Dreamforce will soon be upon us. The event is a fantastic combination of Disney-like moments of wonder, university-like education, and parties like you’ve never seen.
Are you attending? If so, the most important piece of advice you’ll get for while you’re there is to recognize that you won’t be able to go everywhere you want, do everything that’s available, or see everyone you’d like to meet. Figure out what you want most to get out of the event and then focus in on that. And don’t feel bad that you can’t “do it all.” At an event like this, no one can.
However, you there are a few things you can do ahead of time to improve your experience at Dreamforce. Here are my top five essential tips to put you on track for making your Dreamforce experience truly worthwhile.
1. Have a plan
There’s an agenda builder for a reason. Plan out your sessions as best you can ahead of time.
Keep in mind that the Dreamforce campus is HUGE and you won’t easily be able to run from a session in one location to a session in a completely different location. Also, some sessions run more than once. So focus in on the ones that you most want to attend, check where they are on the map, and figure out how best to make it work within your schedule.
Finding that the sessions you want to attend are already full? Luckily, even if you can’t book a spot online, there are always last-minute spots open in every session. The smart folks at Salesforce plan it that way. So don’t despair – just arrive at your sessions as early as possible.
Moreover, don’t forget to plan in time to meet the vendors who interest you most (we hope that includes Glance Cobrowse at booth W125!). Part of the fun of Dreamforce is learning about new tools and solutions that will make your business processes more effective. You may even find that you learn as much from the vendors as you would by attending sessions!
Finally, plan in time for networking. You’ll learn fascinating things from your neighbors and maybe even lay the groundwork for a new partner or customer to join your circle.
2. Bring the right stuff
Here is my list of essentials items to pack for the Dreamforce experience:
- Smartphone and/or tablet – Do not bring a laptop! Laptops are heavy and you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Not to mention the fact that you probably won’t go back to your room during the day. Do you want to lug your laptop to every event?
- Extra battery – Knowing that there are only a limited number of outlets, bring an extra battery. If you’re feeling extra motivated, bring a power strip. Your neighbors will thank you!
- Business cards – Bring LOTS of business cards. There’s pretty much no way you’ll feel like you overdid it on the business cards, but you’ll kick yourself if you run out partway through.
- Water bottle – You will need to hydrate throughout the day. You can get water at the event, but it’s very helpful to have your own water bottle on hand.
- Breath mints and/or gum – No explanation needed.
And you don’t have to put these under the “things to pack” category, but you definitely have to have them: the apps. It’s San Francisco and cars aren’t exactly preferred so I use these apps to help me get around, find good eats, and maybe locate a little entertainment.
- Uber – It’s the way SF rolls, literally.
- Embark iBART – Real-time departures for BART if your coming up from SFO or Oakland.
- Routsey – This app will assist you in finding your way around the city on Muni and BART.
- Park Me – So you decided to drive your rental car into the city and need a place to park? This app shows you what to expect to pay in different areas all laid out on a map.
- Partyforce – Your unofficial guide to all parties and social events happening during Dreamforce 2015!
- Wash.io – Party a bit to hard and need a Wash.io “ninja” to grab your dirties and return with clean, folded laundry within one day? There’s an app for that too!
3. But leave room for more stuff
The Dreamforce team will be providing you with a backpack full of goodies. You will most likely collect additional swag. Remember that and leave space in your bag to bring it all home.
4. Pack the right clothing
Dreamforce dress is business casual. That said, wear layers. The weather can change quickly. Even more importantly, it can get chilly in the evening – or in an air conditioned room. If you can go from a short-sleeved shirt to a sweater or light jacket at a moment’s notice, you’ll be in good shape.
Also, wear comfortable walking shoes. As I said before, the Dreamforce campus is HUGE! Even if you plan for all of the sessions you attend to be in a similar location, you will be walking around more than you might realize. For those of you who record steps taken during the day, recognize that you’ll likely be breaking 20,000 every day.
Networking doesn’t just have to take place at the show. You can start your networking experience by following on Twitter the speakers you’re interested in seeing. Follow the Dreamforce account on Twitter. Start or follow a list of people using the #Dreamforce or #DF15 hashtags, or any of the more specific niche hashtags. As a bonus, your can start collecting interesting Dreamforce-related notes that you can use for future blog posts or other content marketing efforts.
Note that Dreamforce itself provides plenty of opportunities to network via its Success Community groups. There are general groups (e.g., “All Dreamforce”) but there are also a lot of more specific communities that might better suit your needs (e.g., Dreamforce for Service and Support, New to Dreamforce, etc.).
Of course, this doesn’t get you out of networking at the show. But it will give you a nice head start and get you excited for the events. Who knows – the cool people you meet virtually may open the door for face-to-face meetings at the show!
What would you add to this list? Give @glancenetworks a shoutout and let us know. After all, we’re getting our event plan together too. Good advice is always welcome!
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About Glance Networks
Glance helps enterprise organizations create the ultimate customer experience with smart, omni-channel visual engagement solutions based around integrated cobrowse, screen share, and one-way agent video. We are one of the world’s simplest, most reliable and secure platforms that enable companies to see, show and share anything online, creating a frictionless path to great experiences in sales, support and customer service. The result is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, increased revenue growth and operational savings. From financial services and healthcare to retail and travel and leisure, even the most advanced technology and SaaS organizations – we transform the customer experience for today’s business. Learn More »