Dreamforce 2014 is upon us and it is hard to believe that last year's show was 10 months ago! Looking back, these last 10 months have allowed for tons of discovery in mobile development for our team with the launch of Salesforce1 in 2013. I'm very excited to see what is in store for us this year! Here are some practical ways to prepare for the conference.
Take care of yourself before you get there.
Lets face it; it's flu season. If you aren't opposed to the flu shot, get one several weeks before you head to the show. You will be around thousands of people and you don't want to take any chances of not feeling well. If you are prone to catching a cold or travel bugs, be sure you plan ahead and pack some ibuprofen and plenty of vitamin C to be sure you are in the healthiest state possible.
Set a goal to make 3 connections a day.
The flip side to the above point; engage with as many people as you can and leave some time for those connections during the day. The trick to getting value out of this conference is connecting with others. Don't eat alone! Lunches and dinners are the easiest ways to make new connections.
Leave a little room in your suitcase.
Dreamforce swag is the best kind of swag there is and as a full pass attendee, you will get a ton of great stuff you will want to bring home. Not to mention, there are plenty of prizes and giveaways that may consume space in your luggage.
Check in early and make a plan.
Arrive at Moscone Center the Sunday before Dreamforce to get in ahead of the crowds and identify the little extras that will make your week special. The session builder is a great tool for scoping out your daily sessions, but take a few extra moments to review where your travels will send you. There are a wealth of little gems like Yerba Buena Gardens, Samovar, the Embarcadero Public Art Collection, and the Powell Street Cable Car within a couple blocks.
Not just comfy shoes, the dependable ones.
After attending two Dreamforce conferences, I can say confidently – wear shoes you that you know are dependable and provide ample comfort. Keep your feet as happy as you can – you don’t want them quitting on you mid-week. There is plenty of shopping in Union Square, but if you want to get your hipster on, check out Shoe Biz in the Mission district.
Pack a versatile jacket.
San Francisco is well known for way cooler temperatures than visitors expect and at any given point, there is a chance you may find yourself a bit chilly. Day and evening temperatures will range from sunshiny 60s to windy, foggy 50s. More local hipster shopping at Betabrand to warm you.
Research before you leave.
As I said before, there are tons of great materials and resources available that can help you get the most out of the conference - I highly recommend doing some research before you arrive. This article compiled of tweeted tips from Salesforce MVPs is full of awesome tidbits to keep in mind while at the show.