The UK has some large business conferences but they are dwarfed by Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual conference and the biggest tech conference in the world.
So if you’re lucky enough to be travelling over from Blighty, what can you expect and how can you make the most of your time there?
My top 5 tips are as follows:
1. Make sure you are top of your game
Factor in some rest time before you go and when you come back (if you’re not sparked out on the flight home). It’s going to be 90 miles an hour of amazing sessions, networking and of course, the parties. When you first arrive, get into the timezone as soon as you can. It may be tempting to have an afternoon nap if you land in San Francisco at lunchtime, but try and stay awake as near to your usual bedtime as possible and nip that jetlag in the bud.
2. Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Dreamforce in itself is huge, with many companies also hosting complementary sessions in and around the area (we have some great ones to choose from). Go with purpose! Research which are the must-see sessions for you. Know where they are and what they are. Check out the site layout and locations on arrival as you might need ‘travel’ time just to get around to your next session. Ladies, bring your flat shoes – this is no time for heels as you’ll be on your feet from dusk til dawn. Remember the parties! There’s so many to choose from, make sure you pick the cream of the crop (we have some of the best on offer!) and sign up for even more networking or just to let your hair down. Also remember you might not be able to get through everything you want to, but you can always take details and follow up with companies and people after the conference too.
3. Leave some room for the good stuff
It’s always tempting to pack your case full to the max but you’ll get hold of all sorts of promotional items and educational material so remember to leave some room and weight allowance in your hold luggage. Don’t be one of those holding up the queue at check-in while you hurriedly try and fit half of your suitcase in your carryon (I’ve been there!).
4. Be prepared for a busy city plus some!
Dreamforce is so huge now that the bustling city of San Francisco becomes even busier. Even if you’ve been to San Francisco before, this is like you’ve never seen the city before – still in a good way, just different! It’s easy to see just from the number of people wearing Dreamforce badges wandering around at all hours. Don’t be shy. Introduce yourself if you’re travelling alone and get to know some of your fellow conference attendees. You never know who you might meet. Remember it might be easier to walk from your hotel to the conference than tackle public transport or you could use some of the shuttle-based transport on offer. Be prepared for longer waits in restaurants and larger queues at the bars.
5. Bring your own tea!
The Americans do coffee really well, but if you’re a tea loving Brit, bring your own! The tea is much better than it used to be, but you can never beat a good cup of Yorkshire. Sometimes it’s a life saver!
Most of all remember to enjoy! It’s amazing to be part of the biggest tech conference in the world. That in itself is a life event to remember!!
Check out all of FinancialForce.com’s Dreamforce happenings here.