August 17 by Zack Alspaugh
We are happy to announce a brand new feature on the Apttus blog, The Celebrities of Dreamforce in which we’ve interviewed some of the most recognizable faces of DF15 and Dreamforces past. They are the stars that make Dreamforce the most memorable event of the year, the reason Dreamforce feels like the Mardi Gras of business conferences, the Coachella of cloud computing.
So without further to do, here is our first celebrity guest, Marissa Kraines.
Marissa Kraines is the Sr. Manager, Social and Content Marketing for Strategic Events at Salesforce. But most of us may recognize her as the buoyant host of The Road to Dreamforce which airs every Tuesday morning at 11:00am PDT. (She has a mini fan club at Apttus, which gathers to watch the #RoadToDF15 every week.) In addition to her broadcasting work, Marissa is frequently featured on the Dreamforce blog.
Marissa creates and curates all social and content marketing leading up to Dreamforce ’15. This will be her third Dreamforce at Salesforce. Marissa received her MBA from University of Texas, Austin, McCombs School of Business, and her BA from UCLA. She was previously an MBA Product Marketing Intern at Salesforce, and prior to graduate school worked in the music industry. You can follow her at @MarissaLK85.
1. How long have you been working on the Road to Dreamforce? Did you have broadcasting experience prior to this series?
When I started on the Dreamforce team in June ’13, I had already begun to see video as a core content medium. My boss, Dreamforce Chair Julie Liegl, had been the first host for SalesforceLIVE at Dreamforce in 2010, and with her experience, she had more interest in video than the typical marketing honcho. She gave me the freedom to run with it, and I developed the Road to Dreamforce web series. We are now in our third season of the show!
I had no real broadcast experience previous to the show, but admittedly, I’ve always been a ham, so no one is surprised that this is something that I enjoy. In fact, two friends and I started our high school’s chapter of the National Forensics League (speech and debate team). One of them became a professional performer and producer, and the other is a CBS Los Angeles meteorologist…should I be giving my high school teachers more credit?
2. What is your favorite thing about being on a live broadcast? Do you still get nervous before going on air?
My favorite thing about the live broadcasts is what happens afterward. While I enjoy the on-air challenge, I LOVE figuring out new ways to market the content. We’ve been experimenting with snackable (short) pieces, pushing the videos out on new channels, and using the videos to build additional content. What can I say? I’m a content marketer at heart.
I don’t get nervous before going on air, but I am full of nerves in the days leading up to the broadcast — making sure the content is right, the speakers are ready, etc. Once
I’m going on air, there’s nothing else I can do to prepare, so I just enjoy it!
3. You have many fans over here at Apttus; we watch the Road to Dreamforce every week as a team, and you might just be our favorite Salesforce celebrity. Has your popularity extended beyond the screen? Have you been recognized in public or stopped in the street yet?
I’m blushing. Big time.
You guys may be fans, but my parents are definitely my biggest fans. They brag to their friends, then come right back and give me very intense, but legitimate, feedback.
The positive feedback that we receive around the show makes me believe that all the hard work is worth it! This past year at Dreamforce, I had multiple people stop me to tell me that, although this was their first Dreamforce, they were pros at making the most out of the conference (and were even able to give others advice), simply because they had watched the series. It is always great that we get to connect and work with our partners, like you all, as well!
4. Who has been your all-time favorite guest on Road to Dreamforce? Who is someone (celebrities included) you wish you could share a panel with?
Man, this is hard — I enjoy all the guests! I’m always honored when executives make time to join me; it’s huge to have such incredible people on the show. I can’t pick favorites among my Salesforce guests, but I’d definitely give a shout out to Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical. He made the time to come on the show last year, and truly blew our minds discussing how UCSF is re-envisioning the hospital to make it more patient-centric, and using Salesforce to do it. While Mark has one of the most important and difficult jobs in San Francisco, he was also one of the most relatable, upbeat, and all-around inspiring people I’ve met. Even better, he’s coming back on the show again this year! Check him out on our Giving Back episode on August 25.
As for celebs: I know this seems promotional, but I promise it’s not — Dave Grohl. He has been my favorite forever, so I am thrilled that Foo Fighters are playing at Dreamforce! He is such a talent — he plays every instrument, writes the most meaningful pop rock songs, produces his own and everyone else’s music, directs his own (hilarious) music videos, and is funnier than 99% of comedians.
He’s the man. Seriously. Think he’ll let me sit him down in the studio?!?! PLEASE DAVE!!!!
5. If you got to open for Marc Benioff during the Dreamforce Keynote, what would you discuss?
Again, I sound so cliché, but his philanthropic activities leave me in awe — I am proud to work for a man who does so much good. I got to do an interview with Vets Workshop last year at Dreamforce, and prepping for the interview with them inspired me, and even made me emotional — they are changing people’s lives, and doing it with the Salesforce platform. Killin’ it.
6. How many Dreamforces have you attended over the years? What is your favorite part / favorite memory?
This will be my third Dreamforce, all three working directly on the conference. That means that I get limited time to enjoy the parties, sessions, etc. It is still an amazing experience, though — it’s great to see what we’ve worked so hard on all year come together and create such magic!
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that we are still working extremely hard, and are still stressed during most of the conference. So, when we are able to get together with the rest of the core teams working on Dreamforce and let loose at the end of the conference, it is very special! What happens
at the wrap party stays at the wrap party.
7. What are you most looking forward to at DF15?
EVERYTHING! I’m stoked for the gala, of course, but the day-to-day excitement on the Dreampark is very powerful.
8. What advice do you have for attendees / companies who want to make the most of their Dreamforce experience?
You know what I’m going to say: Watch the Road to Dreamforce! Do your research. Pace yourself – this is a four-day event, and you want to make the most of every day. Join the Success Community so you can get to know fellow your attendees, get advice, get exposure to new elements, and so much more!
Be sure to join Marissa and the Road to Dreamforce broadcast every Tuesday at 11:00am PST for insider’s tips and exclusive announcements. This week they’ll be discussing Platform, Analytics, & Communities at Dreamforce with special guests Tod Nielsen, EVP, Platform; Stephanie Buscemi, SVP Product Marketing, Analytics; Nasi Jazayeri, EVP & GM, Communities; Lindsey Irvine, Director, Business Development & Strategic Initiatives, and Charlie Isaacs, CTO of IoT.