There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
I still remember the early days of Kerala Salesforce Women-in-Tech User Group. There were a lot of challenges ahead of us. The two important ingredients that were lacking were – adoption and participation. Through this blog, I would like to shed some light on the steps that we embraced to elevate our Women-in-Tech User Group to the next level and how we transformed to a vibrant and diverse squad that is almost 40+ Members strong today in a year!
Our group is still like an embryo with a long way to go in the Salesforce multiverse. The feat that we have accomplished today wouldn’t have been a reality without the TREMENDOUS help and SUPPORT from the amazing Trailblazer Community Team and our group members.
Voice of the People
Ask and thou shall receive! One of the many first steps, that we considered was to ask the people. The awesome Trailblazer Community Team provides us with a rich toolset and all that we need to do is – use them! We used GetFeedback to create Surveys wherein we asked the folks to suggest about topics that they were interested in, time and date, choice of venue etc. This allows the Group Leader to perceive the common and unanimous interest and take the necessary steps. In the very initial days, we had to approach companies and offices in person to bring about the awareness. This might seem like a lot to do but at times these small extra efforts will always have a greater impact down the line – you will certainly reap what you sow. We even created a Common Chat Group where we could post necessary announcements and get instant feedback from the Community. This allowed us to stay as close as possible to the Community.
Venue Can be a Game Changer
Providing the right choices for the venue was no easy job! The Community always prefered to host the meetups on weekdays and during the evenings ie., after work. So choosing a venue that is easily accessible and economically feasible was very important. We chose venues that were closer to the offices so that Trailblazers could drop in easily right after the work without the hassles of traffic and long drives. We also ensured that travel facilities were provided to the folks who had to travel home after the meetup. This not only motivates more people but also makes them understand that we care for them too!
What’s fun without Activities
A meetup with lengthy long sessions could at times lead to boredom – this by no means is odd! So in order to tackle such situations, we introduced games like Community Bingo, online Quiz Games like – Kahoot and Mentimeter. These online quizzes could include questions based on Release Notes or you could even build them on the fly with the content from the Sessions. This has always been a very effective way to keep our audience engaged. Not to mention – the winners would also be lucky to get some Salesforce goodies too! We are also planning for round-table discussions and other mini coding events in our future Meetups to boost the level of engagement.
A Meetup with fine and classy speaker line-up is like – a job well begun is half done! We have been really fortunate to host some of the elite members from our Community that includes –
- Deepak K Anand (Salesforce MVP, India)
- Jennifer Shier (Senior Marketing Planning Analyst @ Palo Alto Networks, Salesforce MVP, Dreamforce Speaker, US)
- Mayank Srivastava (Principal Architect & Practice Lead @ eVerge, Salesforce MVP, US)
- Nitisha J. (Manager Developer Relations @ Salesforce.com, India)
- Rikke Hoovgard (Einstein Analytics Solution Architect @ Salesforce.com, UK)
- Sean Cuevo (Senior Member of Technical Staff @ Salesforce.org, US)
- Shashank Srivatsavaya (Head of APAC Developer Relations @ Salesforce.com, India)
- Sreejesh Nair (Lead Member of Technical Staff @ Salesforce.com, US)
One of the greatest benefits of inviting community leaders is that it gives an opportunity for the members to know the ecosystem and mingle with them. Not all of the developers and members would have an opportunity to travel and attended conferences and thus, this gives them the right platform to be aware and be known. Our elite guests who had visited us has not only inspired the people within our group but we have also noticed a rise in interest among the people within the group to come forward and speak.
Planning & Marketing the Right Way
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – We have always tried to make announcements well ahead of time, so that it gives ample time to the attendees to schedule their agenda accordingly. As already mentioned, we employ tools like GetFeedback and Salesforce Surveys (we are trying to be – everything Salesforce!) to get people’s opinion and this has proven to be a cornerstone of our little success. We use mediums like Twitter and LinkedIn to announce the up-coming Meetups and tweet the right number of times to keep the members updated. One of the many ways that we have imbibed is to use tools like Microsoft Powerpoint with Salesforce friendly Templates and Designs to create Banners and use the same while publishing on the Social Media.
Once again I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude and love to the MOST AMAZING TEAM – The Trailblazer Community Team!