With Dreamforce right around the corner, those attending (whether it’s in person or on screen) will be starting to think about how to get the most out of the event. As the first large scale in-person event since 2019, even seasoned Dreamforce veterans may have forgotten just how bustling the conference can be. And with the continued hybrid format (Salesforce+ launched last year), those attending virtually are also in for a jam-packed three days.
So, here are some handy tips and tricks to ensure that you are totally prepared for Dreamforce, in whatever capacity you’re attending.
What Is Dreamforce?
Dreamforce is the highlight of the Salesforce calendar, and one of the largest global tech events. With three days of knowledge sharing and networking dedicated to all segments of Salesforce, it’s not hard to understand why!
The conference advocates the sharing of success stories in the industry, and as such, has attracted 180,000+ people to San Francisco. However, in light of the recent circumstances, this year the event is being held in a hybrid format, with Salesforce+ showing live-streamed and on-demand sessions to ensure no one is missing out on the action.
In-Person Attendance Tips:
Your three days at Dreamforce will no doubt be tiring. With the plethora of events and parties on the calendar, you might feel as though you need another break afterwards to recuperate!
Use these tips and tricks to avoid burning out and make sure you Dreamforce like a pro.
1. Plan your agenda (but not too much!)
There are over 1000 sessions taking place, so don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed. Start looking through the agenda and favorite any that take your fancy, but keep in mind the locations of each. The conference is spread around Downtown San Francisco – make sure to leave yourself enough time to commute.
Try to arrive early as sessions fill up fast. The Salesforce Events app will be your best friend (available on the App Store or Google Play). You’ll then be able to see your agenda on the go and check your next session while out and about at Dreamforce.
However, don’t try to plan each day down to the last second. We recommend three to four sessions a day, so you have time in between to rest and reflect. This unplanned time can also be useful for any last minute arrangements with fellow attendees.
2. Check out the weather forecast
The weather in San Francisco is somewhat unpredictable at this time of year. Though it is unlikely to be freezing, it may get cold at night and it is also prone to rain. It’s best to be prepared for any eventuality, as you don’t want to be caught off guard.
Be sure to check the weather forecast as close as you can to the event, but don’t put all your faith in it – they are quite frequently wrong!
3. Do some research
While Dreamforce is the reason you are going to San Francisco, you may as well make the most of your trip. If you are arriving early or leaving a few days after the conference, have a look at the things you can do while in San Fran, such as visiting Alcatraz, traveling in the cable cars, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, and – for the real Trailblazers out there – visiting the Salesforce Tower.
4. Salesforce swag
It’s common knowledge that the Salesforce community love their swag. From golden hoodies to stickers, if you are feeling crafty, why not start working on an outfit to rival Marc Benioff’s custom trainers. This is also a great opportunity to incorporate your brand into your outfit. Your logo on a cap or a sweater is great free promo – why not take full advantage of the event?
While taking merch is a must, leaving space to take swag home is also important. However, Salesforce are super focused on keeping Dreamforce swag sustainable this year. It is unlikely there will be the usual swag expected in previous years such as backpacks and other attendee gifts. Although, there will be on-site quests where you can win swag/prizes and some specific events might have a small amount of swag to give out.
5. Start connecting with the community
The mass gathering of the Salesforce community at Dreamforce means it’s the ultimate networking experience. However, it is also a good idea to connect with people beforehand too.
If this year is your first year, then it can be helpful to gauge what other people are planning on doing. Otherwise, it’s nice to know who in the community you can look out for, who will be in the same sessions as you, and also note anyone you want to meet face-to-face for the first time.
Here are some great ways to meet fellow Trailblazers:
- Flyin’ Solo
- All Dreamforce
- New to Dreamforce
- Dreamforce Parties & Networking
- Dreamforce for Admins
- Developers at Dreamforce
- All UK & Ireland attendees of Dreamforce
- Dreamforce Newbie “Reunion” Breakfast
6. Get ready to party
Although Dreamforce is essentially for work, there are so many opportunities to play as well. From happy hours and receptions, to the huge headliners at Dreamfest, there’s something for everyone.
This means you should plan your nights as well as your days, as spaces fill up fast for the most popular events. Check our extensive list below to be involved in some of the nocturnal activities at Dreamforce.
Dreamforce Packing List:
- A big suitcase: Make sure you take all the merch you need and leave enough room to pack whatever swag you collect along the way.
- A backpack: Something for during the conference – what else are you going to stuff all your swag into?
- Clothes for all weather: Dreamforce is business casual, but pay more attention to the weather than the dress code. From raincoats to shorts – it’s unpredictable!
