Before you start trailblazing, remember that Dreamforce is a marathon—not a sprint. The main event is less than a month away and just like a big race, it pays to be prepared. You have your hotel room booked, travel planned, and mental to-do list ready, right? Okay, maybe you don’t and that’s totally okay. We know how it goes. Throw Dreamforce responsibilities on top of everything else you got going on and it becomes hard to prep beyond the need-to-dos. Luckily, we got you covered with these five life hacks that will make Dreamforce a blast.
1. Forge Your Trail with Dreamforce’s Agenda Builder
There are over 2,700 sessions at Dreamforce. Two thousand seven hundred plus sessions if you didn’t catch that the first time. Sifting through every single one of these sessions is virtually impossible.There is an easy way around this and that’s with Salesforce’s very own Agenda Builder, which is made specifically for Dreamforce. With the Agenda Builder, you can sort by roles, theme, industries, etc. Themes, in particular, are incredibly helpful for finding the session content that will be most valuable to you. If you’re logged in and registered, you can bookmark sessions. One of the coolest features is the built-in Chatter support. This means if you find a session you think looks interesting, you can jump in and ask the speakers specific questions about what will get covered.
2. Tricks for Being Better with Names
We’ve all been there. You’ve made a new acquaintance and 20 minutes later you have to introduce him or her to a colleague. You open your mouth to make the connection and mid-sentence realize you forget their name. Imagine if this forgetfulness involves an important contact, prospect, or worse still—a customer. Embarrassing! To avoid any professional mishaps, there are a few tricks you can use to make sure you always have a name for a face. The first way is admittedly silly, but it can be effective. Use mnemonics, memory tools, or in this case associate a person’s name to something so out there you won’t soon forget it. For instance, say you meet someone named Ronald. A mnemonic trick you can use to remember that name is: Ronald rides a T-rex to work. Ridiculous? Yes. But will it work? There’s a good chance. Just make sure you don’t say it out loud. For those looking for a more professional trick, there’s the commit, concentrate, repeat, and associate method. Commit that you’re going to make an effort to remember names. Concentrate on the name when you introduce yourself. Repeat the name over and over and over in your head after you hear it. Associate the image with something striking in the environment, a color, or other memorable visual.
3. Overpack the Snacks
You’ll need fuel to get through Dreamforce. The standing and walking will take more out of you than you realize. And because you’ll either be following a set itinerary or reacting to unexpected happenings, predicting when you’ll have a chance to grab a bite to eat is anyone’s guess. The best thing to do is set aside enough snacks to get you through a skipped lunch. Make sure it’s portable, i.e., a few can fit in the pockets of a laptop bag. Make sure it's high in protein. This will keep you fueled and full for longer. And make sure it’s not messy! You don’t want to be covered in stains or crumbs when you walk into a session. Sorry, that means that Nutrigrain bar is a no-go.
4. Drink (& Hydrate) Responsibly
Look, you’re an adult and I’m not the barman. How you enjoy your Dreamforce parties is up to you. That said, you’ll want to watch all the liquids you consume while at the event. Parties and alcohol are an integral part of the Dreamforce unwind, but they can also be detrimental to your experience. Most days, you’ll have to wake up bright and early to attend keynotes, sessions, etc. Do your future self a favor and stay within your limits. You’ll thank past you later. The other liquid you should be worried about at Dreamforce is water. With everything that’s going on, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated. H2O will help you power through whatever portion of the 2,700+ sessions you’ll be attending—especially after a night out in San Francisco. And since many companies will be giving out chachkies, finding a water bottle on the show floor should be as easy as stopping at the nearest booth.
5. Prepare a Smile & a Firm Handshake
Sure, you’ll be surrounded by tons of cutting-edge tech and solutions, but the best part of Dreamforce has to be the memories you make with other people. Set yourself up for social success. Often, the up and down of clasped hands is the very first impression you make with a stranger. Make an impression of confidence. Oh, and a firm handshake is one way to make sure people remember your name. Know what pairs well with a strong handshake? A smile. Now, you don’t have to show off those pearly whites with an unnatural grin. But you should at least make an attempt to exude friendliness. The reason why this is worth mentioning is that you’ll be exhausted by your first day at Dreamforce. Reminding yourself to keep the charm up could help you make an invaluable social connection. After all, the right greeting could lead to your next career move, strategic partnership, or loyal customer. That’s a little effort for a lot to gain. Hopefully, these hacks will relieve some of the stress and get you thinking of other ways to get Dreamforce ready. To learn how Xactly can incentivize the right behaviors, drive sales performance, and exceed revenue goals, meet with us at this year's Dreamforce!