Dreamforce is unlike any other event you will attend. With over 1800+ sessions, spending time doing a little planning now means you can maximize your experience. Before we get started picking sessions, let’s get caught up on the content we have available.
Tuning into the Road to Dreamforce is a great way to learn about the various content that will be available at Dreamforce this year. New episodes go live every Tuesday and previously recorded episodes are available for replay. My personal favorite is this one.
If this is your first year…
I have to tell you that I have fond memories of my first Dreamforce. One in particular that stands out is sitting in my hotel room with my coworker and the Dreamforce book of sessions (yes, at one time it was a book) sprawled out on the bed trying to pick what sessions I wanted to go to. This is not the optimal way to pick sessions and thankfully we get the sessions ahead of time. Instead of hoping we find the right sessions let’s make a list and have a strategy.
So here would be my game plan prior to choosing sessions:
- Think about your knowledge gaps– is it Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Knowledge? What clouds are you less than familiar with?
- What do you need to know about?
Will you be implementing Service Cloud, Forecasting, Pardont in the upcoming year? If so look for sessions that will give you best practices or implementation tips.
- Is there people you want to meet at Dreamforce?
If so, check their site. Many Dreamforce speakers and companies will list the sessions they are presenting at.
- Avoid session-snacking.
I made the mistake my first year of going to every “tips & tricks” session. I’ll be honest, it’s like having cake for breakfast. It sounds good, and it’s alright once in a while, but won’t sustain you.
- Browse the sessions by Role– Admin, Developer, etc. and bookmark or follow the sessions that you are the interested in based on numbers 1-4.
It’s no doubt you will have a list of sessions that outnumbers the time you have to attend each. You have to prioritize them. This is how I would set my priorities.
- HOT sessions- These are the Hands on Training Sessions. You simply can’t replicate them so put them highest on your list.
- Non-repeated sessions. Some sessions at Dreamforce will happen twice, prioritize those sessions after the sessions that will only happen once.
- Demo sessions. Read the description carefully- does it say something about a demo or a walkthrough? If so, go to those sessions- if you don’t attend them watching them on youtube just won’t be the same.
- Sessions that are presented by people you want to meet. Many Dreamforce sessions include Q&A time and the speakers will hang around afterward- this is your chance to meet some of the people you follow on twitter or Salesforce experts.
If you are traveling with a group of co-workers…
Really much of the advice above applies with a few extra caveats.
- Meet before. During. And after Dreamforce.
Meet before to talk about session schedules so you don’t duplicate them. Meet during- not for long but to check in and make any schedule adjustments. And meet after Dreamforce to exchange information, notes, and swag.
- Make sure you don’t duplicate a session.
If you are with co-worker in a session you are doing it wrong. Divide and conquer, and take good notes.
- Think about how you will stay in touch.
Mobile Apps like “Group Me” work well to send messages to a group of people- making on-site micro-scheduling easier. Also think about how you will stay in touch with co-workers back at the office. I’m a big fan of using chatter to post pictures and updates to help bring some of the excitement back to your co-workers who can’t attend.