Exciting! It’s your very first Dreamforce!
You’re eagerly anticipating being part of the magic. I bet you’ve already checked out other blogs to prepare for this moment. Well, here are some recommendations from me to make your Dreamforce experience even more memorable.
Make sure to wear shoes that your feet are already used to and comfortable in. Don’t buy new shoes to wear for the first time at Dreamforce. You may even want to bring two pairs of super-comfy shoes if possible. Trust me, your feet will thank you. Walking is a big part of Dreamforce (I logged over 40 miles last year!), and by the end of the first day, your feet will be tired. Having an extra pair of shoes can help reduce foot fatigue and keep you feeling refreshed.
Also, bring extra socks and change them during the day. It’ll make a difference, I promise.
Crowds, Chaos, and Pandemonium
Rumor has it that Salesforce reduced the number of attendees this year compared to last, but still, be prepared for crowds and chaos. The entire Dreamforce campus will be packed, with most people looking at their mobile devices to figure out where to go next. So, pack your patience along with those comfy shoes.
Some people will be friendly, and some won’t. That’s just how it is. But deciding to be friendly and approachable will go a long way in enjoying the whole experience.
Remember to smile at others and strike up a conversation with a stranger or two while waiting in line. You never know who you might meet by chance.
Don't Overload Your Schedule
During my first year at Dreamforce, I filled my schedule with back-to-back sessions I wanted to attend, but I barely made it to half of them. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your next session. Keep in mind the crowds, chaos, and pandemonium, not just on the streets but also in the hotels where sessions are held.
Twenty minutes to get from one place to another is not enough unless the sessions are in the same hotel. Give yourself enough time to get there and find a good seat.
Also, leave some empty time in your schedule to wander around areas you’re interested in. The Admin, Developer, or Expo halls have a lot to see. Having some free time to stroll through them might lead to unexpected opportunities to learn something new or meet someone interesting.
Stay Hydrated and Well-Fed
It’s easy to skip meals or forget to drink water at Dreamforce. Bring high-protein or complex carb, non-sugary snacks to keep hunger at bay. It’ll help you retain the patience you’ll need throughout the event.
Staying hydrated will also reduce headaches and fatigue. There will be water stations all over the place, so make sure to use them!
Don't Carry a Laptop
Unless you absolutely need to have your laptop with you, leave it at the hotel. I carried mine during my first Dreamforce and only used it once. It ended up being more of a burden than a tool.
Instead, carry an analog journal to take notes, or have a good note-taking app on your phone. Our team will be using Quip to share session notes with each other this year. The app is so good that it has a permanent place on my phone’s home screen.
Don't Be Afraid of Your Heroes
If you happen to come across someone from the Salesforce community who inspires you, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to them. Be polite and respectful of any ongoing conversations they may be in, but by introducing yourself, you could open the door to a friendship or future opportunities.
The community heroes are heroes for a reason - they enjoy sharing their knowledge and experiences with others. So don’t be shy, strike up a conversation and make connections. You might just end up with a mentor or a new friend.
Take Breaks and Pace Yourself
Dreamforce can be overwhelming with its non-stop activities, sessions, and events. It’s important to take breaks and pace yourself to avoid burnout. Find a quiet corner or a park within the Dreamforce campus to take a breather and relax.
You can also take advantage of the Dreamforce App to plan your schedule and set reminders for breaks. Don’t push yourself too hard trying to do everything. Remember, quality over quantity.
Explore the Expo Hall
The Dreamforce Expo Hall is massive, with hundreds of vendors showcasing their products and services. Take the time to explore and engage with the vendors that align with your interests or business needs.
Be sure to have your badge scanned at vendor booths for a chance to win prizes and giveaways. It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn about new Salesforce technologies and solutions that can benefit your organization.
Have a Plan B for Sessions
Sometimes, the sessions you want to attend might be full, or the lines might be too long. Always have a backup plan. Identify alternative sessions or activities in case your first choice doesn’t work out.
You can also check out the Dreamforce recordings after the event to catch up on sessions you missed. And don’t forget to engage on social media using hashtags to join the conversation and stay updated on the latest happenings.
Have Fun and Embrace the Experience
Dreamforce is not just about learning and networking; it’s also about having fun and enjoying the experience. Take advantage of the numerous parties, concerts, and special events happening throughout the week.
Attend the Dreamfest concert, participate in the 5K run, or simply hang out at the various lounges and relaxation areas. Make the most of your time at Dreamforce by immersing yourself in the unique atmosphere and energy of the event.
In conclusion, your first Dreamforce can be an overwhelming but exciting experience. Be prepared for crowds, stay hydrated and well-fed, plan your schedule wisely, and don’t forget to have fun. Embrace the opportunity to learn, network, and connect with fellow Salesforce enthusiasts. Make memories that will last a lifetime, and most importantly, enjoy the journey!