7 #DF14 Nightmares — & How to Avoid Them

How many of you have had one of those nightmares where you’re running from the bad guy, except you can’t actually run? Or where you fall down and all of your teeth fall out? In fact, I had one of those “I’m running as fast as I can but not actually going anywhere” dreams just last week.

For many of us, there are some new entrants into the nightmare scene at this time of year. And no, I’m not talking about The Nightmare Before Christmas — I’m talking nightmares about Dreamforce. You know, the kind where you miss your flight out to San Francisco and have to miss the entire conference?

I’ve had my fair share of those too, and my guess is that I’m not the only one. Let’s walk through a few common nightmares that might plague this year’s Dreamforce attendees, and see what we can do to avoid them.

Nightmare #1: “The Dreamforce campus is HUGE. What if I can’t find any of the sessions I want to go to? Am I going to have to walk around everywhere glued to the Dreamforce app like a huge dork?”

This is something that most Dreamforce attendees have probably worried about at some point in their conference-attending careers, even if this isn’t their first rodeo (and even if they won’t admit it). Yes, the Dreamforce campus is huge, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with a little bit of planning. My advice to you? Know which sessions you want to attend in advance (the agenda builder can help you there) AND where they’re located. Check the interactive map in the Dreamforce app, and make sure you know where you’re headed before you step out the door. Worst case scenario? Ask someone. There are tons of people around who can help (note: avoid asking other people walking around clicking through their maps).

Nightmare #2: “I’m flying solo for this conference. What if I don’t make any friends and end up sitting in my hotel room by myself every night??”

First of all, that won’t happen. Second of all, Dreamforce is a giant conference, which means there are tons of ways to find your niche. Are you an SMB? Check out the SMB zone to meet some other small biz marketers. Interested in email marketing? There are more than 1,400 sessions at this year’s conference, so there are bound to be a few pertaining to your interests, filled with like-minded folks.

Nightmare #3: “Blisters. That is all.”

If you’re heading to Dreamforce, you’re going to do a lot of walking. I can’t stress enough how important it is to bring shoes that you’re comfortable walking in — but even then, you may still fall prey to blisters. When you’re packing your Dreamforce survival kit (read: your suitcase), pack a box of bandaids just to be prepared.

Nightmare #4: “I’m going to get so much swag. WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH ROOM IN MY SUITCASE?!”

Now this is a real concern. You’ll likely walk away from Dreamforce with a sweet new backpack, a few free t-shirts, enough pens to launch a ship, and maybe even a few pairs of colorful plastic wayfarers. Either leave a little room in your suitcase, or be prepared to check an extra bag. It’s as simple as that!

Nightmare #5: “I need some time to myself to maintain my sanity. What if I can’t find anywhere to be alone and get some work done?”

Well, my first piece of advice would be to avoid whoever is having nightmare number two. But trust me, there are plenty of places where you can take a few minutes to regroup and digest what you’ve learned. Check out some of the beanbags lining the halls around the session rooms, or dip into a little-used hallway to grab some alone time. There are plenty of people looking to take a hiatus from the hype, so no one will look twice if you want to take off for a bit.

Nightmare #6: “There are so many parties at Dreamforce. What if all my friends get into one and I don’t!?”

Before you start picturing yourself standing outside alone, shivering in the dark while your friends are having fun inside, take a look at this Party Calendar and RSVP for all of the parties you might want to go to. If your name’s on the list, you should be good to go! Some parties may fill up before you can get in, but if that’s the case, the likelihood of all of your friends getting in without you is pretty slim.

Nightmare #7: “Forgetting my underwear.”

Well, I can’t help you there.

In the end, Dreamforce is really a mixture of pre-planning and going with the flow. Know what you want to accomplish before you get there, but don’t be afraid to change things up a bit once you’re actually there. It’s what you make it, so have fun with it (and guarantee you’re prepared by downloading our Dreamforce Handbook below)!

Dreamforce 2014 Handbook