How to get the most out of Dreamforce 2014

How to get the most out of Dreamforce 2014

Dreamforce is back, and it is back with a bang. Scheduled to start on 13th October 2014, Dreamforce conference promises a learning experience that can boost how you operate your business, help you create new business connections, provide solutions to problems that you want to sought quickest, and of course lots of fun- all jam packed within a time frame of glorious 4 days. Just like last year, Algoworks is going to the event this year and we can’t express in words how EXCITED we are for the upcoming event.

There is lot to do at the conference and for first-timers it can be a little baffling experience. While for some it has happened to be a forgetful experience, for others, unpreparedness can deprive their business of potential business deals. So we decided to share with you how to prepare yourself for the event, what to do at the event, and how to harness the event for its full worth.

We will make sure your each hour counts.

What to do before attending Dreamforce ‘14

Now even before you attend the event there are a lot of things that you can do before you fly off to San Francisco for the conference. Here are few of them you should do:

Register for the conference

Well kind of an obvious first step. Register for the Dreamforce 2014 conference. You can log on to http://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/DF14/register.jsp to register for the event. You might think why register so soon? Well registering early gets you some discounts and at the same time gives you something to talk about in Dreamforce groups all across the social media be it the Salesforce success communities or on Linked and Facebook groups dedicated to Dreamforce ’14.

Start networking as soon as possible

You would get hundreds of opportunity to network with potential business partners at Dreamforce. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do anything now.

Start finding out who in your social circle is attending the conference – both online and offline. You can also start arranging meetings with potential clients at the conference itself. Don’t forget to use Salesforce Success community for this task. For social network aficionados, the popular hash-tags related to the event are #askforce, #df14, #Dreamforce, #Dreamforce2014, @Salesforce, and @Dreamforce.

Preplan your Agenda

Dreamforce this year will host more than 1400 sessions. The problem most of us face is what to attend and what not to attend. So go through the Dreamforce ‘14 event schedule and start making notes on what interests you. Salesforce has a dedicated app that can help you in planning your agenda. Log on to https://dreamevent.my.salesforce.com/ to plan you agenda. It won’t work for now as most of the sessions have not been finalized however you can find the links to bookmark.

You need a handy Sales Pitch

You are going to meet hundreds of potential customers at the conference, and at the same time they would be a little occupied with the events of the conference itself. So you probably need a sales pitch to impress them in less than 2 minutes. And you need something to help your pitch. A small two-minute sales video on an iPad or tablet is the best way to do that, but you can also take help of pamphlets, your business cards as well as other printed media. In addition you need to prepare a detailed e-mail pitch that you can instantly forward to anyone you meet. Combined with your pitch they will leave a lasting impression.

A way to remember everyone you met

As I said, you would be meeting hundreds of people out there. So until and unless you have a system to keep track of who you have met and for what purpose, you would be overwhelmed at the end of the conference. There are several ways to create your system, some hi-tech, some good old-fashioned, some just plain practical. Take a look at some of the most used systems.

  • A Card Reading App: Most people you would meet would present you with their business cards. A smart phone app to instantly scan that card, store it in phone memory, and giving you a feature to write something about that contact is an ideal solution. We recommend Evernote Hello , CamCard business card scanner, and Friend Them
  • A planner cum diary: For those who are fans of old school, a planner or a small diary to keep track of all those who you met and for what, would be a must have addition to travel itinerary. Yeah right, don’t forget the pen.
  • Scribble on the card: When I was at conference last year, I made a habit of scribbling the subject of the meeting on the visiting card itself. All it takes is few seconds and you have a practical way to remember why you met a certain Mr X or a particular Miss Y. It may sound not-so-techie, but as long it serves YOUR purpose, any approach is practical enough.

Business Cards

Your business cards are also important. Make them informative, attractive, and at the same time easily recognizable. Also you can opt for a contact QR code.

Find the best nearby Pubs and Cafes

Though you can conduct your meetings at the conference itself, for a serious meeting you may need to find a more private or relaxed location. Pubs and restaurants have been tested through time to conduct businesses. So find out all the famous pubs and cafes nearby that you can take your client to for serious business discussions, or for developing your relationship with new and old business partners. Hang-out places within the premises solve the purpose as much. As they say, add salt to taste!

