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Building a Bespoke Dreamforce Experience

Campgrounds, trailheads and… nature walks? Effectively navigating keynotes, sessions and parties at #DF17


With the first day of Dreamforce on the not-so-distant horizon, this year’s attendees should be starting to think about their goals and strategies for the conference. In an ideal world there would be time to see, hear and experience everything that Dreamforce ’17 has to offer, but that’s just not realistic. Even if you’ll be attending the conference from start to finish, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to take it all in.

Lead Cloud Technologist at Traction, Corbin Smith, says you can still have a great Dreamforce experience even if you don’t have much time at the conference. You just need a plan.

“I went on the last day of the conference (after most of the crowds cleared) and in some situations was able to have 15 minute conversations with engineers of technologies we were interested in using to build our product. Lots of these conversations became leads for us to investigate new features, platform technologies and third party applications.” – Corbin Smith, Lead Cloud Technologist at Traction on Demand

Last year was Corbin’s first Dreamforce and he didn’t have much time to explore, let alone waste. Coming into Dreamforce with a solid strategy, he managed to make the most of the time that he did have. Whether you’ve got all week or just a day, these tips can help you formulate a great Dreamforce strategy.

  • Keynotes in Comfort: The keynotes are a must-view, giving you insight into what Salesforce is most excited about and where you can expect to see solid investment in the following year. But you don’t need to spend time waiting in line or navigate the thousands of people, chairs and vendors to watch them. Keynotes are streamed online, so Salesforce sets up viewing spots across the DF campus. If you’d prefer to grab a drink and a bite to eat while watching, you can join us for our Keynote Viewing Party at Swig Bar.
  • Combine Work & Play: Yup, you heard that right. Networking events (like our happy hours at Swig) offer some of the best value for your time at Dreamforce. Take advantage of their casual setting and meet new community members, vendors and experts who all live and breath the Salesforce platform like you. Armed with your new found expertise from the day’s sessions, parties are a great opportunity to build on new knowledge while getting someone else to pay for your drinks.
  • Personalize your experience: Registering for the sessions that are most pertinent to you is critical to a successful Dreamforce. With sessions already listed, you should have a good understanding of the ones you want to attend. Agenda Builder is set to launch next week and sessions fill up fast, so you’ll want to be ready.

When you’re building your agenda, think about the content you can’t get anywhere else (like online). Pare down your list until you have only the sessions that will contribute most to your interests or requirements. For Corbin, this meant chatting with Salesforce engineers about the features that mattered to him, which offered plenty of value for his time and took advantage of being physically present at Dreamforce.

Corbin Smith, Lead Cloud Technologist at Traction on Demand
Corbin Smith, Lead Cloud Technologist at Traction

It’s important to have a plan, but it’s equally important to have a plan that is specific and intentionally crafted to deliver you the best value for your time.

“It’s important to know what you’re looking for,” says Corbin. “I’m a technical lead for a product built on Salesforce, so I’m most interested in platform technology. By focusing on the Admin and Dev zones, I got to see almost all the new technologies that were important to me in a single day.”

Oh yeah, and be sure to come visit Traction at Swig Whiskey Bar (our HQ). We’ll be talking about the key learnings from the week, hosting a great happy hour every night, and most importantly: serving the best whiskey in San Francisco! See you there.

PS. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to do some in-depth digging on the Dreamforce website; there is a lot of great content and tips for making the most of your Dreamforce experience.

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