Dreamforce Tips

  • How to survive Dreamforce

    You have registered for Dreamforce, but now what?  With over 170,000 attendees last year, it is the largest tech conference in the world.  So there will be crowds aplenty – but with so much to learn, about all things Salesforce… How are you going to make the most out of this year’s event?  And most importantly, ensure you survive Dreamforce?

    The 4-day conference for newbies can be overwhelming, but a little planning can go a long way to ensuring a smooth conference week.

    I have learned so much about different Salesforce use cases and have been inspired seeing how other users and partners are making the most out of the platform.  And most of all, being able to immerse yourself in all things Salesforce for four days straight, really helps you learn & focus on all things Salesforce – and help you to conjure up new ways of using the platform.

    9 tips to survive Dreamforce!

    1. Build your agenda

    survive Dreamforce: how to build Lightning Apps at Dreamforce 2016
    Session on how to build Lightning Apps @ Dreamforce 2016

    The biggest tip I can give a newbie to Dreamforce is you need to prepare…  Even with pre-planning my first year and hearing from others who had attended the year before me – I was still blown away at the sheer scale of the event.

    With such a massive event, preparing and planning counts for so much!

    Use the Agenda Builder before you get there.  And find out what sessions are available, and if you need to enroll.

    The great news is that not all sessions require you to register, but the more popular ones do tend to…  Why?  This allows the session to have a priority order to entry (compared to people who just turn up to the session) – but remember this still isn’t a guarantee, so get to the sessions early.

    2. Don’t get lost.

    After you have built your agenda, you can then download the Dreamforce event app (iOS or Android).

    During the event, you will be able to get alerts and notifications on your enrolled sessions and access event details like maps, directions/transport options.

    Google Maps (or your favorite mapping app), is also extremely helpful in finding your way in between venues.  Just keep in mind, Salesforce will be offering shuttles between a number of the key sites, and these won’t typically show in these apps.

    3. Be prepared.

    Surviving Dreamforce regarding the weather is relatively easy this time of year.  San Francisco weather in September is typically mild – but always plan ahead – plan for cooler evenings, and warmer days.

    Remember to pack light, you won’t generally need to carry a laptop around with you.  A phone/tablet device would typically be more than enough but remember to take a power bank/charging cable around with you.

    With all your note taking (see below), and photos of slides and sights around town, your battery will thank you.  Personally I carry a light powerbank around with me, as finding a charging point can be a little difficult at times.

    4. Be noteworthy.

    Take lots and lots of notes!

    Remember to set out in the morning with an iPad/phone (and as above remember battery pack!!).  Alternatively go old-school with notepad & pen (no battery!) to keep track of everything you learn.

    Personally I like to combine taking pictures of the slides with my own notes in an app like OneNote.

    5. Think of your feet…

    You will be walking around so much!  So, so much!

    To help survive Dreamforce, make sure you are in comfortable clothing and footwear!  Remember to pack light so you don’t carry everything around with you and try to time when you go to the Expo Hall to pick up your swag, so that way you don’t have to carry it around with you all day!

    6. Be patient.

    With so many people swarming around downtown San Francisco, all looking to learn as much as they can about Salesforce, it can get a little frustrating at times navigating the crowds.

    Remember to be patient, everyone is there is get the most out of the experience too.  Try to get to sessions early, and be prepared to be waiting in line.

    7. Be approachable.

    To help pass the time when in a line, strike up a conversation with those around you.

    Personally, I found some of the most interesting conversations at the conference by doing this.  And you can learn from challenges or use cases you both might share.

    Not everyone can just strike up a conversation out of thin air.  And that is ok.  Remember you are both in line for the same session, use that as a conversation starter!

    There are plenty of social functions being planned too by Salesforce and third-party vendors (see below).  But remember an event this size doesn’t happen every day 😉 So you only get a chance to network with this many Salesforce professionals once a year!

