Making the Most of #DF18: Tips from the Pros

It’s about that time — Dreamforce 2018 starts TOMORROW! Are you excited yet? We know we are!

We spoke to a few Dreamforce veterans to learn their strategies for how to ensure a successful week of learning, networking, and technology.

Check out these tips and tricks to learn how to make the most of Dreamforce 2018:

Catherine Davis, Digital Realty

  • Be sure to swing by the Customer Success Expo. This is a great opportunity to see not only product demos, but also have the chance to ask lots of questions, and brainstorm with one of the awesome Salesforce experts.
  • Don’t be shy! Chat with the people sitting next to you in sessions. It’s always good to hear how others have approached similar business challenges. And it never hurts to make new friends.
  • Download the Salesforce Event App and Campus Map. This will help you navigate your way around the event. And make sure you register for your sessions early — they fill up. Keep in mind the time it takes to get from session to session.
  • Attend the keynotes. Dreamforce has the most amazing speakers.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, your feet will thank you!
  • When you need a break to take it all in, head out to the grass area and listen to some music.
  • Network and have some fun! There are some many opportunities to have fun, meet people, and listen to some great music.

Brian Schmidt, Cox Automotive

Dreamforce 2017 was my first Dreamforce experience, as both an attendee and a speaker. I started the trip feeling overwhelmed, to be honest. But I followed these two tips that helped me get my footing:

  • For all attendees: Make a plan, but make it flexible. I ran into associates I didn’t expect, got caught up in helpful chats with new acquaintances, and found time at the beginning of the day to look around and orient myself. You can’t do that if you’re running from session to session.
  • For speakers: Check out your room and get the lay of the land beforehand. When I looked at mine for the first time, I had an unplanned audible reaction that made the people in line look at me funny. Don’t get caught off guard by audience size or how close/far you are from listeners.

For first time goers, the sheer scale of Dreamforce might seem intimidating. I found it helpful to limit some of my days to one area of the Dreamforce campus. It allowed me to make the most of my time and was easier on my feet.

Adam Wooley, Prezi

The first time I ever attended Dreamforce, I walked onto the main floor — and almost turned around to leave. The number of booths, and people, and swag bags was overwhelming at first. But after that initial wave of shock, I soon discovered exactly why Dreamforce is so valuable, and why this massive crowd of professionals had gathered to be a part of it.

Now that I’m a Dreamforce veteran, here are my 6 tried-and-tested tips for first-timers:

  1. Try not to be overwhelmed. At least, try not to stay overwhelmed. The people at Dreamforce are people just like you, with a lot of the same challenges and needs, so a conference of this magnitude is an exciting place to make new connections and see new stuff.
  2. Set aside some dedicated time to go through the Customer Success Expo and learn about new tech. It would be pretty surprising if you didn’t find something innovative to try.
  3. Use the Salesforce Einstein tool to find sessions that really resonate with you. The Agenda Builder can be hugely overwhelming, especially if you‘ve never used it. But Salesforce Einstein makes it easy to get the most bang for your buck.
  4. Before you arrive, make a list of lounges, parties, and other places to get free food, drinks, and coffee. Put them on your calendar with addresses (or even create your own custom Google map if you aren’t familiar with the area). It’ll be too hectic to find these places once you’re on the ground at the event — plus, the lines can get huge. Be an early bird.
  5. Dreamforce isn’t just about tech. Or CRMs, APIs, AI, and ABM. Take a break from sessions about these topics, and go check out something different. Like storytelling, or our evolving attention spans.

Finally, come say hi. I’ll be at booth #1111 with the rest of the Prezi crew, and if you swing by, I’ll give you inside tips on where the best food, bars, and coffee in the area can be found.

Andrea Tarrell, Sercante

This event is a marathon of awesomeness. Prepare accordingly. Pick the can’t-miss highlights and attend at least one dance party — but schedule some breaks and downtime to digest what you heard, connect with your fellow Ohana, and soak it all in. If you send folks Linkedin connection requests, be sure to add a note about where/why you met to help with follow up later.

Also… while this has been said a thousand times, I’ll say it again: Wear. Comfortable. Shoes. Again, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t walk everywhere like an overachiever. And do not, I repeat, DO NOT CLIMB NOB HILL. Your feet will thank you at the end of the week.

When you get home, make a point of implementing at least one new idea in the first week. Ideas are nothing without action!

If you aren’t able to join us in person, you can still blaze a virtual trail to San Francisco to get in on all of the action, inspiration, and innovation. Register here for the Dreamforce 2018 LIVE broadcast.