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With FORWARD at Connections 2019

Connections ’19 is over, but it’s still lingering in my mind. “Salesforce Connections” is my first Salesforce convention. So at first, I wasn’t sure what to expect…

The “Events app” showed an agenda that quickly overwhelmed me with information and different kinds of sessions I would be able to join. Since a lot of them overlapped, it was quite a challenge deciding which ones I would be attending.

Looking back at the agenda now… I missed quite a few because I was a bit too optimistic.

It’s all about (making) connections

I attended keynotes, sessions and had a 1-on-1 session with some Commerce Cloud and Service Cloud experts.

At Connections, I learned quite a bit about Customer 360 and Cross-Cloud. But in the end, it turns out that the sessions aren’t the most important thing. Sure… learning about the latest and greatest features is always fun!!! Einstein and Customer 360 will be adding a lot of interesting new options that are bound to grow for many years to come. AI (Einstein) is an interesting step forward and is/can be a great information and productivity tool!

… but there is always room for improvement, luckily they teach themselves 😉.

Salesforce Connections: Keynote
Salesforce Connections: Keynote

Connections is what it is all about! I ended up meeting a lot of new people and had discussions about the ‘Clouds’ that I would have never ended up having if I had not attended the event.

Most of the knowledge I gained from the event is not the sessions themselves, but talking to the hosts and co-hosts of the sessions afterward!

I sometimes ended up giving them the third degree on features, but they didn’t seem to mind. I always got a smile and a sound response, which is what Salesforce and Connections is all about!

Cross-Cloud, Customer 360 & more

If you have been to the event, you probably heard to word “Customer 360” at least once an hour. This is not surprising, as this is quite a game-changer to get all the data in one glance between the multitude of clouds that Salesforce has in its portfolio.

And who doesn’t want a single view of their customer data without duplicates? Though the product, from what I gathered, still has quite a few things on the road-map. So we still have a lot of updates to look forward to.

The Amazon Go store in Chicago
The Amazon Go store in Chicago

Besides the event, we had some free time in the weekend and on Wednesday afternoon to explore the city. I wouldn’t want to call myself a Commerce consultant without having a look at the Amazon Go store.

Being able to walk into a store by scanning a code and walking out with products, without having to go past a register does peek my gadget interest.

We did try to fool the system by messing around a bit, but it turns out that you can’t fool something that has 20 cameras pointed at you in every direction 😀.

Sponsors and industry

Another great thing about the campground are the sponsor and industry booths. Here you can connect with companies that integrate or expand the Salesforce platform, and most of them will give you a demo of their capabilities.

Here I found a few booths that had products that would greatly impact the implementation time/efficiency/ … of both current and future customers! I would recommend everyone to visit them at Salesforce conventions and have a look at what they have to offer.

A few examples are AdyenCoreMedia, and Avalara.

Business and pleasure

The Gwen Stefani concert at Salesforce Connections '19
The Gwen Stefani concert at Salesforce Connections ’19

What’s business without a little pleasure? I know one thing now, Salesforce knows how to party! On the second day of the convention (after a hard day of heavy labor 😜) we were treated to a concert of Gwen Stefani at the Wintrust Arena which was right next door.

It was loads of fun and a great end of the second day of Connections, although I’m sure a few people didn’t make the 9 AM sessions on Wednesday because of it…

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