    8. Get hands on.

    Cloud Expo at Dreamforce 2016
    CloudExpo Hall @ Dreamforce 2016

    In Moscone Center, there is an opportunity to get hands on.  Coding Drop-in Clinics, Admin Reviews, Lightning UX consultations…  If it was something to do with Salesforce, there was a session to learn about it!  The Trailhead theme last year was brilliant and there was so much going on at the different ‘base camps’ and ‘ranger stations’, you could easily spend a day or two just in these halls!

    Go to the Expo Hall, learn about the AppExchange and new tools you might be able to use in your org.  This is also where you are likely to get the most of your swag! 🙂

    9. Finally… Get dance-y!

    Finally there is also some fun to be had!  After all you have to survive Dreamforce in style 🙂

    Flo Rida at Dreamforce 2016
    Flo Rida @ Dreamforce 2016

    This year will see Metallica taking to the big Dreamfest stage and possibly other acts to support.

    This is the time to let your hair down after a long conference.

    Throughout the week though, there is so much happening.  Salesforce and their partners know how to put on an event!

    But what else is happening throughout the week?  Well, Anaplan has collated a party planner & there is also a post over at SalesforceBen to help you get your groove on!

    Got any Salesforce survival tips of your own?

    Please share in the comments section below!

    Remember there is a Trailhead module now for helping you get the most out of Dreamforce, and if you haven’t registered yet, head on over to the Dreamforce site to buy your tickets (if there are any left!).

  • Dreamforce 2018 – Registration is now open

    Great news…  But you will need to get in quick.  Dreamforce 2018 registration is now open!  So be quick to register for this year’s Dreamforce and get the early bird pricing, go to the Dreamforce site now.

    Then once you have registered, check out 7 Tips for Surviving Dreamforce to start your preparations!

    Why attend?

    Dreamforce is first and for most the pinnacle conference for all things Salesforce.  It really is a week of learning and networking about everything you can possibly learn about Salesforce.

    Some swag from break-out sessions at Dreamforce

    There is entire exhibit halls dedicated to all things Admin, Developer, Marketing and third-party vendors (who sometimes give away great swag while you learn about how they can help your organisation).

    There are breakout sessions galore, with a huge diversity of topics – ranging from Salesforce feature-specific discussions to thought-provoking sessions about equality in the workplace or mindfulness.  You see, Dreamforce isn’t just about expanding your knowledge of Salesforce.

    Dreamforce: CEO Series panel with Marc Benioff
    Dreamforce: CEO Series panel with Marc Benioff

    And then there is the huge opportunity to network with your peers from around the globe and learn from each others experiences.

    It can be intense, so you do need to prepare and plan in advance.

    Building the business case for Dreamforce 2018

    If you need a little help building a business case for Dreamforce, check out these sites which give some insight in convincing your boss to let you go…

    Additionally, Martin Humpolec has a good article on doing Dreamforce on a Shoestring.

  • Dreamforce ’17: roundup

    Were you fortunate enough to head to this year’s Dreamforce?  If not, have you caught up on all the new goodies that were announced?  If you are like me and couldn’t attend, we have to catch up on all the new announcements from this session via Youtube, Facebook,  Linkedin and other blogs.

    So to help out, below is an overview of some of the resources I have found useful to catch-up on all things Dreamforce 2017, and feel free to add your comments & own resources in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

    Fourth Industrial Revolution

    The key theme this year was around the 4th industrial revolution.

    And it contains a key message about the impacts on the impacts this next digital revolution will have on society, from AI and the workplace of the future, to how we treat each other…

     

    Dreamforce 2017: over 3200 sessions of learnings!

    If you have been fortunate enough to attend Dreamforce, the scale is massive.  It literally takes over San Francisco for a week and brings together people from so many different backgrounds to learn and network.

    But where to start though?  Catching up on everything is a mammoth task and with over 3200+ sessions, there is so much for people to catchup on.  New use cases and successes shared with the Salesforce community… It is what Dreamforce is all about!  That is why no two wrap-ups will be the same, as everyone has there own personal journey through the week.

