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TrailblazerDX 2024: AI + Community + Connections + Learning

Keynote TDX 2024

Despite my 8 years in the Salesforce ecosystem, attending TrailblazerDX (TDX) or Dreamforce had remained elusive. However, conversations with fellow Ohana members convinced me that TDX aligned perfectly with my values of community, connections, and technical learning, so I booked my flights.

Preparation and Anticipation

Teaming up with my friend Kathy Waterworth, a fellow enthusiast whom I had the pleasure of also rooming with at Nonprofit Dreamin’ last October, heightened my excitement. Our recent recognition as Salesforce MVPs on the eve of our trip only added to the anticipation. With our tickets booked, we embarked on our journey to San Francisco, ready to immerse ourselves in the TDX experience.

Acclimatising to San Francisco

Touching down in San Francisco, we spent our initial days acclimatising to the city’s charms. From leisurely trolley rides to indulging in yummy ice cream, each moment served as a precursor to the excitement awaiting us at TDX. A visit to the iconic Salesforce Tower marked the beginning of our immersion into the Salesforce community, as we connected with fellow consultants and stocked up on swag to share with our respective communities.

Prelude to TDX: The MVP Mixer

The night before TDX commenced, we had the pleasure of attending the ‘MVP Mixer’ at the Salesforce Tower. Against the backdrop of breath-taking views, we mingled with fellow MVPs united by our passion for Salesforce. The jovial atmosphere, complete with a fun photo booth and tasty food, set the stage for the excitement that lay ahead.

MVP Joy Shutters-Helbing and I having fun in the photobooth at the TDX Mixer

Immersion in Knowledge

The first day of TDX dawned with a community group breakfast, fueling us for the Keynote session: “Every Developer Is an Einstein: The Future of Development.” Positioned near the front as an MVP, I soaked in the insights shared by Parker Harris, particularly the case study of Turtle Beach, resonating deeply with my background in hospitality.

Networking and Insights at Community Cove

Following the keynote, the Community Cove became a hub of activity as I attended events such as Women in Tech and Nonprofit Trailblazers. Engaging with like-minded individuals and delving into discussions on the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud provided invaluable insights and connections. I also took time out to support fellow Trailblazers in the run-up to their presentations, a moment of quietness and calm was certainly needed.

True to the Core: A Deep Dive into Product

Venturing to the True to the Core (TTTC) session, I seized the opportunity to engage with product teams and pose questions regarding lightning page layouts. I was so excited I promptly forgot the answer to my question, so I’m pretty relieved of the streaming of the session that is available on Salesforce+

Hands-On Learning

The subsequent session, ‘Approach Reporting Like Never Before’ by Evan Ponter, offered a hands-on exploration of advanced reporting techniques. With extended duration, it provided ample time for a comprehensive dive into the subject matter, leaving attendees eager for more. I know so many of the hands-on sessions were thoroughly enjoyed by attendees so I hope they remain as a key feature for future events.

Breaking Records and Building Bonds

A whimsical attempt to break a world record for the most people dressed as Albert Einstein injected a dose of fun into the proceedings, fostering camaraderie among attendees. The day concluded with diverse evening activities, from a Third Eye Blind concert to a more intimate community dinner and games night. I attended the latter, it was such a lovely way to mark the mid-point of the conference and one I hope I will join as a tradition.

Einstein World Record Attempt TDX 2024
A group of us 'Einsteins' during the World Record Attempt - photo courtesy of Jana Walker

Eric Dreshfield’s Bacon Breakfast: A Community Tradition

The following morning commenced with Eric Dreshfield’s legendary Bacon Breakfast, a cherished tradition within the Salesforce community which raises money for Project Night Night. Amidst sizzling bacon and stimulating conversations, it was another opportunity to engage with fellow attendees, embodying the spirit of the Ohana.

In-Depth Insights and Inspirations

Proceeding to Moscone West, Michael Kolodner’s session on ‘Design for User Success: Build Better Lightning Record Pages’ offered profound insights into enhancing user experience. I will be finding a Salesforce Admin group for Michael to present at so we can get a recording to share! Inspired by the session, I prepared for my presentation, ‘Trailblaze Together: Unleash Your Success with the Community,’ an experience that proved both nerve-wracking and immensely gratifying, a big thank you to everyone who attended.

Presenting in the Community Campfire - photo courtesy of Pei Mun Lim

Embracing the Community and Beyond

As the conference drew to a close, attendees immersed themselves in technical sessions and deepened connections with fellow trailblazers. Bidding farewell was bittersweet, yet as I reflected on my TDX experience, I realized the profound impact it had on my Salesforce journey.

Conclusion: A Journey of Growth and Connection

With memories of TDX 2024 etched in my mind, I boarded my flight home with a renewed sense of purpose and a wealth of new connections. TDX surpassed my expectations, serving as a testament to the transformative power of community and learning within the Salesforce ecosystem.

Save the Date: TrailblazerDX 2025

As I eagerly anticipate the next chapter of my Salesforce journey, I mark my calendar for TrailblazerDX 2025 (March 5-6), ready to once again immerse myself in the camaraderie and knowledge that define the Salesforce Ohana, I hope to see you there.

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