Five things to love about #CNX18

If you attended Dreamforce last year and paid attention you probably saw some announcements being made about Connections 2018 which later became even more real when Salesforce announced it in their blog back in March.

If you attended Connections back in the good old ExactTarget days you probably thought that it was just going to be another glorified Salesforce World Tour.

Well, you were wrong, and… you should’ve have attended.

This year Salesforce brought back the Connections flavor but with a pinch of Dreamforce on top.

Here are some of my favorite things about spending 3 great days in the windy city:

1. Empowerment

The main theme and focus that Salesforce had for a long time: Empowerment.

  • Empowerment to women by continuously pushing for equality;  featuring Keynotes with Lucy Liu, Kerry Washington and Kristin Bond.
  • Empowerment to the many Trailblazers out there that provided their expertise in more than 500 sessions in three days.
  • Empowerment to Kids with the awesome performance of Little Kids Rock after day 2 Keynote.

And Empowerment to the Marketers and Problem solvers out there by opening their platform more and more through the Trailhead platform.

2. Space

I’ve heard some people not liking McCormick Place much but I thought it was great. The place is spacious and the fact that there’s not a lot of parking place available and not so much traffic makes it less chaotic to walk around or go out for some fresh air.

3. Attendance

Compared to the 171,000 people registered for Dreamforce last year, the 10,000 that registered for Connections this year seems very low but I think it was a great thing. Fewer people made it easier to spend time at the different partners’ booths or talking with the product experts in the Success Expo. Something that you can’t do very often while at Dreamforce. It was also very easy to coordinate meetings with people inside McCormick Place since everyone was a bit easier to find.

4. Sessions

If you were skeptical about Connections not really being about Salesforce Marketing Cloud anymore, take a look at the chart below that I put together pulling data from the 554 sessions that were provided during the event. So yeah, Connections was very focused on Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Sessions related to Salesforce Products

Note: This chart was not produced by Einstein.

5. Announcements

One of my favorite things I liked about this event was that the announcements and acquisitions were not the main protagonists but they sound very exciting, some of which include:

6. Bonus Track, The Killers

The Concert held at Wintrust Arena did not disappoint. I haven’t heard The Killers in years but man they sound good.

Are we human or are we dancers?

Just a few things to improve

This Connections was nearly perfect but I did hear from people that there were a couple things that can be improved in the future:

  1. Allow people to reserve a spot for a Session similar to what’s done at Dreamforce and make 2 lines for people who reserved and didn’t reserve a spot. This would have been nice for the 600 people that waited outside to hear our sessions on Tuesday!
  2. More private or quiet common areas for non-sponsors to meet.

See you at Connections 2019

This new edition of what used to be the Marketing Event of the year brought that essence back and I have a feeling that Salesforce will continue to do so in 2019, so save the date for Connections 2019 and I hope to see you there this time!

Pato Sapir

Co-founder & Solutions Consultant