Your Guide to Taking On Dreamforce
Dreamforce is the largest technology conference in the world. It’s huge, it’s loud … it’s awesome! But if you don’t plan accordingly, it can get very overwhelming.
Don’t waste your four days at Dreamforce. To help you make the best use of your time in San Francisco, we’ve compiled your one-stop guide to successfully take on Dreamforce.
Your Complete Dreamforce Guide
Dreamforce ’19 Schedule
Knowing what’s happening when is key. But with so much going on, it can be easy to miss out! A full schedule can be found on Salesforce’s website, but we thought we’d call out a few honorable mentions below.
Monday, November 18
|12 – 10 p.m.||Registration and Badge Pick-up|
Tuesday, November 19
|10 a.m. – 12 p.m.||Opening Keynote with Marc Benioff and Keith Block|
|1 – 1:30 p.m.||Featured Keynote with Tim Cook|
|5 – 7 p.m.||Welcome Jamboree|
Wednesday, November 20
|3 – 4 p.m.||Solution Keynote with Tableau|
|6:30 – 10:30 p.m.||Dreamfest Fleetwood Mac Concert at Oracle Park|
Thursday, November 21
|10 – 11 a.m.||Featured Keynote with Former POTUS Barack Obama|
Navigating Dreamforce can be a feat. There’s a lot of people, and the campus is quite large. Everyone’s going to be trying to get from Point A to Point B. But with a little help, you can get around with ease.
- First and foremost, download the Salesforce Event app. This is the absolute best first step to get the most out of your Dreamforce experience. The app has everything from a map of campus and shuttle schedules, to event schedules and activity lists.
- Take control of your transportation by thinking ahead. Walking is one of the most effective ways to get around during Dreamforce, but you need to be intentional about distances. There are also hotel shuttles running from over 100+ hotels to Moscone Center and campus shuttles with five stops on the grounds. Download the Salesforce Event app for a full list.
- Know what’s happening and where. This Salesforce post is from Dreamforce ’18, but it’s still extremely useful. It breaks down all the highlights, including where to coat check, find the lost-and-found, and other helpful resources.
- Know where to get away! With all the crowds and constant energy, sometimes you just need a moment to yourself. But, with 170,000+ attendees, finding peace and quiet can be hard to come by at Dreamforce if you don’t know where to look. Here are 25 places to “unwind” on the Dreamforce campus. You’re welcome.
What to Do at Dreamforce
Pick Your “Trail”
Salesforce makes finding your lane really easy. Their “trail maps” can be narrowed down by role, industry, or even cloud, so you can be sure you won’t miss out on anything important.
They have Dreamforce trail maps for:
- And even SMBs
What is the real ROI of Salesforce?
Find Your Sessions
As we mentioned, Salesforce’s pre-designed trail maps can help you narrow down what sessions and events are most relevant to you. But, there are still over 2,700 sessions to pick from. To help you focus a little further, here are our picks for some “don’t miss” sessions.
Don’t miss the keynotes. They are extremely enlightening – particularly Marc Benioff’s. All of the keynotes, whether industry or product, are a great way to find out where Salesforce is investing and what’s coming next. We highly recommend that everyone attending Dreamforce prioritize them in your agenda.
For first-timers and business leaders
Our biggest tip for those new to Salesforce or business leaders is to focus on the high-level concepts. We think the AppExchange is perfect for this. It’s a great “play store” for finding add-on solutions to expand your CRM, and the sessions can bring to light a lot of great and affordable ways to improve your Salesforce org.
Einstein & AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are all the buzz right now. That makes Einstein a “Dreamforce don’t miss” in our books. Plus, with Salesforce’s recent purchase of data analytics powerhouse, Tableau, we expect to see some great new solutions to be coming in this space. Not only is there Einstein Ridge on the third floor of Moscone West for all your AI and analytics needs, but be sure to check out a few of these sessions for how AI and your CRM are BFF’s.
We are all about integrations. In fact, we’re firm believers that system integration should be your next big business initiative.
Check out these sessions for a high-level take, or head over to the Expo to see our friends at Dell Boomi for all your integration and iPaaS questions.
For the more technical
(And where you’re likely to find our Salesforce development team!)
Salesforce has been rallying behind Heroku as a key component in the ecosystem over the past year, and there’s quite a bit of merit to it. Heroku is Salesforce’s cloud platform that allows you to seamlessly develop and operate applications. It all boils down to “data agility,” providing flexibility to synchronize large volumes of data in-and-out of Salesforce easily. This makes for great data integrations and processing in a secure, scalable environment.
