Events / Marketers

Checklist for Salesforce Marketers at Dreamforce: Sessions, Meet-ups, and More!

By Lauren Metcalf

Not long until Dreamforce starts! As Salesforce’s flagship conference, Dreamforce is the highlight of the year for many professionals in the ecosystem. And even if you’re not attending in person, the event is open to attendees across the globe with the Salesforce+ streaming service.

As a Salesforce marketer, you will likely want to spend most of Dreamforce scouting out like-minded professionals and sessions that will speak directly to your goals and challenges. This post will round up some of the marketing sessions that have caught our eye, marketing-specific Dreamforce parties, and general top tips for making the most of the event.

Dreamforce: Planning vs. Spontaneity

Dreamforce requires a balance between diligent planning and enough schedule “breathing room” for spontaneity. While this sounds contradictory, it helps you get the most out of Dreamforce – bookmark a handful of sessions, locate the marketing “hubs”, and strike up conversations when the opportunity arises.

Here’s our cheatsheet for marketers at Dreamforce…

Advice for Building Your Dreamforce Agenda

  • Blend a mix of session types: Keynotes deliver a spectacle, breakout sessions give you access to the speakers for Q&A and conversation, whereas “Circles of Success” give peer-to-peer advice (i.e. a roundtable where you hear what other people in the same situation as you have to say).
  • Check out which sessions will be recorded: For example, keynotes will be recorded and available shortly after Dreamforce concludes (if not before, on Salesforce+) whereas the roadmap sessions aren’t (the Safe Harbor is taken seriously!).
  • Check carefully which products will be referenced: The “Marketing Cloud” brand has grown even larger, now encompassing Account Engagement (Pardot). Expect there to be plenty of sessions for each of these, but if you’re only using one, be sure to read the session title carefully.
  • Suss out the greatest areas of innovation: From the session list, you can usually deduce which technologies Salesforce are advocating. With Salesforce Connections having taken place earlier this year, it’s no surprise that the Salesforce marketing conversation will focus on Data Cloud (their Customer Data Platform) and Marketing GPT. And of course, as we’re in the Summer of AI, there will be an acute focus on how artificial intelligence can assist in your marketing efforts.
  • Toggle between the “Sessions” and “My Agenda” page: Ensure that when you’re bookmarking sessions, you’re not stuffing your schedule!
  • Be realistic: If you see that your “My Agenda” page is a sea of blue, start culling. When you remove the session from your agenda, it will automatically keep it favorited (so you can have a plan B if the other session is full). Take location into consideration, as not only does walking soak up your time, but depletes your energy, too.
  • Sync to your calendar: While the “Add to calendar” functionality is (at the time of writing) available for remote attendees, I advise you do this once it becomes available. That way, you can incorporate the partner events, meetings, and some breathing room!
READ MORE: Complete Guide to Dreamforce

Types of Sessions

The first thing to note is that there are different types of sessions. You can filter between these on the agenda – here’s a high-level overview:

  • Keynotes: Will showcase the highlights in Salesforce innovations. Demos will string together multiple products to show why the Salesforce platform products are more powerful when working as a cohesive solution. These sessions will get you pumped up!
  • Roadmap Sessions: Give you a sneak peek into the future innovations and features, full-to-the-brim with big-bang announcements wrapped in ‘wow’ moments.
  • Breakout Sessions: Interesting sessions, with a relatively large audience, focus on a specific product area or marketing solution, with a speaker Q&A at the end (duration: 40 minutes).
  • Theater Sessions: Sessions with a smaller audience and focus on a specific product area, delivering bite size information. These sessions are more casual, where you’re able to hop in and out while walking around the expo hall (duration: 20 minutes).
  • Campfire Sessions: Interactive sessions which are entirely community-led and designed to spotlight the skills, learnings, and expertise that can help elevate Trailblazers’ careers across the Salesforce ecosystem. (duration: 20 minutes).
  • Roundtable / Circle of Success: Personally, my favorite session format. Small peer-to-peer group discussions where everyone at the table has a chance to discuss how they use Salesforce product/s, and hear from other Salesforce customers to get ideas or solve challenges. Get there early!
  • Hands-On Workshops: Bring your laptop! These guided sessions help you learn how to set up specific solutions, e.g. create an entry event, set a goal, and define customer interactions – all within Journey Builder.

Unmissable Dreamforce Sessions

When filtering the agenda builder, there are 137 sessions for marketers. While some sessions run more than once, it’s still an impressive scope to get immersed in.

Marketing-Related Keynotes at Dreamforce ‘23

Marketing Keynote: Marketing in Generation AI

Generative AI is all everyone can think about at the moment. It’s essential that this tool is harnessed for your marketing – and in the right way. In this session, “learn how Trailblazers are transforming their business with AI + Data + CRM”.

Available on Salesforce+

Bookmark this session

AI & Data Keynote: Invest in Your AI Future

AI is everywhere! As a key theme of Dreamforce, it’s no surprise that it has its own keynote. Find out all about Salesforce’s AI offering and how “unified data powers trusted AI”.

