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Salesforce Leader Camp 2021:  Trailblazer Community Hybrid Events Leadership PanelJennifer Schneider, Jose Mora, Guarav Kheterpal, Yosra Saidani and Salesforce MVP Tigh Loughhead

This wednesday I joined four other awesome Community Group Leaders as part of Salesforce Leader Camp, a two day online event for the heads of Trailblazer Community Groups across the world. 


Here are my notes to a couple questions: 

Tell us about your favorite hybrid event, what made it successful and the impact made?   


Find a need that spans community interest. Perhaps the most impactful event we did with the New York City Admin Group was not strictly focused on Pardot or really any particular Sales Cloud vertical, and that was a Salesforce Careers event we did.  One of the most challenging things about everyone’s professional journey is how to independently evaluate the dollars and cents amount your job should be worth to your company, and if not your job right now, your growing Salesforce skill set. 


We hear a lot about all of the jobs that the Salesforce Ecosystem is creating, but actually putting a price tag on your potential career is something that employers have every reason to try to hide or obfuscate, so we brought a SFDC recruiting firm to actually give price-ranges for Salesforce specific roles, from basic Admins, to Architects to Pardot Marketing Operations and even consultants. The NYC community always does begins each meeting asking people looking for a job to introduce themselves, and then employers looking for a role to do the same, which I think is a great icebreaker and community building exercise, but also gives a practical value for the entire community as well.  And I think a deep dive and very frank conversation around salaries and compensation is something that spans professional verticals and appeals to everyone, because it’s information you would probably never see otherwise. 


ADVANTAGES

The biggest advantages of an event in general are relationship you build, and I think this is only magnified if you go outside of your comfort zone and meet people with entirely different skill sets and professional experiences than you.  


Case and point, I’m not a developer, but I always tried to make it out to the NYC developer groups, as I can’t code, but even hearing people trying learn or explain new tools and new features not only made me a little bit more knowledgeable in a layman’s sense about coding for the platform, but I’ve met a bunch of awesome people through that community like Bill Martinez, Carlos Frias or Mathew Poe who have connected me with other people and other opportunities within the ecosystem that have been incredibly beneficial for my career, and choosing a path that really makes me happy as an individual, not just as a community member or leader.



Tips to grow base. 

This is maybe easier for me as a marketer, and even a martech infrastructure person, but you need to develop a broad and replicable business process for engaging and interacting with your prospective user base, and don’t just expect members to flock to TrailblazerCommunityGroups.com to find your group.  


I’m probably guilty of not keeping this up as much as possible, but think about all of the channels of communication.  Do you have a group twitter, do you have a linkedin group a facebook page, any other social media profiles? Then how are you as an individual maximizing the reach of your messaging? Are you creating awesome content or engaging with other influencers particularly relevant to the target audience you’re hoping to attract. 


In the NYC community we’ve been really lucky to cross-promote.  We’ve had a NYC CGL Slack community from before the CGL Slack was shut down and restarted again, and from the in-person event days, we always announced upcoming events in our local area, and it’s great way to widen the pool of potential interest. 


Lastly, the quality of your event content is essential.  I’ve seen sort of a hierarchy of quality of content based on who’s doing the presenting and the best content comes from customers solving real life challenges.  Next are Salesforce product or product roadmap events- They’re great, but always tinged with sales and safe harbor statements, and not as useful as someone practically using the platform. Lastly, sometimes vendor + partner presentations can be really valuable, but that’s not the general norm, as it’s typically just a sales pitch.   We try to space out Partner demos to once every 3 or four meetings. 


You are almost responsible for a brand, and if you want to grow it, you need to cultivate the community. 


Drawing Inspiration: 


I’m in a little of two minds about this through the pandemic, but join as many other groups in your vertical as you possibly can. See what content and incentives for engagement other CGLs are using.  Reach out to us and ask for help.  I’ve helped a couple new leaders get groups off of the ground and it’s not only been rewarding, I’ve picked up some new ideas and tricks on the way. 


Now I think the CGL community is pretty rife with Zoom fatigue these days- and it’s not exactly a local community group if it’s just a bunch of UGLs each month, but at the same time I think many communities are in dire need of some inspiration, and I think other groups can be a great place to find ideas in addition to the content library. 



We’re all in this together! Don’t be afraid to lean on others in the community for inspiration and support- We all have Zoom fatigue- especially this year- the salesforce community rewards involvement-


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