Events and the Golden Hoodie

Golden Hoodie

June 2022, I think this month will stick in my memory for a long time to come. It has been a fun and ‘event’ful one! The pandemic has not ended, but life, before it started, has slowly begun to come alive again. 

Instead of meeting people remotely, you can see them face to face once more! And for many people (including myself), this has been quite the relief.

Connections '22

Going back to events, for me, started with a blast! Back to Chicago and Connections. This event was coincidentally my first Salesforce event ever in 2019!

I was thrilled to be going again, this time not just as a visitor but as a speaker! With a lot of help (and pushing) from Amalia, we got a spot on multiple stages! I was thrilled to get this opportunity to tell my story and have colleagues present one of our customer cases.

But boy, did Connections have more in store for me than I could have anticipated! I was already amazed that I could be in the keynote, but there was a bigger surprise in store for me.

Is it a technical conference?

The short answer is no. You will mainly be able to see roadmap and customer cases presented here. But if you look around carefully, you will find sessions that have some technical learnings in there!

If you want a Salesforce conference with more technical workshops and presentations, TrailblazerDX is the event to go to!

Receiving a "Golden Hoodie"

Contradictory to what people may think, I was not told beforehand!

Although I should have picked up on a few signs, such as Sasha Taylor helping me prep for the event.

She has “keeper of the Goldies” in her Twitter description… That might have been a give-away, right?

Well, I didn’t pick up on it in the slightest. But it will be a moment I will never forget, you can be sure about that!

And since then, I have gotten the question quite often, “what do you have to do to get a Golden Hoodie?”

There is no answer to that question; the Golden Hoodie is recognition for contributions to the community, partners, and customers of Salesforce. There might be a list of prerequisites somewhere, but I do not know what the list is.

It represents giving back and a willingness to help others grow in and outside of Salesforce. That is really all I can say about it.

An end to (fully) remote events

For me, Connections rang a bell to the end of virtual-only events. It was time again to go out in the world to meet people face to face again.

And it was a success! I have met many people (finally) in person that I had been slacking, video conferencing… with for the past two years.

This has been quite the relief for me since virtual and in-person are still very different things.

For COVID though, it was probably a playground. And I am guessing many people went home with unwanted presents. I was luckily spared, but I got a few messages from people that I might want to be a bit more careful as they were not as lucky. Wearing masks and using hand sanitizer all the time seems to be a thing of the past.

People who could not join the event in person have to use Salesforce+ to watch some recorded sessions, but unfortunately, not all of them are available. At least you can’t catch COVID from that, right?

Salesforce Live Belgium

Being the first-ever Belgian Golden Hoodie recipient sure puts your picture as one giant slide at local Salesforce events!

I am sooooo not used to this much attention!

Barely getting time to recover from my jetlag from Connections, I went to Salesforce Live Belgium to reconnect in person with existing and (possibly) new customers!

Besides meeting known faces, I also had the opportunity to meet people from the Belgian and European Salesforce team at this wonderful event.

Summing it up: I had a great time, but wearing the Golden Hoodie during summer at events really makes you sweat!

(And for people wondering, this is not a technical event.)

YeurDreamin' - Headless

The year 2022 is also when I decided to become more involved in the local (and European) community events. The first (and the closest) that caught my attention was YeurDreamin’, a Community Conference focusing on the Benelux.

As with most Salesforce events, I saw a lack of Commerce Cloud-related talks, so I immediately decided to try to go as a speaker.

I submitted two possible topics:

  • Headless
  • Multi-Cloud Projects (With Commerce at the center, no worries 😀)

I was happy to get the message that one submission was accepted a month later: Multi-Cloud! And because one speaker could not make it, I was also allowed to talk about Headless.

An event of connecting and learning

Looking back at my first experience at a Community-led Conference, I can honestly say I am going to as many as possible!

I finally met many people I was following on Twitter and had wonderful conversations about our professional and personal lives.

These events are about connecting with your peers and learning from each other in a different setting. I would recommend anyone to try to attend them.

And for those who want to know how technical this conference is: very! There is content for many different roles being presented.

But as I mentioned, there are not many talks related to Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud. So maybe 2022 also rings the bell that we should be more involved, no?

Recordings

All sessions were recorded. As soon as I have them available, I will add them to this article!

What now?

Well, not much new. I am going to continue doing what I love doing at the pace of my choosing.

A few people asked if I would start doing more things now that I received the Golden Hoodie. But I want to do things my way and at my speed; I don’t think receiving this recognition (thank you for this, by the way) should mean that I need to up my game even more.

The only significant change this year is that the chances of us meeting face to face have grown significantly compared to the past two years (and before).

Be sure to follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn to see what Conferences I will be attending!

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