Why I’m Paying My Own Way to Dreamforce This Year

Cross Posting my Guest Post from the Salesforce.com Blog:

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I’m attending Dreamforce on my own dime this year. Why? I’ve left the land of the permanently employed to become a contractor; I have a stable 9-to-5 gig, but I’m paid hourly. Given that my contract expires 12 days before the beginning of Dreamforce, neither my contracting company nor the company I’m contracted to, will pay for my trip.

So I’m doing it on my own. Which begs the question: Why would I ever choose to pay my own way to a professional conference?

The answer is pure and simple: I find Dreamforce to be extremely valuable, both to my career and to my work/life balance. Here’s why.

Networking
Over the years I’ve met amazingly smart folks who are as passionate about Salesforce as I am. They come from all walks of life. They’re executives and individual contributors. They are my friends. While they may not know it, these folks helped me gain the courage and self-confidence to leave my previous employer for greener pastures, and I am grateful to have them in my life. These are the connections that make me laugh and help me solve challenges year-round.

Training
Aside from the hours of formal training available, Dreamforce offers more intangible training benefits everywhere you look. While sitting at lunch you can learn how a large multi-national corporation handles cases—or hear how a small mom-and-pop e-commerce site tracks leads. You won’t see this stuff in whitepapers or hear about it in a classroom, but chances are you can take these ideas back to your org and be a hero. It’s a training bonanza.

Fun Fun Fun
Dreamforce is fun! There, I said it. Who would think that a professional conference could offer so much in the way of entertainment and laughs? Between the parties, the friends, the music, and the general “amazingness” that is San Francisco, what’s not to love?

Dreamforce is a week of learning, networking, and fabulous good times. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. So yes, I’m paying my own way—and I’m 100% OK with that.

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