Dreamforce 2018 is officially one month away, and it’s time to get serious about planning for a successful experience. Everyone who is investing time and resources into the conference knows the ultimate goal is to walk away with new connections and actionable knowledge from the Salesforce experts and innovative vendors. But with an event as large and jam-packed as Dreamforce, you’ll need a game plan and a few aces up your sleeve to ensure you make the most out of your experience. We tracked down some of our resident Dreamforce experts and rounded up their best insider advice to help you put the finishing touches on your packing checklist as you prepare for San Francisco.
1. Portable battery/charger
Most of us don’t need reminding that our phones and tablets have evolved into necessary lifelines, especially as we travel. Chances are, your phone will be working overtime during Dreamforce as you use it to keep track of your schedule, take notes during sessions, snap photos, record contact info for new connections, and help you navigate Moscone and downtown San Francisco. Our Dreamforce experts recommend investing in a portable battery or charging stick for your phone—this tool will become indispensable, especially if you’re using your phone for battery-draining GPS. You may have access to outlets throughout the day, especially if you stop by the ThirstyBear for Conga Connect West, but it’s best to not rely on the possibility of snagging an unoccupied outlet and to come prepared with an alternate solution.
2. Compression socks
As mentioned in our Dreamforce panel webinar, attendees should plan to spend a lot of time on their feet over the course of the week. As you log tens of thousands of steps each day, keeping the blood flowing in your legs and feet will be critical. Compression socks will apply pressure to your lower legs, helping to maintain blood flow and reduce swelling and discomfort as you stand and walk for the majority of the four days of Dreamforce. Conga’s own Peter Terhune, Salesforce Technical Evangelist and 10-year Dreamforce attendee, claims he was in so much pain after his first Dreamforce that he seriously considered amputation as a solution! He now swears by compression socks as a conference must-have.
3. Comfortable and supportive shoes
In addition to compression socks, a pair (or two) of comfortable shoes will be a game changer for your Dreamforce experience. While you may be tempted to pack your most stylish shoes in anticipation for your meetings and networking opportunities, you won’t be able to be your best self if you’re uncomfortable or in pain. Ditch the dress shoes in favor of a sensible pair that will provide comfort and support as you spend the majority of the week on your feet.
We’re all human. With four days of walking, countless sessions, demos, networking, and, let’s be honest, a few more parties than you’re typically used to attending in a week, and you’re bound to feel it. Get ahead of your own exhaustion (and bad decisions) and throw some Advil in your suitcase before heading to San Francisco. If you forget, many hotels will have pain relievers and other sundries available at the front desk.
5. Vitamin C
When you pack 200,000 people into one venue for a week, there’s generally an exchange of more than just ideas. Germs will be abound, and when you add travel and sleep deprivation to the equation, arriving home with the sniffles is a high possibility for many attendees. When packing your Advil, it’ll be worth it to add Vitamin C supplements as well to help keep your immune system on the up-and-up throughout the week.
While we’re not recommending you actually pack coffee in your luggage, if you’re a coffee drinker or going to depend on a caffeine boost from time to time, it’ll be beneficial to have a gameplan for the week. Moscone will offer several coffee and water stations throughout the venue, but with so many attendees and vendors, you may want to have a backup option. If you’re staying in a hotel, take advantage of any coffee options in your room or elsewhere in the hotel for your morning fix before you head to Moscone. For coffee options outside of Dreamforce, Connect West will be stocked with coffee at the ThirstyBear, just down the street from Moscone, so you can grab an energy boost while you stop by a demo or solution station session. Salesforce also recommends Cafe X, a robotic coffee bar around the corner from Moscone that prepares drinks in seconds—even faster if you order ahead using the mobile app!
7. Flexible conference strategy
Last, but certainly not least, make sure you “pack” a solid plan for your week. Set your objectives for the week and come prepared with a baseline strategy that will ensure the most valuable experience possible. Dreamforce can be overwhelming, with hundreds of people fighting for your attention, making it easy to get off track if you don’t have a game plan. It’s important to remain flexible, however, as you may need to adjust your plan once you arrive and the event is well under way. Download the Conga Connect app to help keep yourself organized throughout the week, and to make sure you stay up-to-date on the events and sessions you’re most interested in attending.