6 Tips From A Dreamforce Veteran

by Michelle McGinnis on Monday, November 29, 2010 in Social Media

Dreamforce is massive. 250 plus booths, over 325 sessions, more than 20,000 attendees – it's easy to get lost if you don’t do your homework first. Luckily, Eloqua has its own Dreamforce veteran, Jill Rowley, to lend advice on how to make the most of your Dreamforce experience. Jill has attended the event for all eight years. Here she shares six tips on how to best prepare for Dreamforce ‘10.

1. Know the Agenda
There are so many great sessions going on at any one time, it can feel overwhelming. Sessions run simultaneously so you need to research what panels and speakers you most want to hear. Also, events fill up fast. If you don’t schedule beforehand, you’ll end up missing a lot. Make sure you rifle through the agenda online and assemble a game plan.

2. Find Your Clients
Don’t be caught by surprise when you see a client wandering the event floor. Reach out to your clients before Dreamforce to find out if they are going to be on site. Invite them to stop by your booth, your session or even just to grab coffee. Having the foresight to check in before the event goes a long way in maintaining a solid – and fruitful – relationship.

3. Look for Prospects and Potential Partners
Nearly every industry uses Salesforce.com. That means Dreamforce can’t be beat as a source for drumming up new business. But it also means you can’t show up unprepared. Study up on what prospects and possible partners will be there. Reach out to them ahead of time, if you can. Be on the lookout, have your business cards ready and craft your best pitch before you walk through the door.

4. Search for Analysts and the Media
Dreamforce draws out top analysts and plenty of press. If you want to get your company’s name out there, you better know who’s who in the audience. Do a check for the publications and firms that will have a presence at the event. Try to get some face time, and prep for interviews and questions.

5. Study the Floor Plan
So now you know the prospects, clients, media outlets and analysts expected to attend. Do you know exactly where they will be? At an event as huge as Dreamforce it pays to have a map. Look over the floor plan. Check out where your scheduled sessions will be held. Don’t be afraid to ask where your clients and prospects booths are. Familiarity with the space now will save you time later.

6. Scour Social Media
Save yourself the trouble of depending simply on nametags or badges to find people. Some due diligence on Twitter, LinkedIn and Dreamforce’s chatter app will help you figure out who are the people you need to meet. It will also give you some terrific insights. Research potential clients to see if you went to the same college, are interested in the same hobbies or worked with the same people in the past. Be ready to drop names. And searching the sites might also give you a face to put with the name, which is a huge advantage in such big crowd.

Be sure to join the Eloqua group on the Dreamforce chatter app.

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