November is fast approaching, along with the largest and most important Salesforce event of the year, Dreamforce!
2017 will be my first Dreamforce, I have wanted to go for many years, but I have only managed to finalise my arrangements this year. Why did it take so long? First of all, there was the pitch to the business. It can be quite hard to explain the benefits of flying somebody to San Fransico, putting them up in a hotel and purchasing a ticket. This can often run the total bill into the thousands. Ths is exacerbated when like me you are travelling a long distance (The UK), and the costs of the flights alone could amount to half your budget.
The Dreamforce Pitch
So how did a get to a place where I got the budget to go to Dreamforce this year? I started off by doing my homework. I looked at the leadership team and decided who would be good at understanding the value of Dreamforce and become an ally in my journey.
Next, I spoke with people within the Salesforce community I did this at the User Groups I attend, events I have been to such as London’s Calling and people online. I asked why did they go, what value did they get out of it and would they do it again. It was clear from these conversations that the advantages were the discussions, presentations, and networking. It was also clear that I should wear comfortable shoes (I’m not sure if it is mandatory that when somebody new asks about Dreamforce, the first thing you must say is ‘Wear comfy shoes’). This gave me a lot of information to sell to the leadership team and over the course of months, I managed to persuade multiple people to attend the Salesforce world tour in London with me.
From that point onwards the conversation was ‘It’s the world tour on steroids’ as almost everybody got value out of the day it was not long before Dreamforce became a reality.
Why do I want to go to Dreamforce?
Of course, most people would love to go to a company paid week in San Fransico. But Dreamforce is a lot more than that. As well as the big keynotes and inevitable product launch. Dreamforce gives you a sense of being part of the community or Ohana that Salesforce is all about. There is a lot to learn. I have loved attending events in the UK but the scale of these days is nothing in comparison to what Dreamforce has to offer. There is such a wide variety of topics and not just delivered by people trying to sell you Salesforce, but from people across the world that use the platform day in, day out. This gives it a different level to most annual conferences from companies that use it as a big sales opportunity. Dreamforce is about expanding your knowledge, meeting new people and having fun.
My Dreamforce tips
As part of my pitch, I did a lot of research online to see what the online community felt about Dreamforce, and since getting my ticket looking for tips on what I should do when I get there.
Below are tips that I have seen repeated many times, and I will be trying to follow and a newcomer:
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Understand the layout of the event, don’t book back to back sessions at opposite sides of the city
- Leave time between sessions to relax & network
- Use the Dreamforce App to plan & get around
- Keep Hydrated, don’t forget to drink and top up your water bottle up regularly
- Don’t forget to take a break, use one of the breakout areas to take 5 minutes to yourself from time to time
- Wear comfy shoes
- Accept that you are not going to be able to do it all
- Make room for the swag; there is lots of it don’t miss out
- Don’t forget to eat; there will be food but take snacks with you. Queues for sessions are a great opportunity for a quick snack
- I’m not sure if anybody has said this yet but wear comfortable shoes
- Wear layers; the temperature will change throughout the day and areas of the city
So, have you been, planning to go or will have to miss out this year? I will do a round up of how I got on afterwards, and see how many of the above I manage to keep to.
Also published on Medium.