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How to Convince Your Boss to Send You to Dreamforce

How to Convince Your Boss to Send You to Dreamforce

Dreamforce is the annual gathering of the Trailblazers who make up the Salesforce ecosystem. It’s where people learn, get inspired, give back and have fun.

When people say “You never know until you ask,” it’s often because they’re not expecting a positive response.

This could include customers who ask for a discount on a coveted item, or a marketing team member who needs an extension on the deadline for an important campaign-related task.

Employees could be equally doubtful that their boss will say yes to another kind of request – that they be given the go-ahead to attend an event like Dreamforce 2022.

Returning to its home base in San Francisco and marking its 20th anniversary this November, Dreamforce is the annual gathering of the Trailblazers who make up the Salesforce ecosystem. It’s where people come to learn, get inspired, give back, and have fun over the course of several action-packed days. There are tens of thousands of past attendees who could probably speak to the value they got from being there.

Dreamforce is also available via the streaming service Salesforce+, where you can access many live and on-demand sessions.

Of course, having staff attend any kind of industry event raises an opportunity cost that senior business leaders need to consider.

The time spent watching keynote speeches or participating in breakout sessions is time they’re not actively marketing, selling, providing customer service or managing IT. There may be expenses to reimburse. And right now, many businesses are working overtime to get ahead of economic turbulence and other challenges.

Business leaders are also well aware, however, that an event like Dreamforce can also offer considerable opportunities – both for the team member attending, as well as the organization as a whole.

In a way, it’s not unlike asking about developing and launching a new product, expanding into a new market or changing a traditional process to improve performance. Leaders simply need to know that, when you ask about attending Dreamforce, that you have a plan that encapsulates the value and shows how you’ll ensure it’s worth the investment of time and money.

Think about making the ask by framing it through a couple of different prisms – areas that outline what Dreamforce could bring in terms of:

1. Inspiration To Transform The Customer Experience.

Like their peers elsewhere, almost every Canadian company is under the gun to boost or at least sustain revenues as inflation and supply chain issues complicate consumer spending. That won’t happen unless they can reduce customer churn and create the kind of relationships that drive a greater share of business. Customers don’t simply need to be satisfied – they need to become loyal fans.

Dreamforce has been focused on reorienting business around the customer from its inception. This year will include expert insight into emerging and future technologies to automate manual or onerous processes to personalize and enhance customer experiences across every industry.

As the agenda takes shape, choose two or three sessions that you could show your boss that could potentially fuel your customer experience strategy in 2023 and beyond.

2. Learning That Strengthens The Employee Experience

For most of its two-decade-and-counting run, the content at Dreamforce reflected a world where most people worked in the same office every day. Now, more companies than ever are exploring what a hybrid model could look like, and how they can empower their team to work successfully from anywhere.

This is just one of the hot topics around the future of work, and the discussion is critically important as companies in Canada and around the world grapple with the so-called ‘Great Resignation.’ Just as companies can’t exist without their customers, employee retention can make the difference between surviving or thriving.

The Dreamforce agenda will have plenty of sessions about strengthening the employee experience too, but don’t stop there. Talk to your boss about the other Canadian and international perspectives you could get from other attendees about their approaches to operating a digital HQ and empowering employees.

This could happen during the breaks or even amid some of the many social events that will happen throughout Dreamforce. Check your professional network on LinkedIn and tentatively set a few of these conversations up as you ask for the go-ahead to register.

3. Direction That Leads To Data-First Digital Transformation

Canadians can predictably count on annual milestones like hockey season, but knowing what’s ahead for a particular business is much harder. It requires achieving the kind of agility that allows you to properly analyze existing conditions and begin to forecast future outcomes.

Think of Dreamforce as the place that connects digital transformation and strategic use of data to set businesses on the path to growth. Highlight the speakers and workshop leaders that you can hear from to get actionable advice on how to make use of analytics, artificial intelligence, and platforms like Customer 360 that provide a single source of truth to unite your team.

Commit to coming back from Dreamforce with at least one significant idea for a pilot project you can lead that boosts productivity, collaboration or efficiencies in a critical business area.

The Post-Registration Moment

Instead of positioning your attendance at Dreamforce as an “if,” focus your conversation with your boss on the “when.” In other words, talk about what will happen once you’ve registered – from the experts, vendors and customers you plan to meet to the learnings you’ll bring back.

Don’t forget that Dreamforce also has a long history of helping individuals and companies to make a positive difference to society in areas like sustainability. If your company is trying to figure out how to better align its values with those of your customers, this is a conference where you could help your boss demonstrate how business can be the biggest platform for change.

Your boss will probably realize that saying “Yes” to having you attend Dreamforce isn’t an expense or a perk. It’s an avenue that you can use to help your business achieve some of its most ambitious and important goals.

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