Dreamforce Is Coming: How to Make the Most of It from Penrod's Pros

September 7th, 2017 •  5 min read

Our people have been around the Dreamforce block a few times, and we’re happy to say that they’re pros at navigating what one of them calls the “Mecca for anyone involved in the Salesforce ecosystem.” If you’ve never been before, these are the people you want to learn from, and you’re in luck because they’re sharing their Dreamforce savvy.

How would you describe Dreamforce to a Salesforce newbie?

If you’ve never been, you may not understand why we get so excited about a four day conference. But Dreamforce is so much more than a conference. Salesforce describes it as “the learning event of the year” and it just so happens to be the largest software conference in the world. Attendees learn from leaders in marketing, sales, software, customer service and so much more. Here’s what our people have to say:

“Organized chaos.”

Brandon Alberti, Sr. Account Executive, Health & Life Sciences

“4 days of constant Christmas morning for a Salesforce nerd.”

Bri Steinhorst, Employee Success Manager

“A huge gathering of Salesforce geeks.”

Drew Thornsberry, Vice President, Sales

What are the best ways to prepare for the trip?

Sure you can arrive with little planning or effort ahead of time, but you may regret it. Penrod’s Jake Brushafer and Lacey Van Syckle have some great tips on how to get ready:

“Review the sessions you want to see and get back ups. Make sure you save time to check out the expo hall. The admin Meadow or Admin area is a great spot to learn what’s new and talk to some awesome community members.”

Jake Brushafer, Director, Salesforce Platform

“Use the Salesforce provided Agenda Builder to map out the sessions you want to attend, make sure you double check the location as some of them are farther apart and you only have 10 minutes between each session! Buy comfortable walking shoes - your feet will thank you!! Wear lots of layers as it’s warm during the day and can get chilly at night.”

Lacey Van Syckle, Vice President, Delivery

Any networking tips?

You’re going to be surrounded by 120,000+ professionals. It’s like networking’s Comic Con. Here’s how you make the most of it:

“Make sure you do all the industry specific events and sessions so you meet people from within your industry.”

Joseph Taylor, CEO

“Join Twitter, there are a lot of people who use that platform to communicate with each other - then you can start networking virtually before you get to Dreamforce.”

Lacey Van Syckle, Vice President, Delivery

“Don't be afraid to talk to the people around you. Introduce yourself. Use the color of their lanyard to key in on specific groups (partner, customer, rep, etc).”

Brandon Alberti, Sr. Account Executive, Health & Life Sciences

How do you pick what sessions you attend?

You get to choose from over 2,700 session. Yikes! How do you decide?

“I look for sessions that have cover something that I want to learn about. I also have a backup session in case the one that i registered for is a bust or not what I'm looking for.”

Jake Brushafer, Director, Salesforce Platform

“I make myself a goal for each Dreamforce I attend, do I want to focus on a new product, a specific industry, personal development? Once I have those goals I pick sessions that will meet them!”

Lacey Van Syckle, Vice President, Delivery

“Pick something you don't know much about, or the newer clouds being touted. Make sure to pick some things that are personally interesting too.”

Drew Thornsberry, Vice President, Sales

How do I deal with all the lines? And all the people?

Again, 120,000+ people. All in downtown San Francisco. All competing for the same food trucks. But no worries, you’ve got this:

“Try to pack lite. Just remember they are all there for the same reason so don't be afraid to start up a convo with your line mate while you wait to see Benioff.”

Jake Brushafer, Director, Salesforce Platform

“Just keep swimming.”

Brandon Alberti, Sr. Account Executive, Health & Life Sciences

“Take deep breaths...no way around it.”

Bri Steinhorst, Employee Success Manager

Any just-for-fun things to do while I’m there?

What’s a trip to California if you don’t have some fun along the way? Here’s how Penrod lets off steam during the event:

“Register for any and all parties. Even if you don't go, at least you have the option to. Pardot party is always a blast.”

Brandon Alberti, Sr. Account Executive, Health & Life Sciences

“Partay!”

Joseph Taylor, CEO

“Make your own fun - the bands playing outside are cool to chill at when you need a break (Beach Boys was my favorite).”  

Drew Thornsberry, Vice President, Sales

Anything else I should know before I go?

And just because there’s always something you don’t think about ahead of time, here are a few last thoughts on how to make the event a success:

“Pack comfortable shoes, be prepared to stay up late and get up early, drink lots of water, and make peace up front with the fact that the food provided sometimes sucks but we're all eating it.”

Drew Thornsberry, Vice President, Sales

“The Q and A session with Parker and Benioff is the best.”

Joseph Taylor, CEO


Headed to Dreamforce? Tell us so on Twitter!