My best advice from eight years attending Dreamforce Week #df16


After missing last year, I’ll be among nearly100,000 SaaS professionals attending’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco this week.  Chances are if you’re in B2B sales and/or marketing, you’re either attending or will be followed/impacted/marketed relative to the conference as well.

So whether you’re attending or want to keep track of what’s going on, here are several of my “best practices”, “what to do” and “how to do it” blog posts from the past 7-8 years.  Although some of these are “old”, I’ll be applying many of the same lessons and best practices this week as well.

Dreamforce “survive & thrive” advice from those who’ve been there
Two years ago, there were expected to be more than 140,000 people at Dreamforce.  That’s incredible on a number of fronts.  Over the past 3-4 years as the popularity and attendance at this event has skyrocketed, the need for a pre-meditated plan has increased exponentially in importance.  This includes everything from how you plan your time, how you take notes, what you walk around with and much more.

With still more people attending Dreamforce for the first time, I asked several “veteran” attendees for their best advice to survive and get the absolute most out of the week.  You’ll notice some recurring themes in their answers here.

How to rock Dreamforce with nothing but a smartphone
These tips apply to almost any conference you attend, but are especially important for Dreamforce in my experience.  Each year Dreamforce gets a little bigger, a little more spread out. You’ll walk forever, be on your feet a lot, and the last thing I want is something over my shoulder (like a laptop bag) or even a folio or tablet to carry (which is too easy to leave somewhere, and is more awkward than you would think).

Going from sessions to meetings to meals to evening parties (sometimes without time to go back to the hotel to drop stuff off) is the clincher for me. I need to work this conference hands-free, carrying nothing more than what I can fit in my pockets. And that means the most important tool in my pocket is my smartphone.  If you want to give it a try, here are several recommendations for how to manage Dreamforce week with just your smartphone.

Where to eat and drink near Union Square in San Francisco
This isn’t a definitive guide by any means, but if you’ll be joining us at Dreamforce and are either hungry or adult-thirsty, here are a few recommendations (most of which are off the beaten path). Maybe I’ll see you there!

The 50 most influential people in the Dreamforce community (from 2014)
Thanks to our friends at Little Bird, here is a ranking of the most influential people in the Dreamforce community. It’s compiled not by measuring likes and followers and activity, but rather is based on how active, influential and interactive these people are within the Dreamforce community itself.

Guide to a successful Dreamforce (exhibitor edition)
We’ve highlighted several best practices to help Dreamforce attendees get the most out of the show. Here, we highlight tips for the hundreds of exhibitors and vendors attending to promote and sell their products and services. Getting so many vendors in one place is a big draw for many attendees, but there are many strategies and tactics that separate successful vendors from those who go home empty-handed.

Top 20 Dreamforce Must-Dos from the Industry’s Top Sales Experts
Whether you’re going to Dreamforce for the first or the 10th time, there’s always something new to see and learn. But the sheer size and the volume of activities, vendors, and sessions can be overwhelming to even the most seasoned “Dreamforcer.”

To help plan ahead and focus on the most important priorities to successfully manage and get the most out of this amazing event, we asked some of the industry’s top sales experts, “What is your top Dreamforce ‘must-do.” Here are their responses.

Seven more best practices for surviving and thriving at Dreamforce
Whether this week represents your first time attending or if you’ve been to many, having a game plan and strategy up front for a conference this big is essential.  Here are several more best practices for making the most out of your time at Dreamforce (or any conference you’re about to attend).

Where to find Heinz Marketing during Dreamforce 2016
With anticipation and trepidation, Dreamforce week is one again upon us. It’ll be you, me and 120,000 of our closest friends in B2B sales and marketing.  If you’re looking to hang with me and the Heinz Marketing crew, here’s where to find us.