Despite a last minute logistics change, the session was first-rate – with a special hands-on approach. We were hosted by Mason Frank, the global leader in Salesforce recruitment – and they made sure we were well catered for!
First up, Burak Sezgin, a Salesforce/Marketing Automation consultant at BrightGen, took us through ‘The Path to Certification’. Certifications never cease to be a hot topic, designed to increase career prospects, solidify knowledge and apply Pardot in a more versatile way. Burak opened by asking: ‘Who here is planning on taking a certification in the next 3 months?’, to which a lot of hands went up!
The talk covered the ‘official’ knowledge channels, those published and curated by Salesforce and Pardot, as well as the ‘non-official’ channels, created by the community evangelists. As Burak put it: ‘I’m going for the two Ben’s here’, Salesforceben (certification guides, mock exams) and Ben Edwards (crowdsourced ‘living’ study guide). Always a helpful guy, Burak also covered some Dos & Don’ts, such as don’t just learn the test questions, a tactic that will not set you up well in real life when required to problem solve and solutionise.
Best quote of the night was from Burak too: “the most silly question is the one you don’t ask.” This captures exactly what I like about the User Groups; you are not under pressure to be an expert, it’s a safe space to ask questions and fill in any of your knowledge gaps.
Next – a break with a twist! Everyone was invited to write their questions, dilemmas, or topics they want to discuss with the floor. Admittedly, I was hogging the whiteboard marker for some time, getting a few of my backlogged questions up. It was the ideal opportunity, as some members have been working with Pardot for even as long as 4 years, with different industry experiences. The topics that were raised ranged from kiosk mode use cases and permission pass campaign tips, to new releases and Pardot Edge (the pilot program).
The workshop style session was led by Jess Pyne, a Salesforce/Marketing Automation Consultant at EMPAUA. Let’s call it ‘the 4-source-field challenge’. There are 4 fields on Pardot/Salesforce that contain the word ‘source’, which throws a spanner in the works sometimes if you don’t know them inside out! The objective? How to configure them to get the best reporting possible. Split into groups, there was a buzz as experiences and pitfalls were exchanged.