    But key highlights for me include Salesforceben with two great posts stand out for me: Admin perspective or Nov roundup) and Jen Lee’s fantastic recap and her sessions about process automation and workflows.  Also David from SFDC99 has a great recap too.

    Salesforce has the videos published from most of their keynotes and a number of the larger sessions from the week, and you can access them on the Salesforce Youtube playlist.

    Key Youtube videos I have found useful include:

    And personally, I love the T-Mobile story at this year’s keynote, where they demonstrated a number of the new ‘mySalesforce’ features (such as my Trailhead, my Lightning and my Einstein).  You can catch that session including a live demo here:

     

    The future roadmap of Salesforce core platforms

    One session I always try to catch up on is the core platform update/roadmap sessions.  This next session has a number of the Product Owners talking about some of the features that are coming up over the next few releases.

    Want a crystal ball into Salesforce’s thinking and where they are focusing their efforts? Look no further.

    They also go into the Ideas Exchange, why some ideas can’t/haven’t been delivered so far (even though they might seem really simple from the outside looking in), and how Lightning is actually allowing Salesforce to drive the pace of delivery of new ideas that Classic simply couldn’t do…

    So without further ado, here is the True to the Core overview from Parker Harris and co…

    The future roadmap of Salesforce’s core products definitely looks promising and personally I can’t wait for the discussed improvements to reports & dashboards (Sub folders… Field to field filters?!  OMG)

    Comments always welcome

    Got any key videos / blogs / resources you have used to catch up on Dreamforce this year?  Share in the comments below.

  • 7 tips for surviving Dreamforce 2017!

    You have registered for Dreamforce 2017, but now what?  How are you going to survive the crowds and make the most out of this year’s event?  Fear not, as this week I am going to cover off seven tips to surviving Dreamforce 2017!

    Now I don’t even know if I can attend this year’s conference yet however I have been very fortunate to attend the last two (Dreamforce 2016 & 2015)!  I learned so much about new Salesforce use cases and was inspired about how other end-users and partners are making the most out of the platform.  Being able to immerse yourself in all things Salesforce for four days straight (I am a geek and I proudly say I loved every minute of it!) it really helps you learn & focus on all things Salesforce.

    7 tips for surviving Dreamforce 2017!

    1. Be sensible

    You will be walking around so much!  Make sure you are in comfortable clothing and footwear!  Remember to pack light so you don’t carry everything around with you and time when you go to the Expo Hall to pick up your swag, so that way you don’t have to carry it around with you all day!

    2. Be prepared

    how to build Lightning Apps at Dreamforce 2016
    Session on how to build Lightning Apps @ Dreamforce 2016

    The biggest tip I can give a newbie to Dreamforce is you need to prepare…  Even with pre-planning my first year and hearing from others who had attended the year before me – I was still blown away at the sheer scale of the event.  With such a massive event, preparing and planning counts for so much!

     

    Find out what sessions are available, and if you need to enrol.  Not all sessions require you to enrol, but the more popular ones definitely do and it is worth it.  This allows the session to have a priority order to busy sessions, although remember this still isn’t a guarantee so get to the key sessions early.

    3. Be patient

    With so many people swarming around downtown San Francisco, all looking to learn as much as they can about Salesforce, it can get a little frustrating at times navigating the crowds.  Remember to be patient, everyone is there is get the most out of the experience too.  Try to get to sessions early, and be prepared to be waiting in line.

    Cloud Expo at Dreamforce 2016
    CloudExpo Hall @ Dreamforce 2016

    4. Be approachable

    To help pass the time when in a line, strike up a conversation with those around you.  Personally, I found some of the most interesting conversations at the conference by doing this.  And you can be easily learn so much from challenges or use cases you might both share.  Remember you are both in line for the same session, use that as a conversation starter!

