Tips on Planning for Dreamforce
Hey there, it’s me again (your virtual Dreamforce guide). OK, so maybe not exactly a guide as much of a lesson’s learned along the way and some tips and tricks that might give alleviate some pain and suffering or get you into that session that you really want to see. Many first timers get there with no expectations and it quickly becomes overwhelming when you try and insert a city (150K+) into a city that already exists.
What to Expect
When you show up its like getting to college but your parents aren’t dropping you off and no one is going to make you go to class. Actually, it is not a small college but a big university, and you need to look at your schedule and know how far apart some of these venues can be and how you are going to get there. If you plan on having coffee during the week you also need comfortable shoes because you will be standing in long lines (so yes, make some coffee in your room before you walk out the door). And finally, Dreamforce has never been featured on the Food Network so find places nearby that you want to eat at and make reservations for as much as possible before or as soon as you arrive.
With regards to the sessions there is a myriad of things to choose from. At many conferences the Keynote (or in this case lots of Keynotes) are time to catch up on email and phone calls. Not here, you will enjoy some really dynamic content. And, don’t expect to get into each one live, many are shown on screens where you can sit in a bean bag in the sun or watch from your device of choice. Speaking of that, there are many places to get a charge so have your charger with you at all times.
Your plan for the sessions (and the Expo for that matter) really depends on your roll. For admins or hands on people there are HOTs (Hands On Training). The Developer Zone is also great. Note that HOTs fill up quickly but keep checking back because new sessions have been added even after Dreamforce starts so you might get in. Otherwise, you may be waiting in a first come, first served line to get into a session if you aren’t pre-registered. For a business user there are many sessions with customers and Salesforce or other vendors that cover best practices and some good discussions on how to leverage the platform.
Lastly, there is the Expo and you will have two halls to choose from. Best practice here is to spend time before you fly to review the different options and seek out things you are looking to solve in your business. There are many great App Exchange partners in the two locations but if you don’t have a plan for working your way through the floor you will undoubtedly miss some people that are worth talking to. Anything Sage related is in Moscone West and we are at booth W200 next to Sage, who is in W300.
The other part of Dreamforce is the countless number of events and parties hosted by various groups and vendors. If you don’t pre-register you may find it hard to get inside. And the customer event, this year Foo Fighters, will certainly be worth watching. If you pay attention to the Twitter handle #DF15 you can stay in the mainstream of things that are going on and possibly learn about events or other things happening nearby. And finally, Salesforce is all about giving back, so be sure to stop at some of the stations and participate in whatever activities they have going to benefit non-profits and charities.