I am preparing for my 7th Dreamforce. I’ve been luckily enough to be an attendee for 5 years and a presenter for 2 years. It has been amazing seeing this conference grow. However, I do feel mature when I tell rookie attendees that I attended the Gala inside the Moscone Center, everyone was able to attend the keynote sessions in person, and there was just one food court during my first year. After several years of experience, here are my 5 quick tips to survive and make the most out of Dreamforce:
Put away your phone (sometimes) I know this seems counter intuitive with all of the useful apps and social media but the Salesforce Community is powerful. Meet people before and after sessions and attend networking events for more than just the free food. Dreamforce provides the rare opportunity to meet people from all over the world face to face. You’ll be surprised at the number of relationships you start with simple “hello”.
Understand the locations As Dreamforce has grown, so has the number of locations. It can be extremely difficult and frustrating trying to bounce from one location to another in 20 minutes. Set up a base camp for ½ day to 1 day and plan around a key session or event. Also plan on a lot of walking so wear those Fitbits and comfortable shoes.
Have a Plan B Let’s face it. Perfect agendas don’t always work out. Lines may be long. You may not make it into a session. Something may come up. You may not get into an event. You may have so much fun networking that you abandon Plan A and grow a relationship. There are so many opportunities at Dreamforce. So plan for Plan B… or Plan C so be aware of your surroundings and all events/sessions near you.
Get Social! Get Social before, during, and after Dreamforce. Follow people on social media, utilize Chatter, ask questions, watch sessions online after Dreamforce that you were unable to attend. Be a part of the Salesforce Community. Just balance being plugged in and face to face networking (see #1!)
Always have snacks, a cell phone charger, a jacket, and an umbrella You’re in San Francisco. In October. With 150K+ of your closest friends. Going back to the hotel can be difficult, lines are usually long, and the weather can be unpredictable. There are a number of outlets but also invest in a portable cell phone charger. Be prepared! You will get a new Dreamforce backpack that you can easily lug these items around in.
I look forward to seeing you at Dreamforce!