- Umbrella: Don’t get caught out in the rain – see above!
- Comfy shoes: Dreamforce is spread around Downtown San Francisco, so you will undoubtedly be pounding the pavements at some point. Make sure you take a reliable pair of shoes, or if they are new, make sure you have worn them in, ready to go.
- Plasters (Band-Aids): Just in case the shoes aren’t as comfy as you thought!
- Vitamins: Keep your energy up for long, action-packed days.
- Paracetamol/Ibuprofen (Advil/Tylenol): For any post-party headaches.
- ID: Bars are required to ask for identification if you look under 30.
- Phone and laptop chargers: Make sure you’re powered up and raring to go each morning.
- Portable battery pack: Never be caught out with a dead device while you’re on the go.
- Notebook & pen: To take down all the valuable knowledge.
- Headphones: For when you need a little chill time.
- Reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated is a big must for a conference this size. Stay healthy and take a water bottle around with you. There will be stations to refill around the campus.
While the tips above will prepare you for Dreamforce itself, Dreamfest is a whole different ball game. The concert is held at Oracle Park, with proceeds going to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, and it is the highlight of some people’s Dreamforce experience.
Be prepared – it’s concert rules, not conference rules:
- Make sure you have transport to Oracle Park. Depending on where you are staying, it might be a long walk. Some of the pre-Dreamfest parties are putting on transport, but if not, scope out the train route, or pre-book a taxi.
- Don’t take a bag larger than 14” x 14” x 6”.
- Make sure you take your conference badge, and be aware that once you go in you cannot leave and then reenter – there is a strict ‘no re-entry’ policy.
- Take ID because if you look under 30, you will be challenged – take it as a compliment!
- Take layers, such as a jumper, just in case the Red Hot Chili Peppers don’t keep you warm enough!
Many in the community won’t be traveling to San Francisco to attend Dreamforce in person, but don’t worry if that’s you, as there are plenty of advantages to attending virtually. You will be able to see many more sessions than if you were there in person (no commute – yay!). Salesforce+ will be showing 72 hours of live broadcast as well as over 200 sessions that will be available on demand. And best of all, it’s free!
Watching at home can also be a good tester for those of you who are wondering whether to attend next year. Make the most of the free services to get a flavor of Dreamforce, if only to convince yourself that it’s worth the investment.
On Screen Attendance Tips:
1. On demand events
As mentioned before, Salesforce+ has loads of content available for the Trailblazers watching from home. Sign up for free to browse through the schedule and check which sessions you can watch whenever you’d like.
The available sessions are split up into categories, such as by role or topic, so you can easily find those that appeal to you.
2. Check time zones
If you can’t wait for the sessions to come out on demand then make sure you know what time the event’s you are interested in are on in your part of the world.
Whether that means waking up in the middle of the night so you don’t miss the keynote, or starting your day early to catch Dreamfest, you may want to catch the latest news as soon as it drops.
3. Create a timetable
Just because you are not there in person does not mean that you don’t need to plan. If you are at home there is a chance that you are still working, and though Dreamforce will undoubtedly be beneficial to you, there may be some obstacles in the way.
Curate the content that will fit around your schedule and note down which sessions are going to bring value to you and your team – then add them to your timetable. Treat Dreamforce as a part of your working day. What will help you in your role? What have you got the time to watch? Which sessions are going to bring you joy?
Even if it’s on demand, it’s still worth scheduling a time to watch – otherwise you may never get around to it, and you could miss out on valuable Salesforce learning.
4. Connect with Trailblazers
Remote attendance doesn’t have to mean there’s no opportunity to network. There will be plenty of people in the same boat, so why not connect with them and enjoy a virtual watch party! Put feelers out in the Trailblazer community or on LinkedIn to find other virtual attendees. Then you can either watch the sessions together or create a meeting to debrief afterwards!
You could even meet up in person. Group leaders, there is still time to organize a ‘watch party’ and create your own Dreamforce magic…
5. Stock up on snacks
A huge benefit of watching remotely: you can eat what you want, when you want, and how you want. Treat yourself by buying all of your favorite snacks – why not have a different one for each session?
If you want to go a little ‘extra’, try some of the recipes in the Salesforce Cookbook, such as Aloha Macadamia Cookies or App-tastic Deviled Eggs.
Hopefully these tips will help you get the most out of your Dreamforce experience, in whichever capacity you’re attending this year. If you’ll be there in person, stay safe and we will see you there! If you are attending remotely, make the most of Salesforce+ and connect with other ‘virtual’ attendees over the next few weeks.
Either way, we hope you have an interesting, fruitful, and enjoyable Dreamforce!