What’s not to like about fall? The crisp, cool air. The trees ablaze in the colours of the season. The promise of new beginnings… But while others are fan-girling over the return of pumpkin spice lattes, we’re getting oh-so excited for the return of Dreamforce.
Around this time of year, we start seeing articles about what to pack for the trip to San Francisco, what to expect from the whole Dreamforce experience, et cetera, so I thought why the heck don’t I reach out to our distinguished network and find out what kind of Dreamforce wisdom these pros can share with us?
From Peter Coffee, Senior Vice President of Strategic Research at Salesforce (and “Friend of Traction”) to Tracy Kronzak, a Nonprofit Business Architect at Traction on Demand (and 10-year veteran of Dreamforce!), they had lots to say about making the most of your Dreamforce experience.
“My first Dreamforce was 12,000 people,” says Tracy. “Now, it’s 175,000 people. I was completely overwhelmed. It’s easy to get lost in the spectacle of it all.” With that said, here are some Dreamforce tips from the pros so you don’t get lost during this intense week of learning and inspiration.
Make it your Dreamforce
“Saying, ‘I’m going to Dreamforce,’ can be like saying ‘I’m vacationing in America.’ New York theater and shopping? Boston historical sites? Yosemite backpacking? You can have any experience you want but it’s unrealistic to expect the best experience will just happen. Make a plan. We publish a lot of great plans for specific industries. Most important, be ready to miss that session if you’re in a great conversation. The session video will be online soon but the insights from conversations with people who aren’t even in your business — but are facing similar challenges — are the experiences that make people say ‘You just have to go to Dreamforce!’ But make it your Dreamforce.” — Peter Coffee, Senior Vice President of Strategic Research at Salesforce
Know your boundaries
“Dreamforce is a sales and marketing conference but you have the right to say ‘no.’ A lot of people are there to scan your badge to get you as a lead. Know your boundaries. Say, ‘Please don’t scan my badge… Yes, I am just looking at — whatever you may be looking at.” — Tracy Kronzak, Nonprofit Business Architect at Traction on Demand
Tag team to cover more ground
“(Wear) very, very comfortable shoes. Plan what sessions you want to attend before you get there. Bring chargers and power packs. Hydrate. Tag team sessions with friends so you can cover more ground. Set the goal of attending before you go. Be active in social media, and share your experience. Do something that you don’t normally do at events. Have FUN.” — Tiffani Bova, Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce
Don’t be distracted by all. the. swag.
“Be judicious about the swag. Yeah it looks tempting when you first see it, and who hasn’t been charmed by the Salesforce Trailhead characters (are they multiplying?), but stop and ask yourself if you want to carry around those glowing sunglasses and stuffed animals all week. Maybe go for a few select pieces and keep your carry-on from becoming checked baggage.” — Jennifer Walker, Vice President of Higher Education Services at Traction on Demand
“The Dreampark can get very crowded but there is a pedestrian bridge on the west side, near the carousel. The bridge is discrete and overlooks almost the entire Dreampark. If you need a moment, or want to meet somebody, it’s a great place for that.” — Tracy Kronzak
One last tip:
“If you’re from a higher ed institution, represent your school pride by wearing some swag! A college t-shirt or hat is a great conversation starter.” — Jennifer Walker
And there’s lots more where that came from. With Traction on Demand sending close to 300 of our people to Dreamforce over 9 years (and another 100 this year), we have lots of knowledge to share about making the most of your Dreamforce experience.
If you’re a developer, read our do’s and don’ts. If you’re in business development — get tips on how to pack your pipe at the conference. And if you’re just a looky-loo with big dreams for next year, here’s how you can start thinking about building a “bespoke” Dreamforce experience.
Happy Dreamforce, everyone!
Written by Karen Glanzberg, Content Developer at Traction on Demand.