Last week I traveled to Chicago to participate in the second annual Midwest Dreamin’. This community-lead Salesforce event is put on by the Midwest user groups and is considered one giant user group meeting! It was a blast! With around 700 people registered to attend and approximately 25 breakout sessions, this is easily the largest user group meeting you’ll ever attend.

Thursday evening the event was kicked off with a happy hour and expo. Many great sponsors were present including Conga, BracketLabs, and Arrowpointe (the makers of Geopointe) along with a few dozen others. It was great to meet new friends, avid readers and old friends alike.

All content started on Friday morning with an opening keynote from Dan Darcy. You probably will remember him as the guy running the on-stage demos during Marc Benioff’s keynotes at Dreamforce, but Dan is now the VP of Productivity at Salesforce. His talk was called Igniting a Culture of Change. It’s something that we’ve talked a lot about here on Admin Hero.

Dan’s delivery style is based on storytelling. He told the story of his career at Salesforce and how he went from “failing” his first interview to becoming the VP of Productivity; inciting change all along the way. It was inspiring and funny. Here are Dan’s top 5 tips for inciting change in your organization (and your world).

The theme of change continued throughout the day with multiple presentations. The first session of the day was a panel, and the topic was organizational change. It was inspiring to hear how others have successfully created change in their companies. It reminded me that I wasn’t the only one facing this and that there are a lot of success stories out there.

Unicorns, Rainbows, and Epicness

Later in the afternoon, I presented all-new material with Melissa VanDyke. The talk is called It’s About People: Transforming Your Organization With(out) Salesforce. The focus was on leveraging behavioral change tactics, rooted in psychology, to create awesome users care about Salesforce and want to contribute, thus creating change. This presentation was a blast! The room laughed the whole time as we watched Melissa transform from a basic end user to an awesome super user who can do rad shit thanks to the Salesforce Admin Hero who helps her be successful. The PowerPoint presentation can be found below. Be sure to download it to get access to the full script. Here are some tweets from those in attendance.

Unfortunately, we won’t be presenting this session at Dreamforce, but stay tuned as this will surely be coming to a user group and webinar session near you! Until then, feel free to take a look at the slides below.

Wrapping Up the Day

To end the day, we heard a great talk by Peter Coffee. This guy is a genius. I am always excited to hear what he has to say. His insights are phenomenal, and I am determined that he is one of the main reasons that Salesforce continues to innovate.

After the event closes, a group of us hung out at the Beer Garden on Navy Peer and enjoyed great conversation and a beer or two. We then headed to one of the best (if not THE best) Chicago pizza places. The one and a half-our wait was well worth it.


What I Learned

This was such a great tip. I learned that you shouldn’t be afraid to innovate. Our role, YOUR role as Salesforce Administrator, is super important – perhaps more than you realize. It’s time to wake the sleeping giant that is your inner passion and create change. I’ve talked about this in some posts on Admin Hero and I still firmly believe that it’s the single most important thing you can do for yourself and your organization.

If you are attending Dreamforce this year, you need to come with an open mind. If you are intimidated by the thought of being a change leader in your organization, take the time to prepare. It’s inexcusable to be unwilling to try. I think that Dreamforce will inspire you if you aren’t already convinced.

During my time in Chicago, I was reminded why I love the Salesforce community! The fact that this was a community-lead event and it was so well attended blows my mind. The second point in Dan Darcy’s slide above is to keep your saw sharp. Get involved in the community with like-minded people to keep your mind sharp and keep your skills up-to-date. User groups along with blogs, podcasts, and other resources are great for doing this.

Also, if you have the chance to stay at a Virgin hotel, do it! My stay was amazing.

If you attended Midwest Dreamin’ 2015, what did you learn? Leave a comment below!

9 thoughts on “ Unicorns, Rainbows, Epicness and Midwest Dreamin’ 2015 ”

  1. is the Midwest Dreamin’ 2015 always in Chicago and is it a yearly event? I moving to Chicago and it would be great to attend this event in the future.


    1. This was the second annual event and I am sure it will continue next year. It’s been in Chicago both years and I would imagine that it will be there again next year. Stay tuned for more details! You can follow them on twitter @Midwest_Dreamin


  2. I thought this conference was great. My 2 favorite sessions:

    Configuration In Disguise– A great refresher on Custom Labels, Custom Settings and Field sets, architectural principles I knew about, but I need to make sure I keep using to better build scalable things

    How to create balanced sales territories through multi-dimensional modeling and a maniacal pursuit of data quality and enrichment– This was great: the guy who presented works for a large company that spent ~$400K on getting their data and territories right. While we won’t have that budget, I got some good takeaways, for example they recommended creating a custom object called “Account Family” (or similar) for grouping entities, I plan to play with that concept


  3. Great recap! I am sorry to have missed your session, but I look forward to the web presentation! Hopefully I can get back in at the Virgin Hotel again next year 🙂


  4. Brent this is a great write-up thanks so much for documenting the day! What a fabulous event — and you really did a great job with the material for the unicorn presentation. So much fun and so much information to be absorbed and SO MANY AWESOME PEOPLE!!!!


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