Get Your Dreamforce Ducks in a Row with These 5 Pro-Tips

Dreamforce ‘15 is almost upon us, and it is a HUGE event. Due to Salesforce’ massive expansion in the past decade, the conference, first launched in 2003, went through a massive expansion.  Full of attractions from all ends of the Salesforce spectrum, managing your time correctly can be a difficult task; especially for newcomers. So in order to help you make the most out of the biggest Salesforce event of the year, I’ve compiled a list containing the major “dos and don’ts” for building your schedule, right before Agenda Builder goes live. I’ve also added a link to a powerful tool that’ll save you a lot of hassle with the app!  

1. Search for your must-attend sessions first

This year’s convention has over 1500 (!!!) sessions, keynotes, and other attractions. When browsing through the agenda, you might end up feeling lost within a seemingly endless list of stuff to do. To avoid this you’ll have to plan your priorities. Dreamforce is the Coachella of tech conventions. When attending a music festival, there are always the 3-4 bands you want to see the most. You might have even purchased your 4-day ticket solely for these acts! So, to avoid clashes and make your schedule as coherent as possible, first make a list of the topics that you have to cover; sessions that fit your company’s needs, your personal needs, etc. Are there any gaps in your Salesforce experience? Be honest with yourself and try to cover as many bases as you can. After that, bookmark whatever you find interesting, and plan the rest. There’s so much stuff happening simultaneously; make sure all other activities you book revolve around these “anchors” to avoid schedule clashes, and eventually make good use of your time there.  

2. Challenge yourself

Try to book at least a couple of sessions that are more “above” your level. Don’t underestimate yourself! Chances are that you’ll find the beginner-level sessions pretty boring. Register for some advanced-level sessions and be prepared to take notes. Try to save up all the “note-taking” to these sessions; don’t exhaust yourself with writing everything in a session covering material you’re already familiar with. You’ll end up never looking at any of the notes you’ve taken, and that’s a shame because when you find yourself in a session slightly beyond your level, these notes might prove very helpful in the near future. With that being said, keep this next tip in mind:  

3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Don’t overbook yourself! There’s way too much content for you to get your head around over the course of the week. Lots of people try, (especially people new to Dreamforce) and they all end up with a headache. Aim for a balanced, clear schedule. It’s always good to expand your knowledge, but if you won’t give yourself time to breath, you’ll end up exhausted by the end of day two. This will significantly decrease benefit from the rest of your time there.  If you want rest up between sessions and still feel productive, use that time to network!  

4. Maintain a balanced mix of activities

Remember: you might be here to learn, but you can’t spend all week in learning mode. Try to integrate other activities into your schedule. For example, every day try to include at least one activity that’s not directly linked to what you’ve come for. Go to the expo hall, if only for an hour. Go watch people you look up to in their keystones, but don’t overdo it. Remember that all major keynotes are live streamed; if you’re tired, it may be more productive to catch one or two online rather than fight the crowds. Network as much as you can! Talking to people can be very refreshing. Speaking of refreshing, I found out that sometimes it’s better to walk instead of waiting for a shuttle. This really clears your head in between sessions, and you might just find useful things along the way that you would have missed otherwise. Also, go watch the Foo Fighters perform!  Dave Grohl and co put on an amazing show, and it’s guaranteed to get you all pumped up with energy for the last bit of the event.  

5. Plan even before the Agenda builder goes live!

Right before Agenda builder goes online on August 3rd, be sure to check out this awesome tool , courtesy of Deepak K. Anand, which contains a package that connects with Salesforce and extracts all the details about the sessions scheduled for this year’s Dreamforce. This way, you can actually plan your entire schedule BEFORE the Agenda Builder even goes live, and book all of your sessions the moment it does. Great, great tool. Use it wisely! *Get a chance to improve Salesforce adoption, by downloading our FREE eBook: “How to Increase Salesforce User Adoption”:
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.