Enough good things are happening with Heroku that it needs to be mentioned twice! Heroku Connect is being upgraded with a standard event listener for Platform Events and Heroku Kafka. This powerful architecture will allow for event-based bulk processing much easier than before.
While one of our favorite Salesforce “gurus,” Christophe Coenraets, is not presenting any breakout sessions this year, be sure to catch exciting announcements from him at the Developer Keynote. These always point out upcoming platform technologies and capabilities that set the stage for the new features of Salesforce.
When looking for other architecture guidance, here are a few sessions that caught our eye.
Lightning Web Components
We’re one year into the exciting world of Lightning Web Components, the standards-based components used to customize Salesforce.com UX. Don’t miss out on these sessions that will cover the capabilities of LWC, as well as how to build them to be secure and scalable.
Salesforce has released a new version of its mobile app that unifies the desktop and mobile experiences better. This improved experience is more intuitive for end-users and is a long-needed upgrade. However, enablement is not automatic. Learn the steps as you move from one to the next.
Get Salesforce Certified
The whole point of Dreamforce is to learn and connect. So perhaps this is your perfect opportunity to get certified!
Salesforce certifications are 50% off during Dreamforce. Sign up today to take an exam or register for a 3-day Training Bootcamp for an intensive learning session.
Make Time for Fun
Yes, we realize we just said Dreamforce is for learning more about Salesforce. But, it’s also for connecting with others. And an event this size comes with quite a few fun events for you to choose from.
Again, we highly recommend the Salesforce events app to keep on top of all the parties and activities. Also, don’t forget to lean into the week! The Trailmoji app is a fun way to show your CRM pride with custom Salesforce emojis.
Dreamforce insider Tips
Okay, now for the good stuff. If this is your first Dreamforce, there are some things you should know from people that have been there (a lot).
1. Dress Appropriately
San Francisco weather can be a fickle thing. Wear layers as conditions outside can change hour-to-hour. And don’t neglect your footwear! Comfy shoes will save you when you’re walking from building to building.
2. Power Packs
While there are a number of charging stations around Dreamforce, there are also over 170,000 other people trying to use them. Power is a commodity at Dreamforce. Make sure all of your devices are fully charged each day, and bring a travel power pack to keep those batteries buzzin’ all day.
3. Tweet Tweet
Maybe you aren’t a social media person. But at Dreamforce, Twitter is where it’s at. Follow along and listen! You never know what may pop up.
4. Plan, But Be Prepared to Adjust
Plan your days. Use the Salesforce Agenda Builder. But be realistic.
A common mistake we see at Dreamforce is trying to do too much. You book your days solid with back-to-back sessions, and then that one bathroom break completely wrecks your schedule.
- TIP #1 – Go for diversity! Dreamforce is about getting a feeling for the breadth of what the Salesforce platform can provide. With many sessions presenting similar topics, too much focus on a single category can lead you to feel burnt out by the same things.
- TIP #3 – Take buildings and locations into account when planning your schedule. Walking from one session to another can take a good 20 minutes in some cases.
- TIP #4 – Be willing to abandon your plan. You can’t do six sessions in a day. Dreamforce is a marathon four days, and you cannot have a functioning brain at the end if you force yourself into a session every 30 minutes. It’s okay to take an hour to NOT attend a session. Explore Developer Forest in Moscone West. Find a quiet spot to play with a new feature or tool you just learned about. People watch, go to the Expo, or simply just take a break! The point is to stay flexible. Or better yet …
- TIP #5 – Sit down and meet someone new. Talk about your Salesforce experience. Share your story. Other people are looking to learn too, and fellow users are a great way to find out what other businesses are doing with Salesforce.
5. SWAG Fatigue
There is a lot of “stuff” at Dreamforce. Some people go crazy over it, others avoid it. There’s no right or wrong here, but if you’re planning on taking full advantage of all the free giveaway items, pack lightly. In fact, packing an empty duffel in your suitcase to store all your SWAG is a smart hack for the way home.
6. Eat for Free
There’s a ton of free events and socials throughout the week. Not only do you get a boxed lunch during the days, but evenings are heavily catered. Watch for evening activities in the Salesforce Event app, and you can graze your way from one event to another.
Are you headed to Dreamforce? Let us know! We’ll be there in full force, and we’d love to connect.
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