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Dreamforce for Beginners: How to Get the Most out of Dreamforce 2019

Dreamforce

Dreamforce 2019 is this November 19-22 in foggy San Francisco, CA. Chances are if you’re reading this — you’re going! And it’s your first time! Congratulations are in order. You’ve likely been inundated with lots of information about Dreamforce, or not nearly enough. We’d like to break it down for you and highlight what makes Dreamforce such a wildly popular and successful conference.

First things first, what is Dreamforce? Here’s the Reader’s Digest version.

Dreamforce 2019 in 100 words

Dreamforce is an annual conference that brings the entire Salesforce community together. SF customers, employees, partners, and important stakeholders gather in San Francisco over the course of four days to bask in innovation, make connections, and improve skills. Attendees are thought leaders and peers alike, with experience spanning industries, roles, and company sizes. 

Dreamforce offers itself as a mental (and sometimes physical) playground of networking, learning, educating (with over 2,500 sessions and bootcamps), and connecting. More than a conference, Dreamforce was created to strengthen the overall Salesforce community and build a better sense of Salesforce Ohana year after year.

So many ways to learn

The whole conference is set up so that no attendee walks away without new information. Here are the best ways to fill your brain.

  • Sign up for a pre-conference Trailhead bootcamp is a great way to brush up and polish your Salesforce skills. Didn’t register for this year? Make sure it’s on your checklist for next!
  • You can get certified at Dreamforce at 50% off the normal price. 
  • Attend all the sessions. Seriously, go to as many as you can manage. With over 2,500, there’s sure to be a session or 15 to captivate your attention.
    • Sessions are all run a little different; there will be Q&As, lectures, workshops, small groups, and of course keynotes. Dreamforce 2019 is designed to meet the needs of all learning styles.
  • Just ask! See a Salesforce MVP that you’re dying to meet? Simply introduce yourself to them and anyone else you might want to talk to. The conference is designed to bring the best and the brightest together. 

Your phone is your friend

From live tweeting sessions and snapping pictures of presentation slides, to exchanging information with new connections and posting selfies with the Trailhead gang, to maybe even responding to work emails in your downtime — your phone is an important asset at Dreamforce. 

Dreamforce for Beginners: How to Get the Most out of Dreamforce 2019

It can also be a great way to figure out your schedule. The Salesforce Events app (get it via the Apple Store or Google Play) lets you view and manage your agenda, keep up with the big events, play Quest, navigate around the city, and discover new Dreamforce 2019 activities. 

Advice from those who know

  • “Make sure you plan and prioritize your time in advance. There are so many activities, events, meetings, things to do, see, etc. Own your schedule ahead of time. Set your goals and stick to them. (What do you/your boss want out of your time there? What’s the best way to achieve it?) This way you can have the conversations that lead you down the path you want.” — Alicia Walters
  • “That being said, be flexible. While it is very important to have a good idea of your schedule you never know who you might run into or what conversation you might be a part of. You might miss important moments if you are only focused on getting to the next item on your agenda.” — David McChristie
  • “Also, don’t plan back-to-back sessions and expect to be able to attend them all — you’ll never make it and run yourself ragged trying. Choose backup options for each time slot in case your location, energy level, or motivations change. Leave time in your schedule to explore the dev/admin/etc. zones, expo, or to just take a break in the park.” — Gillian Reynolds
  • “Absolutely take into account the locations of the events you plan to attend!  The distances can be impossible.” — Eschel Hamel
  • “Make sure to hit up networking happy hours — even if it’s just for free drinks. You’ll be surprised the connections you can make. And don’t forget to take time for yourself. Dreamforce is hectic and there’s nothing wrong with a solo coffee run to recharge.” —  Jiordan Castle
  • “Always make time to go to the Roadmap sessions for the various clouds. They’re never recorded and the content is not widely available after the sessions. You usually hear direct from the product managers. They’ve helped me many times to avoid building something custom that I found out was coming out in an upcoming release.”  — Nick DeBiaso
  • “No one has mentioned the parties!  You have to figure out which parties are worth staying up late.”  — Lizz Hellinga

Take advantage of opportunities

It’s amazing what four days can bring. Our advice is to go with the flow. Step just outside of your comfort zone and try new things. Accept all invitations. Have a good time. Head back to work energized and equipped to innovate your workplace.

Be sure to follow Silverline on social media at @silverlinecrm to keep up with #DF19 in real time.

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