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Salesforce MVP’s Picks for Dreamforce 2013 – Marc Baizman

By Ginny McSwine October 24, 2013

marc baizman

Marc Baizman,
Senior Business Systems Analyst,

1. Tell us a little about yourself?

I’ve been working with Salesforce and nonprofits since 2006, back in the olden days of “the nonprofit template.” My day job is as a Salesforce Administrator at Communispace, a marketing agency in Boston.

2. How many times have you been to Dreamforce? – 7

3. What is your Best Overall Advice to First Timers?

Don’t try to do everything! Pick a focus: whether it’s a specific function that you’d like to learn more about, or finding vendors who do something useful for your organization, try not to get too overwhelmed. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a real thing at Dreamforce, and know that you can’t do it all. Also, talk to humans! It’s so easy to get lost in the sea of glowing rectangles large and small – don’t forget, you’re there to connect with other people!

4. Complete this sentence…If I could only go to 1 thing at Dreamforce it would be?

Other than the keynotes (can’t miss Marc Benioff doing his thang), I would say the Hands on Training sessions (HOTs). These are always the most popular sessions, and with good reason: they allow you to dive into some of the specific functions of the platform in a way that you can’t in some of the “regular” sessions.

5. List your top 10 session picks Kickoff — The Connected Non-Profit
Hands-on Training: Get Started with the Nonprofit Starter Pack
Evolution of the Non-Profit Starter Pack
Hands-on Training: Extend and Customize the Nonprofit Starter Pack
So you’re a nonprofit Salesforce admin, now what?!
Hands-on Training: See Where You’re Going with Historical Trend Reporting
Answers Live # 1 – Nonprofit HUB
Answers Live # 2 – Nonprofit HUB
The Small and Mighty Salesforce Organization
AppExchange Speed Dating: 20 Hot Apps You Might Fall in Love With
True to the Core: What’s Next for Our Core Products

6. Besides Sessions, give people other advice on things you would not miss, how and why?

Expo hall is definitely useful, but pick out specific vendors to visit in advance. After you wander the aisles for a little while, you’ll start to get the “Expo glassy eyes” and then you’ll stop seeing anything except the booths with candy (at least that’s what happens to me).

HOTs I already talked about, if you can get in, GO, you won’t be sorry.

Success Clinics can be useful if you go in with specific questions that you’d like the answers to.

General “take care of yourself” advice:
– Eat a real breakfast if you can rather than relying on the conference food. Pastries only last so long. Also, bring some small snacks and a water bottle with you (nuts, granola bars) so you don’t get super hungry or thirsty and can’t focus on the sessions.
– This is a HUGE conference – bring comfortable walking shoes! You may be walking several blocks a day, and you’re going to want to get to sessions early, if possible,
– Don’t go late-night partying and then try to go to an early session. Trust me on this one. You’re better off staying in bed recovering than sitting in a session wishing you had stayed in bed recovering.
– Don’t be afraid to miss a session if you’re having a great conversation with somebody! Remember, connecting with humans is a good thing!

7. What parties are you planning on going to?

Idealist’s Party is a must-attend
Exponent’s Social Impact Salon will be great
Other than that, I’ll see what happens! Also, sometimes a small dinner with friends is better than a giant party, even if the beer is free.