    Not everyone can just strike up a conversation out of thin air.  That is ok.  There are plenty of social functions being planned too by Salesforce and third-party vendors.  But remember this is such a big event, you don’t get a chance to network with this many Salesforce professionals every day!

    5. Be noteworthy

    Take lots and lots of notes!

    Remember to set out in the morning with an iPad/phone (and remember battery back!!).  Alternatively go old-school with notepad & pen (no battery!) to keep track of everything you learn.

    Personally I like to combine taking pictures of the slides with my own notes in an app like OneNote.  And finally make sure you carry water around with you, some of the rooms can get quite warm!

    6. Get hands on

    In Moscone Center, there is an opportunity to get hands on.  Coding Drop-in Clinics, Admin Reviews, Lightning UX consultations…  If it was something to do with Salesforce, there was a session to learn about it!  The Trailhead theme last year was brilliant and there was so much going on at the different ‘base camps’ and ‘ranger stations’, you could easily spend a day or two just in these halls!

    Flo Rida at Dreamforce 2016
    Flo Rida @ Dreamforce 2016

    Go to the Expo Hall, learn about the AppExchange and new tools you might be able to use in your org.  This is also where you are likely to get the most of your swag! 🙂

    7. Finally… Get dance-y!

    Finally there is also some fun to be had!

    Last year U2 were the headline act for the Dreamfest concert, but I was also lucky enough to get into the Pardot B2B Marketing evening, which featured Flo Rida in concert (was so much fun).

    Though you do have to remember to balance it out.  You are there primarily to learn, network and bring back innovative use cases and solutions 🙂

     

    Got any tips of your own?

    Please share in the comments section below!  And hopefully see you at Dreamforce 2017! *fingers crossed*

    Remember there is a Trailhead module now for helping you get the most out of Dreamforce, and if you haven’t registered yet, head on over to the Dreamforce site to buy your tickets.

  • Dreamforce 2017 registration open…

    We all say it don’t we?  Oh look how quickly the year is going by?  As I write this, there is just under 129 days until Dreamforce 2017!  But that means that Dreamforce 2017 registration is now open.  🙂

    As I figure out how to get there this year, the amount of resources to prepare you for this year’s biggest tech conference is phenomenal.

    To register, simply head on over to the Dreamforce landing page.

     

    Dreamforce 2017 registration open.
    Source: Salesforce.com

    What is Dreamforce?

    If you haven’t been lucky enough to go in the past, or are simply new to the Salesforce ecosystem.  Dreamforce is the largest tech conference in the world, and it is focused purely on all things Salesforce.  Last year over 171,000 people from more than 80 countries registered to attend the conference, and it also had over 15m viewers watched online.

    This conference takes over downtown San Francisco for 4 days, and has something for everyone.  New customers, old customers, admins, developers, consultants, trainers…. There are so many break out sessions and keynotes happening, it is impossible to see more than a fraction of what is on offer!  And for a first timer, can easily be a little overwhelming.  And trust me, it can be even if you have attended multiple times!  There is just so much to learn and absorb.

    And with so many people descending on San Francisco for the annual conference, everyone has something in common… Can you guess what?!  Salesforce! 🙂  It is a massive networking opportunity, giving you untapped potential to learn from other users of the platform.

    Preparing for 2017 Dreamforce

    As Salesforce finalise their plans to take over San Francisco for 4 days in November.  You can start to prepare for Dreamforce, and by doing so get the most out of your time there (if you are lucky enough to be going).

    First port of call, is this little article on how to convince your boss to go!  It highlights so arguments you might be able to use to build the business case for attending.  And you can go here to look at key numbers and events from last year’s event.

    Now time to look at the agenda of some of the sessions available.  Planning if key for an event this large, and you can start planning by looking at the sessions that are now planned.

    Salesforce also have a great little Trailhead module on getting the most out of Dreamforce, which you can find here.

    With Dreamforce 2017 registration now open, head on over to get the early bird pricing.

    And and stay tuned, because next week I will share some of my tips on how to make the most out of Dreamforce 2017!

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