Monday, July 3, 2017

Cynthia Saalfeld - Marin County Salesforce User Group

This blog is part of a blog series to highlight Salesforce Community Champion, from user group leaders, developer group leaders, and members from around the world #Ohana

Introducing the next Salesforce champion from Bay Area, Cynthia Saalfeld - Marin County Salesforce User Group.

Hello Cynthia, tell us something about yourself, and which User Group you lead?
Cynthia Saalfeld, Salesforce Administrator at my current job but a Salesforce Evangelist inside and outside of work.  I’m the founder and co-leader of the Marin County Salesforce User Group covering a region north of San Francisco and I’m also an active member of other Bay Area UGs.

How do you become User Group leader? and what made you interested in starting a User Group? 
My previous co-leader, Liz Gladstone and I met virtually in the Success Community, as both of us are Marin County residents, we noticed the existing gap in our neighborhood between San Francisco and the Wine Country. We decided to do some research on the requirements of how to become a User Group leader and started hosting events. Two years went by, Ian Gotts has joined me in the leadership.

How often your group meetup?
We’ve been meeting every other month, but working on expanding our frequency.

How many members attend for the meetup in average?
We have a loyal core group of 15-25 attendees, over 100 members subscribed in all media combined.  The attendance varies upon the topic and the day of the week.  We avoid scheduling our events that would conflict with others in the Bay Area.

What have you learned as a group leader?
I’ve learned that it’s important to have a User Group to rely on and, somewhere you feel a sense of community that is there for you.  It’s also a place where you can share your issues without being criticized because we’re constantly learning new features, new workarounds, something new almost every single day.

What do you love being a User Group leader?
I love being there for the people. The guests choose to spend a couple hours of their lives with us in order to learn together, brainstorm as a group, debate as a community, network as friends and have fun along the way.

What do the challenges become a group leader and how to overcome it?
Time management: started using Trello as a guide for the planning, execution and post-event phases.
Venue: started hosting events not only at tech offices but also local business unrelated to the cloud computing. Our last meetup was taken place at a MINI dealership.

Tell us what is unique about your User Group
The proximity to San Francisco and Salesforce’s headquarter. This allows our User Group the ability to get a number of key Salesforce people as speakers and participants. Additionally, Marin County is known for wonderful outdoor activities that help draw attendees even from San Francisco to our meetups. 

Share us tips that make your User Group success
- Relevant topics
- Good speakers
- Creative venues
- Wonderful food and wine

What would like to see your User Group in the future? 
A guest appearance from Marc Benioff.

One last thing you would like to share with the community
Never underestimate the power of the Salesforce Community!

Simplysfdc comment: you guys seriously have the event in MINI car showroom, or event in Mircosoft store? wow, thanks for sharing Marin County Salesforce User Group!

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