So you’re here. It’s finally Dreamforce. First you read my post:Dreamforce: Why I Attend and You Should Too and decided to give Dreamforce a shot. Then you read my lists on Preparing for Dreamforce and you’ve been carefully planning.
Well you’re here. You’re at Dreamforce. So, Now What?
As I mentioned in my post Preparing for Dreamforce I’m a big fan of lists. Like all things, I have lists for when I’m at Dreamforce.
Before You Start List
This is a list of common things. For example:
- Check into Hotel
- Unpack and confirm you didn’t forget anything
- Find a store and buy all the things you forgot
- Check in and pick up materials
- Review materials and see if you need to make any changes to any of your lists. This includes a “Vendor list” if you’re going to the Expo
- Call home and let people know you arrived safely
It’s a bit silly, but there’s been years I’ve forgotten to do some of these things and paid for it dearly.
By now, you should have two lists. The lists of session you registered for and the list of sessions you bookmarked. You want to have this handy to use during the day. You may be able to use the Dreamforce App to access this information. Personally, I like to have at least one back up since I assume the Wifi and Cell services will get swamped at times with the addition of 140,000 more people trying to use the systems.
I take my two sessions lists and I combine them into two different types of lists.
- The Daily List – This is my list that has just the sessions for the day. It’s organized by hour so I can quickly see what my options are between scheduled and bookmarked sessions. Most years, I’ve created a special “Dreamforce” calendar in Google and use that to create my daily list. I may also opt to print a copy at the hotel if the net connection isn’t working well
- The Week’s list – This is my full list for the whole week. It’s useful for planning ad-hoc meetings with other people or organizing a “When shall we go meet at the Admin Zone?” Of course, if you do this in a calendar system like Google your Daily and Week list can be all done in one spot
The Party List
Once the day’s sessions and meetings are done, there are many choices to make. Do you go to a party? Do you rest in your room? For how long? Which party?
This is why I’ll put together a list of the parties I’ve registered or been invited to. I make sure to include the address and the distance from my hotel room aka Base of Operations. This helps me decide if I go rest at the hotel for a little bit or do I go eat something first. I also use this list to decide which party to go to (if any). For example, do I go the AppExchange party that is 16 blocks away from my hotel? Or do I go to some vendor party that’s just 4 blocks over?
All this helps me prioritize my evenings and helps me from over doing things. This is important especially when I look at the week’s session list and see that I have a session at 8 the next morning.
The Top 10 Networking List
So you created your networking list because every ready is following my advice from Preparing for Dreamforce. This is a great list, but you may not be able to meet everyone.
So who’s your top 10? Maybe it’s not 10 individual people, but maybe it’s some goals. For example here are two items from my list so far:
- Meet with 5 people that work outside of my industry and learn what makes being an Admin/Dev for them different.
- Meet with as many Twitter/Blog fans as possible and learn what they like and don’t like about the blog. Bonus if I get an idea for blog post out of this
This list is important to help you remain focus throughout the week. It’s a busy time.
Place to Eat
This may sound funny, but I like to have a list of places I want to eat. There are some very popular places in the area that can get swamped with people. I like to have a list of some of my favorite places to eat at least once at and some alternatives if the crowd is too much. On my list, I try to include addresses and distance from my base of operations. Here’s some examples:
- Super Duper – 721 Market St – 3 blocks: I love a good burger and I’ve had many friends recommend this place. I go and try it at least once
- Mel’s Drive In – 801 Mission S – 3 blocks: Great place for late night dinner and breakfast. This place gets BUSY but it’s also on the way to Moscone
- Hang Ah Tea Room – 1 Pagoda Place – Doesn’t Matter: I love Dim Sum. I love inexpensive food. This is my favorite Dim Sum restaurant. It’s a requirement I eat here whenever I come to San Francisco. It’s small. It may hold about 70 people. It involves some hill walking to get there… and it’s worth it.
General Activity List
This is my list for things like:
- Get picture with Saasy
- Beat Bill Greenhaw in a game (checkers?) at the Admin zone.
- Get picture of me on stage presenting in my Wizard Outfit
- Turn Brendan Conroy back from being a newt
It’s basically the general list of things I want to do or accomplish that doesn’t fit anywhere else. This is also my fun, silly list, so if it doesn’t get completed I won’t be too disappointed. For example, last year my game against Bill Greenhaw never occurred because he was too much of a coward to meet me when I was at the Success Community Zone (Okay, to be fair he was really busy too, but let the harmless trash talk begin Bill!). I wasn’t too disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to utterly crush his dreams of winning at checkers. That’s okay. It’s an item that will remain on this list for this year.
— Brian Kwong (@Kwongerific) August 18, 2014
Lists are important at Dreamforce for me. It’s a big event. It’s a busy week. Too often you’re pulled from one area to the next. Lists help keep me organized and sane. What lists do you have when you’re at Dreamforce? Let me know in the comments!