I had the opportunity to go to Dreamforce 2017, put on by Salesforce in San Francisco. My boss sent me there to learn even more about features we’re considering for my department. Since this was my first Dreamforce, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into. I knew there’d be a lot of attendees there, 160,000+ to be exact. I knew I had different sessions and dinners to attend. What I didn’t know was that there’d be a free concert to attend, famous people giving keynotes, free bicycle cart rides, and long lines, everywhere. Here are the top X things I learned during my time at Dreamforce.
Even if you’re not going to Dreamforce, you can still use some of these tips for your trip to San Francisco.
1. There are long lines everywhere.
If you have a session you really want to attend and aren’t registered, get there early and stand in line. If you get there early enough, you may be able to attend the session. While waiting in these lines, you also realize how impatient and in a hurry people are. Every single day, I saw people practically run over others to get where they “needed” to go. One of those days, I was the victim of a “hit and run”. Of course, at this point, I was over people so I shouted after the guy. He kept going but did have the decency for at least turnaround and apologize, for what that’s worth.
2. If you have a long distance to go, take advantage of the bicycle carts.
Each Dreamforce, Salesforce pays for those bicycle carts to take the attendees where they need to go. I don’t think many people knew this because there were quite a few hanging out when I went to take one. I didn’t even know about them. My co-worker, this was his 5th Dreamforce, was the one to tell me about this. I’m glad that he did, too! It saved me both time and money in order for me to get to this VIP Cocktails and Dinner I had been invited to go to.
3. Attend the cocktail receptions/dinners you’re invited to.
Likely you’ll be invited to cocktail receptions and dinners, attend them if you can! Not only are they great for networking but the food will likely be very good as well. While there, my two favorite restaurants were The Educated Palate and Farallon.
The Educated Palate is part of a culinary school in San Francisco. It’s where the student chefs go to show off the skills that they have learned. I ordered the beef kabobs with couscous on the side. Although the beef was a little more cooked than what I prefer, the flavor was amazing! The seasoning that they added was so good, I wish I knew what they used so I could do the same at home.
Farallon was also really good. Since there was a large group of us, we didn’t sit in the regular dining or bar area. We were seated in a dining ballroom upstairs. The room had awesome murals on the walls and even the ceiling!
The other place I went to for cocktails and dinner was the San Francisco Asian Art Museum. During the cocktail reception, they had an open bar with potstickers and sushi for appetizers. They also had some light entertainment during this part of the evening. I even got to make an origami butterfly!
During and after dinner, they opened up the galleries for all of us to tour if we wanted. I didn’t take any photos since I wasn’t sure what their photography policy was. The pieces of art on display were amazing! Majority of the guests were more interested in the food and open bar so didn’t go through the galleries. Since there were so few of us, it almost felt like a private tour! Although you’re unlikely to have food there, unless it’s a special event, I highly recommend going to the Asian Art Museum to tour their galleries!
4. Go to the Dreamfest Concert.
Salesforce puts on a concert for all of the attendees of Dreamforce. This latest one had an opening band and two headliners. The opening band was Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. I had never heard of them before but I really enjoyed their music. It fit very well with the next singer, which was Lenny Kravitz. Lenny was incredible. His energy level was off the roof and got everyone up and dancing and/or singing. He was my favorite of the concert! After Lenny, they had Alicia Keys as the final singer of Dreamfest. Although I have always enjoyed her music; I am not a fan of her in concert.
5. Register for the Main Keynote ASAP.
This year’s main keynote was about inspiration and finding your passion. The guest speaker was Michelle Obama! I woke up super early that day, just so I could stand in line for 1 1/2 hours to get in for a decent seat. Although I’m not a morning person and waiting in lines is incredibly boring, I am so glad I did it. Michelle is an amazing speaker. I even was able to get a decent spot to see her on the stage. It was well worth the wait!
6. Hop on a Cable Car after your sessions are done.
Although your days may be packed with all of the sessions, be sure to take some time to hop on a cable car. The cars that go to Fisherman’s Wharf are close to Dreamforce so it’s an easy walk. You can then experience riding a cable car all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch, exploring, or shopping.
Don’t forget your travel insurance for your next vacation!