Dreamforce is less than two weeks away! Do you want to live the #dream or a dysfunctional reality? After seven years of Dreamforces, I’ve learned that the “I’ll figure it out when I get there” approach simply doesn’t work. You need a thoughtful, well-prepared agenda to drive meaning and impact for your business and career—and to have fun along the way.
In that spirit, here’s your Dreamforce Survival Guide, and your path to an amazing week.
1. Session quality
You’re going to #DF17 to soak up new information and knowledge. Get the most out of your experience by attending sessions most focused on maximizing the Salesforce Platform whether it’s for development, business processes, your career, or all of the above. Little secret: here are some can’t-miss sessions.
2. Keynote planning
Know when and where they are, and mark them on your calendar. Don’t be the one still in line at Peet’s when Marc Benioff, Michelle Obama, or Ashton Kutcher takes the stage. Study the agenda, and be in the right spot at the right time.
3. Get along with the locals
San Francisco is an incredibly friendly city until someone says San Fran or Frisco or doesn’t walk with a purpose. Don’t talk about the Giants’ or Niners’ latest seasons. Do talk about the Warriors and strength in numbers. Do not cross the street looking down at your phone (unless you want to fit in). And follow the dress code (i.e. don’t worry about it).
4. Party lists
There will be a lot of great food, drinks, and entertainment to be enjoyed at Dreamforce. But will you have any? Make sure to reserve a spot for the best parties. By the way, here are a few great ones: REVIVE, Outforce, and of course Dreamfest (this year it’s Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys!).
5. Find killer apps
At Dreamforce you’ll discover some of the coolest mobile apps to transform your business and help you see your customers in full color. Get demos, attend product-focused sessions, watch some videos, talk to interesting people, and find the apps that can connect your business, your data, and your teams.
6. Wear comfortable shoes
Perhaps the Dreamforce veteran’s most important lesson learned. Inserts help too!
7. Get mobile-ready
Will you get a “storage full” notification the minute Alicia Keys or Michelle Obama hits the stage? Can you tether if needed? Do you have your chargers, cords, headphones? Are your key apps all ready to go? Come ready. Stay connected.
8. Take mental therapy breaks
You’ll see a lot of lounge-like areas around Moscone but calming they are not. Clear your head for a few at some of our favorite rooftop chill spots or, if you want to escape the crowd for a minute, just walk east to the Embarcadero.
9. Transportation help
Taxis in SF? Not so much. Uber and Lyft will be your new best friends. Download the apps and set up before you get here. There will be heavy competition for transportation so do be prepared to wait. The best transportation tip? Walk! (Peddy cabs can be a good alternative too.)
10. Make room for schwag
Leave room in your backpack or suitcase, or plan for an extra carry-on. With Dreamforce comes hundreds of exhibitors, and with hundreds of exhibitors come hundreds of awesome giveaways! There will be some here for sure.
11. Plan where to meet
You don’t have to look far. Find two or three landmarks and use them. Soma Eats, Thirsty Bear, VIPcentral at Fogo de Chao. Look all around you when you first get to the Dreamforce campus and pick your favorites. Always know where to connect with your peeps.
12. Work the knots out
Conferences can be rough on the body. Take a long walk up the Embarcadero starting at the Ferry building. It’s awesome. Or even book a massage at a place like the Burke Williams Spa which is right by Moscone.
13. Coffee worth the walk
If you find the Moscone mud not working for you, don’t worry. Philz on Berry Street and Blue Bottle Coffee have amazing coffee (cult favorites among locals who appreciate individually brewed cups). Plus Peet’s on the corner of 4th and Harrison is the best place to grab a quick, quality cup to go.
14. Hand sanitizer
You will be shaking lots of hands, touching lots of escalator railings, and for the most part running yourself ragged. Do yourself a huge favor and use a lot of hand sanitizer during Dreamforce.
15. Don’t drink too much on the first night
Stay sharp to soak in all the inspiration and knowledge you can throughout the week. Keep your energy dial on the right side and stay on the the left side of last call!
Follow these tips and you’ll be in good shape. Dreamforce 2017 is an awesome experience and one you’ll want to maximize to the fullest. See you there!