My first day at Dreamforce was a little overwhelming. It was my first time experiencing the conference and I arrived the day before it started and there were already thousands of people out and about. I stood on the iconic lawn of Dreamforce, texting everyone I knew to see what they were doing as it seemed everyone around me was walking with a purpose. Thankfully, just when my anxiety was starting to take over, the fake cry of eagles and birds chirping above me came to my rescue and restored balance and tranquility. Thank you for that, Dreamforce nature sound suppliers.
Silverline had 3 booths at Dreamforce this year. One in the main expo hall dedicated to recruiting (we are growing fast, check out our career opportunities) and two in the Industry Lodges at the InterContinental Hotel: one dedicated to Healthcare and the other Financial Services. I was a little worried about the impending booth hours at our industry booths. I’m comfortable speaking to prospects about Silverline’s industry expertise, but for some reason on Monday morning, as I walked to the Healthcare booth, I imagined prospects being rolled up on operating tables asking me how Salesforce and Silverline could save their life. It is Dreamforce after all, anything could happen? Thankfully, THAT didn’t happen (although I could tell you some interesting stories) and really, it was just like the conversations I have every day in business development. I got to speak to some great people at all the booths and even got to hug Astro and Einstein!
My favorite part of Dreamforce, by far, was Michelle Obama’s keynote (Sorry Benioff). It was a great break from all things technology and the former FLOTUS has a way of telling stories that make you reassess all decisions you’ve ever made and change for the better. It was such an inspiration that after the keynote I was so pumped I had my first (guilt-free) soda in TWO YEARS. No, Michelle did not spend her time telling us soda is good for us, quite the contrary actually, but she did urge us to take control of our futures and to start shaping the futures of the next generation. The former first lady opened my eyes to the realization that even though we all hope the world our children live in will be different, we do little to make it so. There was also a heavy focus on equality, which was a huge theme for the conference and important to me. The break was refreshing: “what we want for our children is what we should want for ALL children.” Lastly, she told us that if anyone stops us from doing what we want in life to say “back off haters, the former first lady told me I can do what I want.” So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, that’s what led me to Pepsi. #IDoWhatIWant
3 Key Takeaways About Dreamforce from a First Timer’s Perspective
- Think of your “agenda” as more of a wish list than a plan. Time runs out faster than booth giveaways at the expo hall. I had a ton on my calendar I told myself I would get to and I barely made it to half.
- Make time to take care of yourself. Whether it’s scheduling a time to rest between sessions or planning time to grab a bite to eat with coworkers. If you want to get as much as possible out of Dreamforce, you need to stay fully charged and that means your health comes first.
- Study the map and get your bearings. Nothing is worse than walking half a block in the wrong direction. Dreamforce is big and there’s a lot see that you don’t want to miss. Take time beforehand and study the map, time out the distance from your hotel to events and even block ‘walking’ time on your calendar so you can ensure you get into every session that is important to you.