We are nearing Dreamforce 2019, and as a first-timer, I’m anxiously wondering what I should be doing to prepare. To make the most out of this amazing Salesforce conference experience, I want to ensure my first Dreamforce will be memorable for all the right reasons.
So, I did some research and connected with the Trailblazer Community to get some advice, and here are my top tips to start preparing for Dreamforce right now, because time is ticking.
1. Find some comfy shoes (and start breaking them in now)
Finding comfortable shoes anytime is no joke and many of us choose fashionable over sensible any day. Dreamforce means being on your feet for a minimum of four days, walking between multiple venues. The dress code is business casual, with more emphasis on the casual, so do go for comfort and practicality. Don’t forget, San Francisco is notorious for its unpredictable weather so you might want to opt for something guaranteed to be waterproof. As well as finding yourself some shoes, make sure you break them in BEFORE you arrive!
2. Plan any customized clothing (yes really)
The Salesforce community are known for their amazing custom swag, from bespoke shoes and sneakers, to bejewelled hats and hoodies. If you’re the arty type, now’s the time to start working on anything you plan to bring to Dreamforce.
It’s also the right time to start planning any branded merchandise and business cards you might want to bring if you’re at Dreamforce representing a company, or your own website/blog.
3. Prepare for an exam
If you’re planning to take advantage of the 50% certification discount at Dreamforce, now is the time to start studying. The last thing you want is to be super stressed at Dreamforce so study beforehand and come well prepared for your exam. Be sure to read the official exam guide and check out the many exam guides and mock exams available on Salesforce Ben.
4. Start connecting with the community
This tip is especially important if you’re heading to Dreamforce solo There’s nothing more daunting than attending an event and not knowing anyone, so take this opportunity to connect with your peers beforehand and even arrange to meet up when you’re there.
Here are just a few ways to meet new friends before you’ve even arrived:
- Join groups on the Trailblazer Community to find like minded attendees
- Attend your local Salesforce community group and find out if anyone else is attending
- Follow your fellow Ohana on Twitter; you can even reach out and ask to meet at Dreamforce
- Look out for the #DF19 hashtag on Twitter
- Sign up to the DF19 Newbie Reunion Breakfast, hosted by the Midwest Dreamin’ team, including Eric Dreshfield (well known for his love of bacon!). You can enjoy breakfast on Tuesday morning and meet fellow Dreamforce attendees (hint – you don’t actually have to be a newbie to attend).
5. Define your goals
The sheer scale of Dreamforce can render even the most savvy attendees panicked and confused like a deer in headlights. Before you begin to select your sessions, sit down and think about why you are attending Dreamforce: what do you hope to gain, what are your goals, what are your business objectives? You can’t do it all, so make a realistic list of a few key goals for Dreamforce and plan your agenda around them.
6. Start planning your agenda
With so many sessions to choose from, there’s never been a better time to start trawling through them and bookmarking your favourites. You’ll then be able to register to them when the agenda builder opens shortly. If you’re a registered attendee, you’ll get a notification when the agenda builder is live. Advice from previous Dreamforce attendees is to register for sessions ASAP to avoid disappointment as they fill up fast.
Plan your sessions carefully; choosing sessions located near each other will make it much easier for you to get to all of them in good time and aim for no more than 3-4 sessions per day to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
7. Get ready to party
Dreamforce equals parties galore and with so many to choose from, Salesforce Ben has put together a comprehensive list right here. Dreamforce parties start before the actual conference even kicks off and there’s everything from silent discos to puzzle parties, as well as the official Dreamfest. Register to your favourites now.
8. Pound the pavements
With so much to do and see, spread among multiple venues, Dreamforce is going to require some serious stamina. The days will start early and finish late, with a lot of it spent on your feet, so get ahead of the curve by increasing your steps in the run up to the conference. Even better, wear your Dreamforce shoes and get breaking them in (see point 1!).
Don’t be put off if you have any health or accessibility requirements, the Dreamforce website states “there will be rest stops strategically placed around campus. Priority is given to individuals with disabilities, and this is indicated on the signage.”
9. Do your research
San Francisco ranks as one of the greatest cities in the world; famous for cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, as well as Salesforce Tower! If you’ve got a few days before or after Dreamforce, do your research and pre-book any unmissable tourist attractions. For example, tickets for the Alcatraz day tour are released 90 days before and often get fully booked.
If you plan to travel around the city, download the BART and MuniMobile apps. These apps will let you plan your journey, see live departure times and you can even purchase tickets on the MuniMobile app. You may also want to order a Clipper Card which can be used to purchase tickets on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and Municipal Railway (Muni) public transit.
10. Subscribe, subscribe, subscribe
Subscribe to the Salesforce blog and Salesforce Ben to stay up to date with the latest Dreamforce information. By subscribing, you can be the first to know as soon as new and useful posts are published.
If you can’t wait to continue your preparations for Dreamforce AND you want to earn points and badges, check out the “Dreamforce Ready” trail on Trailhead.