Guest Post by Eric Wu, Co-Founder of Bracket Labs
Dreamforce 2013 is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me you’re starting to get excited. Not only is Dreamforce a chance to see what’s new and exciting in the Salesforce ecosystem, it’s also a gathering of like-minded people from around the world. I can always count on meeting fascinating people, catching up with old friends, learning a ton, and having awesome fun.
Dreamforce is such an incredible experience that over the years it has grown into the largest vendor-led technology conference in the world. But with this massive scale it can seem a bit overwhelming. This blog post shares a few of my own “learned from experience” tricks for getting the most out of your Dreamforce investment. This is stuff that is specific to Dreamforce and non-obvious, rather than the common sense things that apply to any large conference (wear comfortable shoes, schedule meetings with vendors you’re interested in, etc).
So without further ado, here's my top five Dreamforce tips:
1) Join the online Success community now. Browse the Groups section and you will see that there are groups formed around almost any topic you can imagine. Join a few and you can quickly find people who share your interests. Once you’ve made these connections, it’s a natural progression to pick their brains about their own Dreamforce plans and maybe even join a group meetup in San Francisco. Here’s a few that the Bracket Labs team thinks are excellent:
Dreamforce Weightloss Challenge: This group is an awesome example of people coming together around interest/goals that aren’t Salesforce related. Every member sets a fitness or weightloss goal and then supports each other as they work towards achieving it. At Dreamforce they’re planning to get together and celebrate.
Button Click Admins: A group created by Salesforce MVP Mike Gerholdt specifically for Salesforce admins to network and share solutions. This group’s strong focus on the Salesforce “button click” administration tools means that there’s a ton of great knowledge sharing.
2) Arrive early for the keynote speeches. Dreamforce keynotes are incredibly entertaining, and they provide the opportunity to see world-class leaders speak. But with the huge number of registered attendees, the Moscone Center venue can not contain everyone. If you want to see the event in person (as opposed to on a video screen in an overflow room) you’ve got to be there early to grab a seat.
3) Similarly, review and register for sessions early. There are hundreds of planned sessions, but the most popular speakers and topics sell out quickly, so do this sooner rather than later.
4) The coffee in Moscone sucks and is overpriced. Definitely grab a cup of coffee and breakfast on your way into Moscone, you’ll spend less and enjoy your food more. We found a great bodega that does excellent coffee and breakfast sandwiches just a few blocks from Moscone (ignore the bad Yelp reviews, this place is awesome).
5) Use the #df13 hashtag in Twitter for real-time conversation and info sharing. This one’s pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget. This is great for chatting about Dreamforce announcements as well as getting info from fellow attendees about what they’re seeing.
Those are my top tips, what are yours? Share them in the comments, I’d love to learn from your experience. Oh and you can always reach me on Twitter at @ewu
About the author: Eric Wu is a co-founder of Bracket Labs, the makers of popular Salesforce apps like Campaign Calendar, TaskRay Project Management and the upcoming MyDay Activity Management. He likes street food, whiskey and denim.