If you’re attending Dreamforce ’14, regardless if its your first time or you’re a veteran, it feels like every year you learn a new thing or new way to get around the conference and enjoy it. Here’s my top 6 “hacks” for Dreamforce, hope to see you there!
1.) Getting around. Chances are unless you are a hardcore developer, you’ll be shuffling around the Moscone Area, Union Square, and other hotels/centers. Squeezing in a walk between venues in 10-20 minutes can be a challenge given how many people are attending. My hack, avoid 4th street. This is the main pipeline down to Moscone from Market and Union Square and back. It get’s packed, like easily missing the cross walk packed. Two alternates routes, go down 5th street and cut over on Howard, or go through Yerba Beuna gardens (there is a sidewalk from Market St. to Mission St. to get to Yerba Beuna).
2.) Coffee. Yes this is what powers Dreamforce (along with the cloud), but this too can get crowded quickly. If you think you’ll be able to dip into Starbucks near Moscone real quick to get your triple venti, 6 pump caramel, 6 pump vanilla, skim milk, with extra whip latte…..think again. It will be slammed. Map out your coffee places, and if you’re coming from other hotels or Union Square to the Moscone area get your coffee on the way.
3.) “Sleep in“. Dreamforce is a sprint filled with late night networking and all day content, sessions, keynotes, etc. Pick one day to sleep in a couple of hours. I usually try to target Tuesday or Wednesday, to get up a couple of hours later (8am instead of 6am). It might just be enough to get you through the rest of the week.
4.) Work Time. There are some attendees, that can go full conference and not have to check-in or work at all. Congratulations, you’re in the minority. For the rest of us, flag some time (either leave a gap in the schedule, or mark a less than important session) to get your work done for the week. You’ll see many posts about WiFi availability, it is always dicey around Moscone, but rock solid at other sites (Hilton, Palace, Union Square, etc.). So if you can plan a few sessions at those hotels and you can hang around afterwards to knock out your items in your work queue, it’s a win-win.
5.) Headshots. If you have any active social channels, or a regular business card dealer, you know a good headshot goes a long way. What many people don’t know is the Admin Zone offers free photography and headshots at Dreamforce. If you’ve ever seen any of my head shots, that’s where I got them! This year the Admin Zone will be in Moscone West.
6.) Session Calendar. So you finally cut your 100 favorites sessions down to 15 you will actually attend. It’s the day of the conference, WiFi just went down and the mobile app isn’t responding. Yea it’s happened. Its hard not to happen with 100k+ people in a 1/2 mile radius. Make a backup of your session calendar either as a print out or its own Google calendar.