Why are you following the leader?


The most common response I’ve had from people when I tell them I’m not attending Dreamforce next week is some form of “boy, I wish I could do that too!”

For many, next week’s Dreamforce event will be the most important sales & marketing opportunity of the year.  Despite huge crowds, long lines and Uber surge pricing – it’s still well worth the hassle and effort.

There are others who simply think they “need to be there.”  Objections and concerns I hear include:

  • Will people think our business is in trouble if we don’t show up?
  • If we don’t have the same size/presence as last year, people will talk…and that could hurt our brand…
  • Will I be less relevant to my sales prospects and customers if I’m not there?
  • What if I miss something?
  • What if my next big client or dream job is sitting next to me at a break-out session?

All of these are possible.  But you can justify away a ton of money and time and effort chasing a bunch of what-ifs.

Sometimes the crowd is right. Sometimes they’re just following the rest of the crowd because that’s what crowds do.

Your decision to go against the crowd may appear (or at least feel) surprising, unpopular, contrarian. But I bet you’ll be surprised how many people feel the same way, and even end up following your lead.

By the beginning of next week, as the conference kicks off, I’ll start to have second thoughts about not attending Dreamforce.  I’ll see the tweets and summary blog posts, see pictures of friends having a great time at the parties, etc.

But the week after it will all be forgotten.  Anybody wondering why I wasn’t there will have moved on to the next event, the next conversation, the next opportunity.

As will I. As will you.