Little known fact: before I joined Salesforce, I was a commerce professional in the retail and consumer goods industry for several years. During my time, I attended many conferences, but Connections (formerly Demandware XChange) was always my favorite industry event of the year. It enabled me as an ecommerce leader to connect with like-minded professionals in the industry. After all, we were all searching for ways to run our businesses more efficiently, improve site performance and conversion, and learn from others in the space.
Now that I’m with Salesforce, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to plan Connections (June 17-19 in Chicago) and help commerce professionals get even more out of the event. We’ve listened to attendee feedback from last year’s event — you wanted more opportunities for networking, in-depth content, and workshops and learning for executives, business users and developers. This year, much of the commerce content is focused on actionable strategies, tactics, and networking activities, aimed at helping businesses grow.
Connections is a huge event — so from someone who’s been there, here are some tips to help you get the most out of the event.
Before you arrive, it’s smart to download the app. Within the app, you’ll find all of our sessions, which are tagged so you can search sessions by commerce, artificial intelligence, and other categories. Begin to bookmark interesting sessions and create a game plan prior to getting to the event. This year all sessions will be first-come, first serve, so it’s important to get to your session early. In my experience, hands-on workshops, networking events (like birds of a feather) fill up pretty quickly.
2. Grab the official Connections Trail Guide
When you arrive at registration, stop by the Customer Engagement Lodge to receive a trail guide to help you navigate McCormick Place. You’ll also get a special survival kit that will help you get through the show. And don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes — some people bring a different pair for each day.
3. Check out the Customer Success Expo
We’ll have a commerce-specific area that will have all of the latest demos and product announcements. And at our Ask the Experts Bar, you’ll be able to have 1-1 conversations with product experts and customer success managers that can help solve your unique challenges.
4. Don’t miss the Commerce Cloud Keynote!
You’ll get more insights from customers such as Party City and Land O’Lakes on how they deliver premium experiences to their customers.
Once you get situated at the event, there are a ton of great commerce-focused sessions. I’m particularly excited about the session Improve Average Order Value with B2C Commerce, featuring Roots Canada — which focuses on quick fixes and strategic changes to increase AOV. And there’s also How Puma Mastered Mobile UX with B2C Commerce, which will outline best practices and tips so brands can maximize every page view. Plus, holiday readiness is always top of mind, so I recommend All Wrapped Up: Must Do’s to Make Holiday 2019 Your Best Season Ever. Once you’re fully saturated with learning, join us for the Connections Party 7:00 p.m.–10:30 p.m. featuring Gwen Stefani. It’s going to be bananas!
And it’s absolutely true: the most important part of Connections is you. There are more opportunities than ever for commerce professionals to network and meet like-minded leaders in the industry — to share struggles, innovative solutions, and best practices.
If you haven’t registered for Connections yet, what’s stopping you? And if you are, we look forward to seeing you there!