KELL LABS

Midwest Dreamin is a Community Inspired Conference

midwest dreaminI've just returned from Midwest Dreamin' 2016 and I'm already planning to go back next year with more KELL staff in tow. Midwest Dreamin' is a community-led, community-run, community-inspired event that is organized by Midwest Salesforce user group leaders. You might call it a "super-user group meeting" or a mini Dreamforce conference. The event brought marquee quality speakers and AppExchange vendors to the Midwest and was a tremendous opportunity for Salesforce platform learning and networking.

Midwest Dreamin' was the brainchild of Eric Dreshfield in 2011 when he couldn’t attend Dreamforce and decided to “selfishly” bring Dreamforce to him. What started as this selfish (tongue firmly in cheek) idea became a gift to Salesforce admins, users, developers, and everyone in between. This year began on the afternoon of 7/21 with a keynote by Erica Kuhl (Vice President of the Salesforce.com Success Community) and ran through the evening of 7/22 with keynotes from Peter Coffee (VP for Strategic Research at salesforce.com) and Vala Afshar (Chief Digital Evangelist for Salesforce.com). The event brought more than 800 people to speak, network, attend sessions, and discover apps and partners at the vendor booths.

While not on the same scale as Dreamforce, these community-run events provide a more laid back and welcoming vibe to enjoy the same great community, knowledge, and atmosphere. Everyone had the time to engage in long conversations and meaningful chats, unlike the busy hustle-bustle of Dreamforce. If you wanted to talk to your favorite MVP, one of the keynote speakers, or anyone else, this was the perfect venue for it.

The sessions themselves were great. Picked in a blind submission voting process to cut down on bias, the topics ranged from Lightning Components and Process Builder to Nonprofit administration. There was a little something for everyone in the sessions provided.

Now that I’m back home, I’m thinking of all of the great information I learned, all of the great connections I made, all of the new ideas I have, and even though Dreamforce is just around the corner, I can’t wait for the next community run event.