What to do at the conference

What to do at Dreamforce

Networking is the most important part

More than 120,000 cloud and Salesforce enthusiasts will be attending the event. It is also estimated that more than 350 companies will be showcasing their products and services expertise. This 4 day event is the single most important place to build your business network and connect with like-minded people. The event is the best place to meet up with Cloud experts, learn from experience of leading technology entrepreneurs, and find solutions for all your critical business problems.

Something for everyone

1400 sessions means there is something for everyone. However this particular year is more focused on helping you connect to your customers. You can log on to Dreamforce Sessions page and filter out sessions as per your need.

Plan where you need to be

The conference is hosted in San Francisco’s largest event center- the Moscone Center. The center is divided into three main building areas, North, South and West. Now each area is important and you need to visit each one, but each building can be utilized for specific purposes efficiently.

The Developer Zone (west building)
As the name suggests this will be area swarming with developers. So if you are looking for a very technical solution or you need to learn something new about Salesforce programming, this is the place you need to be. Attending sessions will still be optional though. This is also the area where technical solution providers usually host their stalls, so if you are looking for a solution or want to a place to pitch your product, you can plan accordingly.

South Building
Full of meeting rooms and auditoriums, this building is where you would be attending most of the keynote sessions and other informative panel discussions. This is also the place which is relatively quiet, so it’s an ideal location to conduct a relaxed meeting with your clients.

North Building
This building contained the main hall is which all the major company stalls were hosted. So if you are product-based company or need a stable base to put forward your sales pitch, then hosting a stall in this place sounds like a great idea. This is also the place where you can find your next cloud solution partner or your next client so take some time each day to visit this area.

Enhance your skills

If you are a new developer there are a lot of sessions directed at you so don’t miss any of them. In addition there are also many pre-conference training sessions that you can attend to hone your skills. On the other hand, Dreamforce is also the best place to get some certificates to feather your cap. There will be numerous certification sessions hosted each day. Log on to Dreamforce Training Page to know more about them.

The Bruno Mars Effect and parties

BRUNO MARS is coming to the event. What more motivation can one need to attend the conference? Be prepared to be mesmerized by this star-studded event this October. Also as we said earlier, the conference holds something for everyone. So if you are not into business or technical stuff, then you can attend parties organized by companies in and around conferences. Though these parties are mostly private affair, i.e. company representatives choose who to give pass to, there are many ways you can earn a pass to one of these parties. Besides all the fun, these parties are used strategically by many to hook on to some potential clients.

What to do after the conference?

Along with a pre-conference plan and an at-the-conference plan, you also need a post conference plan as well. You just came out of the biggest teaching experience of the year, it’s time to share the knowledge with your team. Plan your future meetings accordingly so that you can make the best utilization of your time.
Also make sure that you reconnect with all those you have met at the conference. You can generate long term relationships only by showing interest.

Don’t forget to connect with Algoworks

Algoworks, one of the nation’s fastest growing technological companies is also going to be at the Dreamforce 2014. If you have any salesforce or cloud related query, or you are looking for a right cloud partner for your organization or just anything, feel free to connect with us at +1-877-284-1028. You can also mail us at [email protected].

Things Not To Do At Dreamforce

Check out our next article of this series Things not to do at Dreamforce. It is a compilation of some of the best Don’ts shared by the people on a post in the All Dreamforce group on Salesforce Success Community.

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Pratyush Kumar

Pratyush Kumar

Co-Founder & Director at Algoworks, Open-Source | Salesforce | ECM
Pratyush is Co-Founder and Director at Algoworks. He is responsible for managing, growing open source technologies team and has spearheaded more than 200 projects in Salesforce CRM alone. He provides consulting and advisory to clients looking for services relating to CRM(Customer Relationship Management) and ECM(Enterprise Content Management). In the past, Pratyush has held consulting roles with various global technology leaders, such as Globallogic & HCL in India. He holds an Engineering graduate degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.
Pratyush Kumar

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