Dreamforce ’16 is less than two weeks away!
On the fourth day of October, thousands of executives from a wide variety of industries from across the globe will descend on San Francisco for four days to network, get inspired, promote their organizations and experience the epic energy that Salesforce’s massive event generates.
So how does one “win” at Dreamforce? The most common answer will probably be “by surviving”… So here’s the ultimate guide for DF survival gear: everything you need to pack in order to max your DF experience!
1. Walking Shoes
If this guide could only contain one tip on what to pack, this would definitely be my pick, and anyone who’s been to DF with an uncomfortable pair of shoes will vouch for that without thinking twice. You’re probably going to spend a lot of your time running from one session to another, standing by your company’s booth, or just hanging out in between, and with such a high volume of visits to the city during Dreamforce, flagging down a taxi isn’t going to be an easy mission. So, make sure to pack your walking shoes so that you can easily walk the city.
2. Business Cards
Don’t let the bands, parties Dreamforce’s overall festive vibe fool you into thinking this is any less a business trip than it actually is, and don’t let the busy schedule fool you into thinking you’re here solely for the purpose of learning- one of your main goals at Dreamforce should be to network like crazy!
3. Laptop/ Phone Charger
Some of the sessions are going to take place back-to-back so you’ll need all of your important gadgets at your side, and fully charged. Considering that you’ll be using your laptop and phone throughout the day to stay in touch and respond to work mails, the batteries will drain quickly. Make sure you don’t get disconnected by bringing your laptop and phone chargers. It’s also a good idea to sneak in a few minutes of charge while waiting in a queue or sitting at a bar.
4. Extra Laptop Battery
Battery technology is improving every year, but you’ll still find your laptop battery flashing the 10% warning signal at various points throughout the day. An extra battery with provide you with much needed back-up. Apart for having a hassle-free stay (at least as far as your laptop’s battery life is concerned), you will also be a hero to people who may badly need a little extra charge.
5. Your Own WiFi Point
Most conferences are known to have absolutely abysmal Wi-Fi and Internet access. So just to be on the safe side, during the 2015 Dreamforce Conference, make sure you pack your own WiFi point. Using your own Internet source allows you to avoid the frustration of dealing with airwaves that are oversaturated with Wi-Fi traffic which oftentimes leads to unreliable connectivity. You’ll have Internet service – and fast Internet service — whenever you need it.
Having your own umbrella is key, just in case it rains. Salesforce often provides some freebies, but you never know what you’ll get. You do, however, need to be a little careful when using your umbrella at the venue to avoid social faux pas. Remember these simple guidelines: don’t dump your wet umbrella on the seat next to you and when grabbing your umbrella to walk out, make sure you’ve grabbed the right one.
Bring some good earplugs that fit inside your ears and provide significant noise reduction. You’ll want to cancel out noise when you’re trying to concentrate on getting some work done, or just “zone out” to relax in the middle of the chaos. These may also come in handy when travelling to San Francisco or in your hotel room, if it isn’t as quiet at night as expected.
8. Appropriate Clothing
By reviewing snapshots from prior years, you’ll notice that most professionals dressed business casual. Indeed, it’s important to feel comfortable (keeping in mind that weather in San Francisco can be unpredictable), but not sacrifice elegance. However, if you are a guest speaker find a way to “lean in” and dress more formally.
9. Evening Attire
There are parties scheduled for every night of the conference, so bring a few different evening wear outfits. The Dreamforce kickoff party, hosted by WalkMe, is on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 from 8:00 PM until 1:00 AM (PDT). Come dance the night away and network at the same time! The event will have complimentary food and drinks, great music and a photo booth for snapping photos with your coworkers or a new business partner.
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10. Hand Sanitizer
The world is a dirty place; and you don’t need to be a monk to carry a hand sanitizer. With all the handshaking and business cards exchanges, it is always wise to disinfect your hands afterwards. But, be smart about how you go about this –don’t offend new associates by immediately dousing your hands in sanitizer right after the handshake.
11. Mints or Gum
Of course, you don’t want to pass along a strong odor along with your business card. So to ward off a foul-smelling mouth, be sure to carry a few breath mints to chew, particularly after meals. Be cautious not to use mints right before you meet new associates because they might disrupted by your awkward sucking noises rather than focusing on your elevator pitch.