Should I Attend the Salesforce Higher Ed Summit?

As I write this post, the largest tech conference in the country is wrapping up Day 1 in San Fransisco, the home of Salesforce.com HQ and Dreamforce. Dreamforce is hosted annually by Salesforce and attracts current and prospective clients, app partners in the Salesforce ecosystem across all industries, together for an event-packed 4 day whirlwind. Personally, I haven’t had the honor of attending but hope Smith can make it out West to represent us in the future. 

Higher Ed represents a large percentage of Dreamforce attendees, and features over 50 sessions dedicated to our industry. We are growing quickly as an industry client of Salesforce, and they are noticing our growing demands 🙂 You can read more about our presence at last year’s Dreamforce online here

Since Dreamforce is for everyone (meaning THOUSANDS of people from all industries), Salesforce dedicates an annual conference to their many Higher Ed clients, called the Higher Ed Summit. Last year’s summit in Austin, Texas (hosted by the University of Texas System) was the 5th annual gathering of our collective bunch, and I couldn’t help but notice how much it has grown year over year in terms of both sessions and participants! I like to call it…. mini Dreamforce for Higher Ed.

If you’re wondering if you should attend this year’s Higher Ed Summit, my answer is likely an enthusiastic YES, but here are some real reasons why I think you should:

  1. With Georgetown University as the co-sponsor/host this year, it’s in our neck of the woods for the first time! This event will be hosted at the Gaylord Hotel & Conference Center in National Harbor in Washington, D.C. 
  2. It’s affordable. Given it’s great location this year, you can definitely save on a flight and possibly even hotel fees if you live close enough to make the commute. Since there are lots of events (volunteer activities, dinners, happy hours etc) hosted in the evenings, I would speak with your supervisor about including hotel accommodations in your budget for the event since it will be 3 jam packed days! 
  3. Early bird registration is going on now, with tickets for Higher Ed only costing $250 (tickets include light breakfast, snacks, and lunch on full conference days).
  4. You have plenty of time to make room on your busy schedule to attend, with these Spring conference dates: March 21-23, 2018. I should note that University of Maryland is observing Spring Break earlier that same week (March 19-20), so if you’re not planning on being out of town the entire week you can at least enjoy an entire week away from your desk 🙂 
  5. You will learn. If you’re a Salesforce user at any level here at Smith, you will learn from our peers (also known as our competition) on how to leverage Salesforce to meet our industry’s unique challenges. I have been an avid Salesforce user for 5+ years and learn new things every year! For beginners, it’s a great introduction to how transformational the platform can be for you and your team. 
  6. You will help us compete.  Are you in admissions? Find out what industry peers are doing to combat declining admissions trends with Salesforce and partner apps. 
  7. You will be inspired. It is my hope that inspiration translates into a thirst for continued knowledge and ideas on how we can continue to make Salesforce even more successful here at Smith.
  8. Free stuff! You will get a lot of cool swag, delicious free food, and make new friends.

Were those 8 great reasons not enough to convince you? See why Salesforce wants you attend by checking out their website and registering online soon! Don’t wait too long, since I expect this year to sell out fast. 

I encourage you to chat with your supervisor about joining the 6th Annual Higher Ed Summit, and never hesitate to reach out to your Salesforce team with any questions or concerns! 

-Your Salesforce Admin

 

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