As the ScanBizCards team is preparing for Dreamforce (which I have started calling “The Quickening,” from the Highlander movie), we have all individually and as a group reached moments of complete sensory and information overload. With 125, 000 expected attendees, every company in our space sponsoring a booth, so many customers to meet, 1,000s of sessions, scores of parties, logistical travel nightmares, all those damn Dreamforce guidelines and regulations, etc, etc- it is easy for the most Zen person to spin themselves into tizzy. And the event is still 10 days away!
In response, our marketing team has been hounding me to post a Dreamforce guide like the ones that you have undoubtedly seen from all the marquee partners. You know the type- the mainly content free, corporate speak tips that tell you to wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water, and “be sure to catch our founder’s session” on Thursday afternoon about synergistic multi-channel social customer engagement marketing analytics on the AppExchange or some such twattle. Hardly worth the 2 minutes of your “microtask” time while in line at Starbucks.
But many of these posts have been written by people who have been to the event twice- so the reasoning is that since I have been 8 times (at least 5 as a sponsor and several more as an employee), then I will be able to impart that insider knowledge that can make all the heartache and 60% of your annual marketing budget worth it.
But here are a few suggestions that might help you out:
– This is going to be the year that Dreamforce outgrows San Francisco. Pre-plan your transportation needs, particularly at night when you are partying, and don’t let someone that is not going to be there tell you that you can “just catch a taxi.”
– Physical space at the show is going to be scarce. Don’t assume that you can just “grab a seat” somewhere to meet with a prospect. Other than line dancing, nothing makes you look more of a jackass to someone you are trying to impress than pimping a chair with an armload of food and your demo going on an iPad.
– Don’t act like a customer and just “show up.” Scope out everything in advance and expect that everything is going to be like getting pole stuffed into a Japanese subway.
– Dreamforce at night is like New Year’s Eve. Meaning don’t get plastered too early, don’t try to attend 5 parties so you spend all your time in between (pick one and make it count), assume that you are not going to be able keep a posse of 15 co-workers intact, and plan on walking back to the hotel.
– Dreamforce can be an incredible boon to your business. So prepare all you can and throw everything you got into trying to see and be seen. But remember that there are 100,000 other people doing the same thing, so it’s going to be a circus. Roll with it- and have fun.
And come see ScanBizCards and me in booth n1016!
You could win a cool new Samsung SmartWatch.