Getting the Most out of Dreamforce

So you’re heading to Salesforce’s mega conference – Dreamforce – next week and it’s your first time.  You don’t want to appear to be a newbie and you want to make your time productive.  It would also be great to show your boss that it was worth the time and expense to send you out there.  I’ve survived 4 prior trips to Dreamforce and humbly share my top 10 tips for Dreamforce!

  1. Dress up, rather than down. The status quo is more to the end of upscale casual, not casual Friday.  Dress shirts, dress slacks, maybe a sport jacket for guys.  Women, sorry I can’t help you with fashion tips – I throw myself on the mercy of my 16 year-old daughter every time I attempt to buy clothes for my wife.
  2. Travel light. Skip the laptop – bring your tablet for notes.  Several of my colleagues use Evernote to take notes at sessions and then we share them afterwards.
  3. Don’t stress your schedule. You won’t make it to every session you sign up to attend – trust me, at some point you will hit the wall.  Go outside, get some fresh air and chill.  There will always be another session – plus the slides for the ones you missed will be posted later anyway.
  4. Bring the breath mints. It’s a long way back to the hotel room to brush your teeth and freshen up.
  5. Say hello to strangers. I know your mom told you not to talk to strangers, but at Dreamforce it’s OK.  You’ll make some friends, maybe make some clients, and certainly learn something.
  6. Have fun. Go to parties – have a beer or two.  Go to the Dreamforce Gala and see what Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry looks like at 68 (maybe from a distance).  I remember her when she was only 30 something, but I digress….
  7. Pace yourself. It’s a long week and there are a lot of parties with free drinks and food.  And you’ll be wearing your Dreamforce badge everywhere, so if you make a fool of yourself, people will remember you and your company, which would not be a good thing.
  8. Speaking of your badge, don’t lose it. SFDC will charge you a lot to get a new one…and I doubt you can put it on your expense report!
  9. Pack some Tylenol. See number 7.
  10. When you get home, follow up soon with people you met. Business cards decay over time – just like those leads in your org – strike while you still have those memories fresh in your mind!

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