, Kerry Townsend and Jenny Bamber) and familiar faces from further afield (such as demo jam master Josh Hoskins, keynote speaker Erica Kuhl, and Fabien Taillon).
But of course these events are also great for striking up new friendships, and it was fun to see some less familiar faces (or to meet online friends for the first time and get to know them better). Special mentions to Trailhead-crusher Eva Rodenas, and to Helen Williams, Yaiza Bailén, Laura Sartori, Roger Borges, and Carlos Campillo – it was really good to see you!
Photo credit: Eva Rodenas
3) Representing Mavens
I’ve been working as a Solution Architect with Mavens for over a year now and have been lucky enough to travel to many events across Europe and the United States in that time, both as an attendee and as a speaker. But this one really stood out for me, and I think that’s because we not only sponsored the event (making the after-party possible – you can thank me later!) but we also sent a good-sized team over to Madrid to represent Mavens.
First and foremost, the wonderful Carolina Ruiz, one of our Technical Architects, was a key organiser of the event. It was rewarding to be there to support her and the rest of her organising team. We also had two sessions during the day – with Ben Duffy and Pablo Roldan treating the audience to a revised version of the hugely popular Dreamforce ’16 talk on Writing Good Salesforce Requirements, and then with Paul Battisson giving us a lesson on the Things You Never Knew Mavensmate Could Do. Both sessions went down really well, and it was a lot of fun to spend some quality time in Madrid with my awesome colleagues, as well as letting the DreamOlé attendees know exactly why Mavens rocks!
Photo credit: DreamOlé
4) Not having my talk submission selected
Yep, you read that right – one of my highlights was *not* having my talk selected. Let me explain why…
I submitted a talk on the Salesforce Architect Journey, with a focus on why it’s more relevant than you think for admins and how to get started on the Application Architect certification. And while I still like that as an idea for a talk (and will likely roll it out at future Salesforce events later this year!), here’s why I was ultimately glad it didn’t get picked for DreamOlé.
Because the closing keynote, from the impressive Eugenio Roldan, was all about the Architect Journey too. And while the focus of Eugenio’s talk was naturally different to mine, here’s why it made much more sense – and had much more impact – for him to share his knowledge with the audience rather than me. Firstly, Eugenio is a certified Technical Architect and can really show you ‘the view from the top’ when it comes to certifications. He’s reached the pinnacle of the cert mountain, and we were all very keen to learn from his experiences and to take inspiration from his story. Secondly, Eugenio isn’t just a CTA – he is the first Spanish CTA in the world. For a national event like this one, in a country which takes such deserved pride in its national identity, it just made perfect sense for Eugenio to deliver this talk to the Spanish audience (in Spanish, of course – another reason my talk would have paled in comparison!) in order to best serve, educate and inspire that community. And it was a fantastic, entertaining talk that certainly lived up to that aim.
On top of that, not having a presentation to deliver on the day meant that I could relax a bit and get to a few more sessions rather than stressing about an upcoming talk! Plus, it freed me up to serve the community in a different way by spending some time on the event’s Ask The Expert booth, also known by the frankly delightful name of #WTFAQ!
5) Fantastic food and drink!
If you’ve spent any time in Spain, it’ll be no surprise to you to hear that we were fed and watered very well indeed. And if you’ve spent any time with me, you’ll also not be surprised that this comfortably makes it into my top five highlights!
From the pre-event speakers’ dinner the night before (including excellent tortilla española, and the hammiest croquetas of all time), via the typical Spanish fare on the day itself, all the way through to our post-event celebrations full of fideuà, arroz negro, cañas, cocktails and many glasses of tinto de verano, we left Madrid stuffed and happy! Salud!
So there you have it. The top five reasons why I loved DreamOlé, and hopefully enough evidence to convince you that you should try to go next year if you can.
And on that note, one final highlight to finish on. At the end of the event, the organisers revealed that they are already working on planning next year’s DreamOlé, and that the provisional idea is for it to take place in Barcelona in April 2018. And since I’m writing this post while sipping on a glass of Codorníu, you may not be too surprised to hear that I wholeheartedly endorse that idea! If I’m lucky enough to go next year, I can’t wait to visit my favourite city and to attend what may well soon become my favourite Salesforce event of the year!