Bookmark this session

Commerce Keynote: Automate Growth with the #1 AI Platform

“Learn how the world’s leading companies are driving profitable growth with AI-powered commerce that’s smart, personalized, and everywhere”

Bookmark this session

Marketing Cloud Release Highlights

Building on the marketing keynote, this session will explain some of the features in the Winter ‘24 release, and “how recent features help teams save time with AI, make sense of their data, and activate it in their customer journeys”.

Bookmark this session

Marketing Interest Dreamforce Sessions

Data Cloud + Einstein GPT: Plan Your Marketing Data Strategy

A session from one of our own! Timo Kovala is delving into how CDP and AI work together to achieve personalization at scale – revealing his marketing data strategy.

Available on Salesforce+

Bookmark this session

Social Media, AI, and the Future of Omni-Channel Care

Today’s consumers have higher expectations and more access to brands than ever before. Join Sprout Social to get the insights on how social media and AI can help you remain competitive.

Bookmark this session

READ MORE: How AI Could Change Social Media Marketing on Salesforce

Data-Driven Decision-Making: Leveraging Marketing Cloud APIs

Discover the power of data-driven decision-making by leveraging Marketing Cloud APIs. Learn how to extend and integrate Marketing Cloud beyond the out-of-the-box capabilities.

Bookmark this session

Measure Impact with Engagement and Google Analytics 4

Make the most of your data for your journeys with Google. In this session, we will dive into how you can utilize this partnership for more effective marketing.

Bookmark this session

Leverage AI Across the Salesforce Platform

Marketing Champion Marcos Duran explains “how AI technologies can help make Salesforce users (from core to marketing) more impactful”.

Bookmark this session

How Data Cloud Works: A Technical Deep Dive

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Data Cloud. Product leaders will take you on a deep dive into how it works, including the technical architecture, and real-world use cases.

Bookmark this session

READ MORE: The History and Future of Salesforce Data Cloud

AI-Powered Strategies for Next-Level Marketing Operations

AI can be used to help streamline tasks in all sorts of roles, and Marketing Ops is no exception. From revolutionizing customer segmentation to optimizing your campaigns, this session explores various strategies.

Bookmark this session

READ MORE: 10 Ways to Get Started With Marketing Ops

5 Ways Busy B2B Marketers Can Do More with Less

One of the phrases many marketers have been told this year is “do more with less”, but how can this actually be achieved? These five marketing automation best practices will allow all teams to work more efficiently.

Bookmark this session

What’s the “Big Idea”? Key Trends in Marketing

“Losing sight of the big picture amid the daily marketing grind? Learn how hot trends like AI can impact your business, and which other trends may stay or fade.”

Bookmark this session

Roundtable Sessions

Use Cases For Generative AI

Not only delving into marketing use cases for AI, this session will also discuss topics such as security, trust, and relevance.

Bookmark this session

READ MORE: Can ChatGPT Replace a Salesforce Marketer?

Rethinking Measurement for a Post Third-Party World

Third-party cookies are being depreciated, which will impact marketers in a variety of ways. This discussion will cover the impacts you can expect from this transition and other marketing options.

Bookmark this session

READ MORE: Cookieless Future + Salesforce Marketing Data

Global Marketing Roundtable: Driving Success as a Leader

Want to hone your leadership skills? In this roundtable, companies across the globe share insights on how to drive success as a marketing leader.

Bookmark this session

Parties and Chill-Out Zones

Dreamforce is more than just the learning sessions, there’s heaps of parties and events for you to explore too. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Marketers Welcome Bash: Monday 11 August, 6pm – 9pm, The Pink Elephant Alibi [Registration]
  • EMEA Community Gathering at Dreamforce: Monday 11 August, 6pm – 9pm, Peacekeeper (The Mezzanine) [Registration]
  • AfterParty GPT: Tuesday 12 August, 7pm – 1am, 1015 Folsom San Francisco [Registration]
  • ThrillFest: Wednesday 13 August, 4pm – 8pm, Thriller Social Club [Registration]
  • The Revenue Launch Pad for Dreamfest: Wednesday 13 August, 5pm – 8pm, Soma Eats on 2nd [Registration]
  • Marketers Afterglow Party: Thursday 14 August, 4pm – 6:30pm, Home for Marketers at The Pink Elephant Alibi [Registration]
READ MORE: Ultimate Dreamforce Parties & Events 2023

Final Thoughts

The amount of Dreamforce Marketing events is extensive, so make sure to bookmark all your favorite sessions (and schedule all the events) that you wish to attend. This will ensure you get the most out of your Dreamforce experience.

Be sure to follow The DRIP on LinkedIn to stay up to date with all the Salesforce marketing news!

The Author

Lauren Metcalf

Lauren is Content & Services Delivery Lead at Salesforce Ben.

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