Please Let Me Cut in Line for These Five Sessions at CNX24


It has become my annual tradition to share with you the handful of sessions that I’m most excited to attend at Salesforce Connections in Chicago, but I am listing them this year with a touch of apprehension and a hint of animosity! After gifting last year’s desired Connections sessions with unabashed innocence, as well as last year’s Dreamforce sessions with a bubbly and positive Barbie energy, I’ve decided to make a directional shift within my internal winds. Reader, I was getting locked out of the very sessions I was most excited about attending! 


Now, I am not necessarily crediting or attributing my articles as contributing factors toward the increased attendance of certain sessions, buuuuut combing through the hundreds of sessions this year brought me some inner monologuing:  


“Yes, Salesforce is cool and hip, and maybe my interests align with other like-minded geniuses who professionally demand the latest and greatest information, so I can’t be that mad.” 


“Ooooh, what if I pick a session that I care the least about? No, no, no, that’s dumb.” 


“Wow, I like the look of that one. Yeah, I will definitely fight someone for that session.” 


“What day and time will I need to get in line to get a stuffed animal sloth this year? Might need to work that in my schedule …”  



Regardless of my inner turmoil, I will share my sessions with you today and continue to share my sessions with you in the future, my kind and intelligent and passionate Connections attendees. I have, however, outlined some disclaimers as part of this value exchange:     


1. If you see a bald, Midwestern-y man with a speckled beard (silver fox, or did some vanilla protein shake spill into his whiskers?) staring into the void and waiting in line for any of these sessions below, and you are ahead of said bald man in line, then just wave at me like we’re friends, gesture me over, and allow me to cut behind you. It’s the least you could do.


2. If you see a defeated bald man shut out of a session that matches the previously described profile, walking away from the closed session doors like a child who unsuccessfully ran down an ice cream truck escaping from a neighborhood, then please reach into your bag of free stuff and hand him a swag item that you grabbed more than one of. Preferably a stuffed animal sloth. 


3. I will not actually fight you for a session, but I am attending Connections this year with someone who knows capoeira, so if you see a bald man instructing a line of people to form a fight circle wide enough for rhythmic inverted kicks, watch out!  



Now that we’ve established the ground rules, let me share the five sessions I’m the most jazzed about!    



1. Marketing Keynote: Reimagine Personalization With Einstein 1 


Why we recommend it: I explained the reasons for attending a keynote last year in both my Connections and Dreamforce articles, but you’re going to want to capture this room’s energy in a bottle and save it for a rainy day. Additionally, I actually want to learn as much as possible about Einstein 1! The advertising copywriter in me isn’t a fan of the solution name (Einstein 1? Can you imagine movie franchises starting all first movies with a “1” at the end? Jaws 1? It 1?), but I cannot deny that I’ve been craving to see more tangible examples of this framework in action. We’re challenged daily in our client work to walk that fine line of accurate personalization that is more useful, timelier in a user’s buyer life cycle, and less creepy. Doing all that without tons of hours while also sounding human feels utopian, but it feels like we’re getting closer than ever before.    



2. Ingest, Harmonize, and Segment Data With Data Cloud 


Why we recommend it: So, here it is, folks: the first hands-on workshop with first come, first seated limitations. Please refer to my disclaimers before falling in love with this session. Hands-on workshops in general have been so informative over the years, and this year there are 18 to choose from at Connections. We all run the risk of attending a session that might be more fluff than informative, but workshops are worth arriving early and waiting in line for if you are seeking substance. Our team has been very active and involved in Data Cloud work for our clients, but I am excited to learn mapping data model objects and segmentation from Ram Elangovan (a principal instructor at Salesforce). I enjoyed the structure and learning style of Ram’s AMPscript workshops, so I imagine this one will be treated with the same level of care.   



3. Master a TestandLearn Strategy With AI Tools for Marketers 


Why we recommend it: Another limited seating workshop! Capoeira kicks be warned, but I couldn’t resist adding this session to my list. For anyone who has dabbled or is deep in the weeds of AI, you may have experienced a hefty ratio of recommendations that missed the mark instead of delivering perfection. As a rule of thumb, all AI content should be run through a human filter and revised anyway, but that’s under the assumption that you’re given something good to work with as a base. Ultimately, the reason youre engaging in AI tools is to save time, not add more time, so the thought of a test-and-learn approach that can prevent me from going down a timeconsuming rabbit hole while improving content accuracy sounds phenomenal to me.   



4. Create Connected Journeys for Your Small Business Customers 


Why we recommend it: Remember that friend of mine who knows capoeira? Well, he is also a literal Salesforce MVP and innovative, strategic genius. What I admire the most about sessions and webinars that involve Pato Sapir is that he elevates the quality of everything. That sounds corny, but even when we try to gate content or create a 101 skill-level event that is supposed to generate further conversation, Pato puts in the power and energy to make it a valuable use of your time and give a little extra. We’ve been fortunate to have Pato lead solo sessions at past conferences with great success, while also sharing the conference stage with clients to walk through custom projects that generate fresh approaches to maximize Salesforce tools. This session level is labeled as Intermediate, but I recommend any small business role and skill level to attend. It will be worth it!  



5. Key Insights From the State of Marketing, 9th Edition 


Why we recommend it: I have not had the chance to attend one of these sessions before, but they are offering a service that I feel my wife and I provide for my kids several times a day. You (adult) do all the work (meals, travel, cleaning, driving to events, laundry), and I’ll (kids) just sit here and benefit from it! These are excellent reports, so to be able to just sit and get the good parts sounds like a dream! 


ATTENDING CONNECTIONS? Build your session agenda today and meet up with Matt and the Devs United team!