Last year was my first year to Dreamforce. I was so excited and enthused that my company had sent me. I learned quite a few things and would love to pass them on to you before your Dreamforce arrives.
The Tactical & Practical
1. If you book a session, make sure that it’s within walking distance. I had plenty that were from moscone to the hilton with 10 minutes between. Not having been to San Francisco before, I didn’t know that was not possible. Whoops!
2. Fueling off of #1, get really comfortable walking shoes! No really! I walked 60 miles that week and I think when I was done my shoes were the most uncomfortable things imaginable. I was really wishing I bought some Dr. Scholls inserts by the end of my trip.
3. Bring a power pack for your devices. If you don’t, bring cords for all of your devices to charge in Moscone on the second floor or a local coffee shop. (But really, a power pack is fairly cheap so get one now).
4. Speaking of devices: don’t, whatever you do, bring a laptop. A tablet, okay, I’ll grant you that. A laptop = super heavy after 60 miles of trying to make it to each session, no thanks!
5. Yes, the partner zone is cool. Be cautious of who you let scan your badge. Even if there are awesome demos, try to let them know qualifying information. (Though, even if you provide it, it doesn’t mean that they will respect it – raise your flags then).
6. Bring a ton of business cards. I had a brand new box. I was almost out when I got back.
7. Don’t overbook your sessions. You’re human. (Made that mistake, if not evidenced by the 60 miles and the laptop bullet and… I didn’t get my #AwesomeAdmin cape so my superpowers were tapped out). I am determined to get a cape this year!
Where do I meet people?
1. If you’re going solo, join @Flyin’ Solo.
2. You’ll see plenty of people wearing their conference badges. Strike up a conversation or if you’re lost ask for directions.
3. Come to the Reunion Breakfast. Bacon. That should be reason enough. (Truth be told I didn’t get to go last year, but BACON!!!)
4. The Admin Zone. Get some admin on admin therapy, ask some questions, get some swag.
5. The Dev Zone. Get some documentation from the library and meet developers of all levels.
6. Join Dreamforce: Parties And Networking on success.
7. Go to the Gala. Dance a little bit. Yes… us geeks can dance!
Bringing It Back to the Value
1. There are lots of people at dreamforce and many of them have unique and powerful stories. Ask them about where they have come from, where they have been and where they see themselves going. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
2. DO write down all of the inspiring ideas and innovating stuff that you have learned about. Reread the take-away handouts that you’re given and try it at home. Seeing it once at dreamforce is one thing, repeating it at home means that you’ve attained some mastery/knowledge over it.
3. There are many unveilings of new features and offerings at Dreamforce. Take note of them.
4. Take a session on something that your company is not using today but could in the future. Learn about what’s upcoming in that module or how another customer uses that portion of the platform. Just because you aren’t using it today, doesn’t mean you won’t tomorrow.
5. Don’t sit in your hotel room (I don’t think I did this other than to get some sleep). There is way too much knowledge at this conference to not get up and move (while you’re moving, join the DF15 charity miles group – more info here).
6. Dreamforce is a place ask questions. Let your curiousity fuel you. It’s my number one driver, asking questions.