Lightning, Flow, and Snow: My TahoeDreamin’ 2017 Recap

Lightning, Flow, and Snow: My TahoeDreamin’ 2017 Recap

I attended TahoeDreamin 2017  and had a delightful time.   I have been to Dreamforce 3x and last year attended MidWest Dreamin’.  Both of which were wonderful for their own reasons, however there is something magical about TahoeDreamin’ that I LOVE.  It is more intimate, more secluded and yet just as educational as other events.  I am again amazed at the knowledge and the friendships that I come away with at a short, yet focused event.

Tahoe Dreamin'


Travel day – I didn’t get to Tahoe in the time I wanted to, but I did make it in time to attend the #WIT (Women In Tech) hosted Happy Hour.   It was great – I got a chance to meet up with some of my friends from last year, including Melinda Smith, Shonnah Hughes, Angela Mahoney,  and got to make some new friends, including Meighan Brodkey, Guillermo Pedron, and others.



Friday was the learning day of TahoeDreamin.   Here is a high level recap of sessions I attended:

8am: How to set User Expectations in Salesforce to increase User Adoption w/ Lyndsay Neer
1) Being a Salesforce Admin is more than just being an “Order Taker.” You are a leader and help improve the business process and business outcome.
2) Soft skills are just as, if not more important than, technical skills.  Lyndsay spends 80% of her training time on soft skills – communicating, managing and working with clients.
3) Salesforce Adoption is not a straight line.  It can meander and curve and sometimes adoption goes down – keep working with users to improve and update your org.  Adoption is an ever-moving thing.


9:00am: Keynote with Sarah Franklin and guests, including Leah McGowen-Hare, James Harrison, and Wade Wegner
1) Sarah Franklin spoke about her career path and how she made changes in her life.  Change can be hard, but we should not let Fear take over your life choices.
2) We can/should/will help others.  We can “be the change” that others need.
3) Spring 17 has a LOT of updates, features and functionality that will wow you.  Paths, Streams, Flows, Utility Bars.  I like what Leah McGowen-Hare showed about the changes to Lightning and “bringing the power to the users”.  It will make users’ experience more relevant by exposing the right data in the right context.


11am: How Trailhead manages Identities with Samantha Ready and Doug Bitting
1) Security and Authentication is difficult.  Matching the right person to the right account with the expected outcome takes consideration. (I like how Doug said there is a reason why we have two buttons on the Trailhead page – LOGIN and  SIGN UP)
2) Trailhead team uses Salesforce Authentication Services, Heroku, and other Salesforce tools to deliver Trailhead.
3) Sometimes I attend sessions that are way over my head, just because I am a huge fan of the presenters.


1:30pm: Take Action (fast) With Lightning with Christian Carter
1) Christian Carter!  Open invitation to Christian Carter to come to Minnesota and speak to our users here..  Then help me plan out my Lightning migration?!?
2) Moving to Lightning offers the admin a chance to freshen not only the look and feel of the interface, but a chance to rethink the business processes that users need when working in Salesforce.  More than just putting the right fields in the right order, its “what data” and “where” in the application do they want/need it.
3) I need to spend more time learning Lightning and trying different use cases.  There is so much you can already do that it’s going to take a while to play around.


2:40pm: Lightning Myths with Gillian Bruce
1) Don’t be afraid of Lightning.  Start to use Lightning in your sandbox to try new things.
2) You can “upgrade” Classic apps to Lightning fairly easily.  (a little too easy, huh?)
3) Flows in Lighning Console.  This looks really interesting and I will post more about this after I play with it.


4pm: Online Forms for Websites and Email Messages Using Flow with Bonny Hinners
1) There are many ways of getting information from a web form into Salesforce, from Web-to-case, 3rd party apps, rest services, etc.   You can also do this using sites and visual workflow.
2) There is a AppExchange App from Salesforce Labs that is the Visual Workflow Getting Started Pack.  It may provide some ideas for new users to flow.
3) It is time for me to start playing with flow some more and see what scenarios I can come up with to help my org.


