We officially open the Dreamforce 2019 Call For Presentations today for both the Admin and Developer tracks. Get your grade-A material organized and submitted to us so that you can share your knowledge, insights and experience of being a builder, developer or architect on developing with Salesforce.
New year, new app!
Every year we work hard to improve the submission and selection process for presentations at Dreamforce. This year we feel we took one giant leap forward — we worked hard with our internal team to build a completely native Salesforce app that incorporated much of the feedback previous Dreamforce speakers gave us. From submitting a session to the management of the session, our internal team will manage everything in one Salesforce app.
One of the main pieces of feedback we have received over the years is better transparency into your submissions and the current status of them. This year, we are giving you a submission dashboard. The whole process gets started by you entering your email address on the submission page. From there we email you a unique link to your very own dashboard so you can track which ideas you have submitted as well as see the status of those ideas in real time. You can enter drafts and work on them during the CFP process. Just don’t forget to submit your very best before the CFP closes!
Next, you wanted the ability to add more than yourself as a speaker and have them be notified. We wanted this ability as well so that we get a complete picture of who is presenting during our evaluation process. So in this new app, you can add up to two additional speakers and they get emails about the submission as well. We are also being cognizant that your time is precious and want to make sure that you and your additional speakers are not over-allocated at Dreamforce. So we put a limit on the number of submissions per speaker at five total. This means that if you are marked as a speaker or additional speaker, you can not be a part of more than five submissions. This helps all of us focus on the best five submissions per speaker and helps you have a great experience as a Dreamforce speaker, should you be selected.
We realize this might change the strategy of some people who have traditionally submitted over five submissions. However, when a single presenter submits a large number of sessions, it becomes difficult for us to know which of those submissions are the real priority for the speaker. If I’m being honest, a large number of submissions may actually hinder being accepted — not increase it. So this limit allows us to know that speakers are only submitting content they truly care about.
Finally, we know you needed us to be in touch more. So now anytime you do something in the app — from creating and submitting a draft to adding a speaker — you will receive an email. In the spirit of over-communicating, we want you to know that we received the changes you made.
The Dreamforce Developer Track Call For Presentations will remain open until August 16, 2019
Our aim is to have all acceptances out by September 19, 2019. New to speaking in front of an audience? First time at Dreamforce? Never fear — as long as you are passionate and knowledgeable, you’ll be fine! We love first-time speakers and provide a great deal of support as you get ready for the Dreamforce stage, including a Public Speaking Skills module on Trailhead.
Breakout sessions will be in 40-minute blocks. We recommend you plan 30-35 minutes for your presentation, leaving the last 5-10 minutes for questions and discussion.
Theater sessions will be in 20-minute blocks. This format means there isn’t availability for a question and discussion time, however, speakers can meet with audience members on the show floor after their presentation.
What’s the difference between a breakout session and a theater session?
Breakout sessions are held in dedicated session rooms with seats. Breakout sessions allow you, the speaker, to dive deeper into a topic because you have more time to cover it. The format also allows audience members to engage with the speaker and ask questions. Breakout sessions can be scheduled throughout the Dreamforce campus, however, we do our best to keep Salesforce Developer sessions in the same location.
Theater sessions are held in a theater stage within the main show floor itself. Dreamforce attendees are free to walk up and listen to your session or take a seat in the audience. Theater sessions are shorter in length, 20 minutes, and often center around topics that are easy for attendees to engage in. A strong format is to have actionable items for people to learn in a short time period.
Carefully consider which format your session should be. It is part of our determination in selection. We ask ourselves not only if this is good material but if it can properly fit in the format of the submission. We rarely try to change the format of a submission.
What makes a good proposal?
First, let’s start with the Session Title. It should be something that will be of interest to your audience (consider role and level), and you should word it in a way that makes it very clear to those attendees what you’ll be covering (and no more than 80 characters, which is a hard limit for our event titles). Remember there are many content options at Dreamforce, so you’ll want your topic to be very clear.
The Session Abstract field is where you’ll write a short paragraph (in no more than 2000 characters) to quickly tell us what you’re going to talk about. Be creative! Don’t just explain your slide deck, but share your ideas for interacting with the audience: What are you going to build/demo? What discussion will you lead? What will your audience be able to take home with them and show to their companies? Remember this will eventually be published in the Guide and will be the public-facing view of what your talk is about. It should be compelling and clearly communicate what attendees can expect to learn from your session.
If you have more than one topic you’d like to propose, please complete the submission process again for each topic. Of course, you can create and edit drafts during the CFP timeline, but you can only submit a maximum of five proposals that you are a speaker or additional speaker on.
Choosing your topics
When trying to determine what you have to say at Dreamforce, I offer the following advice:
- Speak on a topic you are passionate about. This could be about a specific feature, it could be about a solution that you loved, it could be something you know about advancing your career or being an ally that you feel strongly about. The first step in getting your audience to love listening to you is for you to love what you are talking about.
- Strongly consider the takeaways and lessons your audience will gain by listening to your talk. Their time is valuable and they will have chosen to spend some of their Dreamforce agenda with you. It is not enough that the presentation be interesting to you — you must ask what will be interesting to your audience. Be sure these things are highlighted in your abstract.
- Have you gained experience in new features or products that were only recently released? Often developers do not get the chance to be early adopters of technology on the platform and you may be in a position to give them a unique insight.
- Do you have a clever solution that might apply to a wide audience? Answer that carefully, because a solution you provided for a specific customer problem might not be generic enough to have mass appeal. Or you might have stumbled on an Apex class that if presented in 20 minutes to an audience may save them hours in development. And of course, ask yourself if this is a solution that is already known.
Need some inspiration? Check out videos from all of the sessions from 2018.
What to expect
Your session proposal will be reviewed by our core team and selections will be made to ensure we have the best mix of valuable content for Admins & Developers of all experience levels. You will hear from us by September 19, 2019 letting you know how to check your dashboard to see the status of your submission. If your session is accepted, you will be connected with a session owner to guide you through the preparation process that includes feedback on your content and practice sessions. You will also receive a speaker pass to attend Dreamforce 2019. If you’ve already registered to attend, you’ll get instructions on how to either refund that registration or transfer to a co-worker.