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Looking forward to Dreamforce 2015

As the big news was released to the masses that Foo Fighters would be once again headlining in the music department, my thoughts turned to the upcoming Dreamforce event a little over two months away. I have several clients that will be attending for the first time this year and have asked me what they should expect. Things have changed a lot since the first one I attended in hotel banquet rooms in a single hotel when there was –GASP- no live band! So I thought it might be nice to share a few tips that I have learned from my years of attending with those who are attending for the first time.

First, the conference is HUGE and spans roughly a dozen buildings in downtown San Francisco. Depending on what sessions you sign up for, you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking so be sure to dress accordingly and not carry a lot of stuff with you that you don’t want to schlepp around for four days.

There’s so much going on that you’ll not be able to do everything. Pick a track that best suits you and focus in on the sessions that are most interesting. My advice is to give higher priority to sessions that are led by Community members (rather than vendors) that have less of a sales slant. There will likely be some sessions that you want to attend that overlap each other or are geographically separated from each other – don’t fret! If you can’t find an available session in your preferred track (or geographic proximity), expand your horizons a bit and try something different.

Along those lines, the hands-on sessions held by Salesforce University are excellent. You can sit in front of a PC and get hands-on instruction with functionality that you may not have had the ability (or need) to play with yet. If this interests you, they fill up fast, so register quickly. If you’re of the technical mindset, spend some time over in the Developer Zone “Un-conference” which is a ‘conference in a conference’ with content driven by the attendees.

When attending sessions, know that all the sessions are recorded and the presentations will be available online after the event. This allows you to better focus on the material being presented and lessens the need to take notes on everything you see, just jot down the nuggets that you can’t wait to try out when you get back home (or to the hotel!). Speaking of recorded sessions, the keynotes are also broadcasted live so you might want to save yourself some waiting in line to get in to the limited space and watch them from the comfort of your hotel room or a from one of the many lounges.

Most of all, have fun! There’s a lot of extra-curricular activity going on with a lot of money being spent to rain free food and beverages on you, take advantage of it. You’re likely there to absorb some of the knowledge being shared but it’s also important to absorb the energy, collaboration and innovation that happens when over a hundred thousand people get together to share ideas!

See you at Dreamforce 2015!

Chris Dahlberg

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