What I appreciated about these sessions was that the “Q&A” was real Q&A with real-life scenarios.  This was something that you don’t always get at Dreamforce, because it is so fast-paced.   I was able to ask specific questions about a product or business process directly with the expert and afterwards people came up to me and started talking to me about the question.   Other admins, consultants, software vendors, and MVPs were accessible for lively discussion over a topic that has been been a personal challenge.  This was a great time for inspiration and ideas.

Some of the other great discussions I had were in the hallways outside the sessions, including individual talks with Tim Lockie, Tracy Kronzack, Daniel Stange, Justice, Monica, Nickki Gibeaut, and Jen Lee 


The *plan* was to get early breakfast and go Snowmobiling.  However due to impending weather conditions, I decided to change my plans.

Instead I spent the morning with Monica.  This was an awesome turn of events, because we got to talk about all sorts of things.  I am grateful that we got this time just to relax, have breakfast, walk around Tahoe and shop a little.

We decided on heading to Reno that afternoon and spending time with some other great Salesforce Admins.  We had a great dinner and all discussed life in the Salesforce ecosystem and life as people in this world.  It was amazing.   I am once again reminded what a blessing I have right now to be surrounded by not only smart people, but honest, caring and fun people.  Thank you to my friends in Reno: MonicaMelinda, ShonnahNickkiKristi, and Mark.   


Sunday is travel day – and this was a hard one.  My plane sat on the tarmac at both Reno and Phoenix for over an hour total.  I missed my flight home from Phoenix, however while I was there I found the greatest tweets.  The Phoenix WIT group was doing an impromptu lunch with Kristi Guzman, and not only did they invite me to come, I got a call on my cell phone to ask if I wanted a ride.   (I didn’t get to go due to logistics, however it cemented in my mind what an AWESOME set of individuals that are part of this #ohana. )


If it weren’t for Twitter, I might have gone a little crazy.   I did let American Airlines know (via Twitter and in person) that I was not a happy person.

While stuck waiting for my flight, I did get to work on my 2017 Goal List, which now includes a couple new things.  Here is my list in all it’s glory:

Work projects:
- Marketing Automation
- Telemarketing integration (?)
- Service Console
- Lightning Experience migration for certain users
- integration of new departments
- Visual WorkFlow project / Flow for Lightning Users 
- Volunteers 4 Salesforce (?)
- X-Author

Community projects: 
- March 17, 2017: #AutomationHour presentation (Basic Automation 101) 
     - sign up as this link:
- Adopting a local school (making progress on this journey)
- Serving for a Trailhead4All event
- Serving for a Junior Achievement event
- Working with Trailblazers on new ways of reaching others through education
- Serving for a Girl Develop It (or equivalent event) 
- Volunteer for local Salesforce User Group events
- Volunteer for youth baseball in early summer

- Marketing email
- Marketing social
- Marketing consultant
- Community consultant
- Pardot specialist
- IIBA certification (CBAP or equivalent)

- (re)establish workout routine 
- obtain a more healthy weight while continuing to enjoy my life
- start remodel of basement/bathroom/garage (long term goals)
- build *something* with power tools obtained as gifts from family
- institute an "organization plan" for all my stuff. Need to break that habit!

- Midwest Dreamin' (Aug 10-11)
- WITness Success (Aug 11-13) 
- Extended Family trip to Germany this summer (September)
- NYC Salesforce World Tour (Dec 2017) 


Conference Takeaways


  1. Lightning – Salesforce Spring 17 will enhance and improve the lightning experience.  It will be worth your time to start looking at lightning and learning the new ways of customizing it. (Get out of your “Classic” brain into something different)
  2. Flow!  Visual Workflow is getting some enhancement with Lightning.  The ability to run flows as a new tool in lightning utility bar is intriguing and could offer more functionality and automation for users.
  3. Ohana – Peers who not only respect and share with each other, but care for your  professional challenges and success. I am amazed by the quality of the relationships between customers, partners and consultants.
  4. Enjoy yourself.  Wow that was fun and amazing and it is nice to just be in the moment and appreciate it.
  5. Set Goals.  Learn about new ways to use Salesforce and set a goal to try them on your own after the dust has settled from the event.



You can of course find all my pictures at my Flickr site – here:  I will try to remember to add more as I find them!

Thanks and Enjoy!

Stuart Edeal