This is my fourth time at Dreamforce, salesforce.com’s user conference and the world’s largest cloud computing show located in San Francisco. While I have a few years of it under my belt, this is my first time as a non-salesforce employee. I’m going to Dreamforce to represent the fast-growing Salesforce partner, RingLead. I’m excited to bring even more energy, experience and ideas to this event as I have in years past.
If you’re new to Dreamforce or just looking for ways to get the most out of the show, here’s my plan for scheduling my days, and using helpful resources.
I love to live blog sessions and keynotes, and the content I create must appeal to Dreamforce attendees, Dreamforce fans that are interested but could not attend, and of course, other marketers. To make sure I appeal to this audience with my content, I plan my days ahead of time. With nearly 1,500 sessions, I need to know where I’m headed and when. Why plan ahead?
- Some venues and sessions can be a 15 minute walk apart, so you need time to get there.
- Sessions fill up so you’re not guaranteed a seat. Getting there early will give you a better shot.
- Live blogging requires scheduling, planning and thinking ahead.
I, of course, did not mention the essentials of eating, bathroom breaks, checking work emails and stopping to say hello to people. With all of this in mind, here’s how I plan my days:
- 1-2 sessions and one keynote per day. This gives me ample time to get to the sessions, plan ahead for blogging and makes sure I’m not running around like crazy. It’s manageable and still plenty of great content to digest. I make sure I get to the main keynotes because those are the most inspiring with amazing speakers.
- Booth duty. RingLead has a booth at Moscone West (W827), so I plan to be there everyday to meet customers, colleagues, and coworkers. Spending that time at the booth is invaluable. I also love the Expo halls because you get to see all the great vendors (and grab some swag – RIngLead has t-shirts this year!).
- Extracurricular events. The evenings are crucial times for networking with tons of awesome parties. I make sure to attend the events and parties with partners and people that I know and want to see. During the day, plenty of companies have restaurants, hotel conference rooms and spaces rented for charging up, relaxing and catching up on work, such as The Oasis by the Cloud Collective. And lastly, I always try to get a good run in, so I plan to do the DF14 Fun Run.
It’s tough to plan Dreamforce without some great tools. At the same time, you need these tools and resources throughout the show to make sure you get everywhere you need to be and make the most of your time. Here’s what I use.
- Dreamforce Agenda Builder: to plan your days and evenings with sessions, keynotes and happy hours
- Dreamforce Success Community: to share and discuss your plans with other conference-goers
- Dreamforce Party Helper: to see all the registered/public parties during Dreamforce (as well as lounges and day events)
- Dreamforce Mobile App: to stay on top of my sessions, conversations and the exciting world of Dreamforce
- GroupMe: a free group chat mobile app to keep in touch with coworkers and colleagues during Dreamforce
- #DF14: The official Dreamforce hashtag and a great way to monitor the conversation throughout the show
- Shameless Plug: The Guide to Networking at Dreamforce: this is a RingLead and WinGreen Marketing ebook with some of the tips I discussed here as well as more ideas.
If you’re going to Dreamforce, comment here or tweet me at @amandalnelson. It would be great to meet up!