Tips on Making the Most of Dreamforce 2014
With another Dreamforce right around the corner, and more sessions and attendees than ever before, it’s essential to start planning this year’s trip. Last year saw thousands of Nonprofit and Higher Education institutions from around the globe gather at the world’s largest technology conference to network, be inspired, promote both themselves and their organisations, and to experience the epic energy this event generates.
Whether you’re a small charity or a leading educational institute there are countless sessions to attend and people to network with to help you achieve your Dreamforce goals. And if this is your first Dreamforce you’ll surely be thinking about how to make the most of your experience.
Here are some tips on doing just that:
Set your goals
Firstly you’ll want to set your goals and objectives – this will make it easier to plan your itinerary and help you decide who you’d like to meet and what sessions you’d like to attend. You might be looking to find a tangible technology solution for your organization, to expand your networks, or to learn about new trends in your industry, and of course to have some fun. Whatever your goals are, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet them.
After you’ve set your goals you should start looking at the Dreamforce agenda to plan which sessions will best help you reach them. With more than 30 Nonprofit breakout sessions, and over 20 for Higher Ed, there is plenty to keep your schedule full for the duration of the conference. You should also plan some time to check out the live solution demos in the Saleforce Foundation zone, and also try and meet with some of the Foundation staff and partners who are really looking forward to meeting you.
Tip on planning: If you’ve already registered for Dreamforce or are a Salesforce user, you can dive straight into the ‘Success Community’, or if you have access to the Power of Us Hub you’ll find plenty of information in the Dreamforce Chatter group. These are the best place to ask questions and get support for your Dreamforce experience. You’ll find great tips about the best sessions and all the events surrounding Dreamforce.
Bag a buddy
Going solo to Dreamforce? There are plenty of opportunities to connect with other attendees in the Power of Us Hub and also in the Success Community. Lots of people are looking to connect before the event, so don’t be shy, get yourself out there!
What to bring
As with all conferences there are some things you’ll want make sure get packed in your suitcase.
- Business cards and plenty of them. Dreamforce attendees will have endless opportunities to network with industry leaders and important new contacts. Also, don’t forget to write notes on the back of all the business cards you receive – this will come in handy when you do your follow ups!
- Comfy shoes are a must at Dreamforce. You’ll be walking between sessions and buildings and you’ll be happier to do it in comfort!
Tip on Networking
- Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Be bold and introduce yourself to people on the first day, this will give you the confidence to network effectively throughout the conference.
- Prepare a killer intro to use every time you meet someone new. You’ll meet loads of interesting people – having a pre-prepared intro about yourself and what your organisation does will be really helpful.
- Be approachable. Don’t be tempted to shy away on your mobile. Be open and friendly, look around and you’ll see plenty more attendees looking to network!
Looking to build some awareness of your organization? Using social media sites like Twitter and taking part in live tweeting using conference hashtags is a great way to attract new followers and interact with other attendees. Consider taking notes and photos throughout Dreamforce so you can write up a blog post following the event. This shows your network that you are actively engaging in events to improve your organisations abilities.
– Follow the Dreamforce hashtag, #DF14 in the run up to the event to get tips and insights about the event.
Relax and Enjoy it
Dreamforce offers tons of opportunities for fun and enjoyment. Remember to check out all the events happening in conjunction to Dreamforce and schedule in some play time!
Don’t forget to follow up
It’s easy to collect 100 business cards, but following can sometimes be hard to fit into busy work life. Following up with the people you met is the first step to building long term relationships. A great way to start this is to connect on LinkedIn, even better connect on LinkedIn during the event and follow up after the event. You never know what doors could open up.
Dreamforce is happening in San Francisco from 13-16th October. It’s not too late to register. Use code: NP30014* to lock in your $300 Salesforce.org rate.
*The Salesforce.org discounted rate is ONLY available if you are a full-time employee of an organization recognized as a charitable, or nonprofit organization in the country in which you are located. All registrations utilizing this discounted rate will be subject to verification.
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