Don’t Do This at Dreamforce!
Your manager just told you that you are headed to Dreamforce. Sweet! Everyone in the Salesforce Ecosystem should attend. It’s important, invigorating and inspirational. Are you feeling like you won the lottery? Congratulations. Now get ready for what may turn out to be the toughest 4 days of your life, unless you know what NOT to do! Here’s my top 5 things not to do at Dreamforce – trust me, I’ll be attending my 7th Dreamforce this year, and I’ve learned a thing or two.
Don’t Skip On Sleep
I know that’s easy to say, since most times our body will tell us when we need to sleep. Sometimes we listen to our body, sometimes we do not, whether that’s by choice (like staying up late to watch a ball game) or by necessity (like trying to make it to your vacation destination in one day!) Dreamforce isn’t just a 9am to 5pm day. There are networking activities, meetings, sessions, and much more that happens outside the normal hours. You may want to try to take it all in. As the week progresses, you will discover the need for more sleep. If you have a break in your schedule, and your hotel is close, head back to take a power nap! Just be sure to set an alarm, so you won’t miss your next session or meeting.
Don’t Overdo the Drinking
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. More specifically, drink plenty of water. The benefits of drinking enough water have been proven scientifically, and include the following:
- Water helps maximize physical performance – At Dreamforce, this means you’ll be able to traverse the vast Dreamforce campus with more motivation and energy.
- Staying hydrated helps maintain higher levels of concentration and memory – At Dreamforce, the means you’ll be able to learn more from sessions, and recall who you have networked with when you see them again in the massive crowds.
- Water helps prevent hangovers – Yes, at Dreamforce after-hours, alcohol does flow. If you choose to enjoy some adult beverages, alternate between that glass of beer or wine with a glass of water. Then when you are calling it quits for the night, drink a large glass of water right before going to bed. You can thank me tomorrow morning.
Don’t Forget to Eat
For some people, it’s easy to get lost in the day’s activities to where all of a sudden your realize it’s 3pm and you haven’t eaten anything. The old saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” – That’s good advice. Eat a decent breakfast, with some protein, grains and fruit to help you power through the morning. Make time for a mid-day meal, grab a sandwich and salad between sessions. Eat while you are in a session, if you must. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one doing it. If you don’t have a lunch-time session booked, do some networking. It’s easy, “I’m headed to Mel’s Diner to grab a bite. I’d love to continue this conversation. Do you have time to join me?”
Don’t Try To Do It All
With over 2,700 sessions, dozens of keynote, hundreds of partners in the expo, it is literally impossible to do it all. Go through the sessions now and bookmark those you are interested in, then when Agenda Builder goes live, enroll for those you consider the highest priority. Most sessions will be recorded and made available after Dreamforce. Prioritize “Roadmap” and “Hands-On” sessions, as they are not always recorded, and they tend to fill up quickly. Make a list of the partners you must visit with in the expo hall, find them on the map and plot a course. Be cautious of the allure of awesome swag – keep in mind how much room you have in your luggage.
Don’t Forget to Connect
Meeting people at Dreamforce is great. Staying in contact with them throughout the year is ever better! Don’t forget to exchange business cards, connect on LinkedIn, follow each other on Twitter, send an email, or even send a text message. Anything to help maintain the connection. The absolute best thing about attending Dreamforce is making those genuine, human to human, face to face, connections. So don’t forget to share your contact information with those you meet. If you haven’t yet joined a local user group in your area, now’s the time for that too. You never know what your connections and conversations will lead to. They could help you solve a nagging challenge. They could lead to a speaking session at Dreamforce next year. They could even lead to a new career!
Salesforce calls Dreamforce the “Learning Event of the Year.” Don’t forget to learn about the products, the features, the AppExchange Apps, the ways in which you can give back to others. Don’t forget to listen to the messages being delivered in keynotes, and realize that some messages are delivered simply to make you think.
Don’t forget to enjoy Dreamforce. After all, it does come just once a year.