If you’re attending your first Dreamforce in the San Francisco sun and you’re an overflowing bag of nerves, don’t worry. This, as I discovered, is completely normal. You may as well get used to the feeling as you’ll feel the same every single year that you go – I know that I do.
Each year brings on new vendors, customers and partners which means much more for you to digest and pack up inside your internal suitcase. You’ll need this when you get back in the office to prove that you were the Einstein of networking.
I don’t claim to be a seasoned veteran of Dreamforce frenzies but what I can claim is knowing how to prepare for the biggest experience of your working life. I follow these tips every time I fly the Ebsta flag whilst trying not to get lost in the Dreamforce city.
Choose Your Vendors
The first time that I walked into Moscone North was overwhelming. The space was huge and the venue was bustling with people.
Save the feeling of what-do-I-do-now and plan ahead. There will be hundreds of vendor booths that are vying for your attention so choose wisely and sign up for a 1:1 meeting online before going. This way, you’ll utilize your time and feel like the ultimate cool cat.
Like a classic Dreamforce newbie, I booked myself into way too many sessions and ended up dashing here, there and everywhere like I was running in the Olympics. This time wasted could have been used on meeting with people that could benefit from our product. Lesson learnt.
Try to limit yourself to no more than 3 sessions a day so that you can get out there, talk to people and start building relationships. Use the Dreamforce Session Builder
to save the panic and be drama free!
Ditch the Heavy Laptop
I thought the laptop was going to be the answer to all of my prayers. Need a notebook? Never! I’ve got my trusty old laptop. But after a while, the weight on my shoulder started to drag me down and I was soon wishing I’d gone old school and packed some paper.
A small tablet would be perfect; convenient, light and easy. Make sure to take a charger with you because you’ll run out of juice by mid-morning – guaranteed.
Know How and Where to Unwind
As you can tell, I went full-speed ahead. I didn’t stop to catch a breath of the Dreamforce beauty and I certainly didn’t unwind.
However, I’ve learnt to take advantage of the cafes and restaurants around Dreamforce that are hosted by vendors. They provide complimentary refreshments, Wifi and most importantly, chairs. You wouldn’t believe how much your legs will be crying out for a seat.
Also, don’t forget to get yourself on the party wagon and showcase your very best moves. Check out our guide to the best party picks
Indulge in Swag
I have an awful confession. I came home with zero swag in my first Dreamforce year. My regret lasted months as I mulled over everyone’s Facebook/Twitter pictures of all their class A swag.
In my second year, I definitely got on the swagathon. I got bags full of sunglasses, a drone, a Fitbit, a GoPro and a skateboard – to remind me of my youth. Unbelievably, these aren’t even in the 5 best swag giveaways
of all time.
Just remember that if you don’t need extra luggage allowance for your flight home for all that extra swag, you’ve done it wrong!
This will be my third year as a Dreamforcer (very Star Wars-esque) and although I am still that overflowing bag nerves, I’m prepared.
I’m hoping, however, that I won’t need an extra suitcase for my swag because I’ll surely be using the trunk of my new Tesla that I’m planning to win.
Being new to Dreamforce is all part of the fun. You get to explore and discover where business is going and what will be shaping the future in years to come. Although you’re there to represent your company, don’t forget to enjoy it.
Come and visit the Ebsta team whilst you’re out there! We’re launching an exciting new product and we’re always massively happy to see you. Plus, we’re a pretty cool crew of people. Book a meeting with us today at dreamforce.ebsta.com
See you there!