5 November 2019 - 2 weeks to go - Dreamforce top tips
Some weeks ago I was approached by Christine Marshall asking for some top tips for a blog she was writing for newbies attending their first Dreamforce. Happy to oblige I set to work and sent her a list that popped off the top of my head. A very grateful Christine responded to say thanks and that she would use just one or two of my tips as she had a scoop from others too. With all the other tips looking a bit unloved I've decided to share the rest with you and with exactly 2 weeks to go before the 2019 event kicks off, here goes:
Dreamforce is when 170,000 of your closest family and friends come together for days of learning, networking and fun, all wearing blue lanyards and matching backpacks and heading off on their trails for learning and networking. It’s truly a sight to see.
But do not fear, you’ve got this, with just a little bit of planning you can own your Dreamforce adventure.
Here's some tips that I've put together from my experiences of Dreamforce.
- You cannot do everything and that’s ok.
- Target sessions that are important to you, whether it’s functionality your company could benefit from or something you want to master for your own career growth.
- Now refine your sessions down to a max of 3 per day and consider which venues they are hosted in. It can take time to move from one to another due to the sheer weight of the crowds.
- Don’t bother bringing a laptop to any session. Just use your phone or a pad to make any notes and take pics of the key slides.
- Tweet any good content and remember to tag the speaker and give thanks. It’s their content that makes this whole event so great and they made a huge effort to get on stage and share.
- Give yourself time each day where nothing is planned. You’ll want a break to soak up the atmosphere or a sit in the Dreampark.
- Explore the different venues as they will host lodges that are cloud specific. They are usually less crowded than the main Moscone venues and there are plenty of opportunities to get hands on with cloud functionality while picking up swag.
- Be prepared for swag. Leave space in your suitcase to take some goodies home. My luggage is usually double the weight on my return flight home, although this may change as we become more conscious of our general footprint on this earth.
- Join any groups (WhatsApp) to stay connected with others you know who are also going to Dreamforce but also step outside your usual comfort zone network to meet new people and share with them.
- Pace yourself, you’ll want some energy for the evenings to network and have some fun at the parties.
- Time before or after Dreamforce can be used for power tourism to see the sights of San Francisco. Go explore.
- And lastly - breathe, have an amazing time. Dreamforce really is like nothing else out there.
2019 will be my 4th Dreamforce adventure. I'm already very excited about it and am busily preparing my week. I will have some time prior to the event to get in some power tourism. This year I plan to take a car down Route 1 and check out the coastal road and its beautiful sights. I also plan to tail my trip with a walk about the Transit Park. It was closed last year so I'm hoping to cross it off this time round.
As for the event itself I am very lucky to be part of the Innovation Tour this year and will be taking full advantage of this invitation - thank you Salesforce. The tour opens up opportunities to network with other like minded individuals so I will be looking forward to some good conversations.
The keynote speakers have been announced and there is a stellar lineup to go see, including Tim Cook, CEO from Apple and President Obama. Having watched the Michelle Obama keynote in 2017 I am super keen to catch this one. They are a power couple.
People who don't work in the Salesforce ecosystem or who aren't that closely connected with it do look at this conference and wonder what it's all about. They often associate Salesforce and the community as a cult. Call it what you like but it is very powerful.
Why do I go to Dreamforce and spend my personal funds to attend? Well, the best answer I can give comes from my partner and it's this: Whenever I return home from Dreamforce I come back rejuvenated. I've spent time learning, networking and having fun. Its a great, crazy and intense week and I love it. Some people go on a yoga retreat to find their zen. Well, this is my version.