How to attend Dreamforce like Benioff

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Sleep is Over-Rated!

How many times have you used that saying on days where you are really tired due to lack of sleep?  I say it all the time because most nights I don’t get more than 5 to 6 hours of sleep. I used to tell people I don’t sleep much because I’m just a night owl who also likes getting up early when it’s still quiet. But after reading this Business Insider article and studying the infographic referenced in that story, I’m going to start telling people I don’t sleep much because I want to become the CEO of a great company soon!

Friends and business colleagues of Marc Benioff, the cofounder and CEO of Salesforce, say he never sleeps. Benioff is known for sending late night direct messages on Twitter. It seems to be his communication tool of choice. He once told Forbes’ Alex Konrad to “beware of late-night tweeting” and then spent a few weeks sending the Konrad late night pictures with friends including President Obama and Stevie Wonder. Perhaps if I ran in those circles, I’d be guilty of late-night DM-ing too.

Dreamforce Tips

Dreamforce is my week for blowing the sleep patterns out of the water. It’s a very busy week, between Keynotes and Breakout Sessions, User Group and MVP community activities, making time to socialize with friends and colleagues I see once or twice a year, and keeping up traditions, like a Golden Gate Bridge walk with Zachary Jeans. I’d like to say I stock up on sleep all year long to be able to survive Dreamforce on 3 to 4 hours sleep each night, but science tells me you really can’t stockpile sleep.

Here’s a few tips on how to better survive Dreamforce…and one word of caution, I do NOT always practice what I preach:

  1. Bring and wear comfortable shoes. You will be on your feet a lot. Way more than most of us are during a normal week. I started tracking my miles on my second trip to Dreamforce and discovered I was logging an average of over 6 miles a day during the week.
  2. Stay hydrated. Make water your drink of choice because most other drinks – soda, coffee, alcohol; will actually dehydrate you! Yes, I just said avoid drinks with caffeine and avoid alcohol. Keep reading – I discuss the late night parties in another tip.
  3. Schedule your sessions carefully. Be sure to check the location of the sessions, relative to surrounding sessions you want to attend to minimize your travel and maximize your learning.
  4. Attend the Partner events in the evenings. It’s a great way to meet people, learn about partner products and services, and save some money too. They typically include food and drinks at these events, but don’t overdo it on the alcohol, and don’t stay out too late. You will want to be well-rested for the next day…there’s a lot of learning and networking to be done!


What do you do to make it through Dreamforce week?


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