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Dreamforce 101: What First-Time Attendees Should Know

If you’re new to Dreamforce you may wonder: What exactly is Dreamforce? What’s all the buzz about?

From its sprawling sea of attendees to celebrity guest appearances and holograms in the conference center, Dreamforce is about as far from your average corporate get-together as Disney World is from a carousel. It’s the pinnacle event of the season for the global Salesforce community; a can’t-miss, three-day assortment of opportunity. 

But if you’re new to Dreamforce you may also be wondering: What exactly is Dreamforce? What’s all the buzz about?  Below, you’ll find all of the information you need to make your first trip a success.

What is Dreamforce and why is it such a big deal?

Dreamforce is an annual technology conference — the largest in the world — that brings the global Salesforce community together for three days of incredible events, learning opportunities, networking, and fun. Attendees can join fellow Trailblazers in attending an expansive array of keynote speeches, product announcements, breakout sessions, and networking events. 

With over 1,500 expert-led sessions, workshops, and demos, you can expect to walk out with a wealth of new knowledge and fresh inspiration to drive results for your clients — or even in your own workplace! Come ready to learn all of the inspiring new happenings in the Salesforce community, including:

  • Breaking Salesforce news, updates, and future-state plans
  • Informative & entertaining keynotes
  • Speaker sessions and roundtables
  • Opportunities for networking and knowledge-sharing
  • Entertainment and spectacle

(Can’t make the in-person event? No problem! Dreamforce+ will have a 72-hour live broadcast to keep you in the know all weekend long; an astonishing 93% of attendees have said they learned something that helped them solve a business challenge! To join them, register here.)

Of course, opportunities for social connectivity aren’t limited to the main venue, either. Countless ecosystem partners hold off-site parties, dinners, happy hours, and other events within a stone’s throw of the main Dreamforce venue. If you want a break from the central hustle and bustle — or want to find low-key gatherings more specifically attuned to your industry or interests — you may find it worthwhile to check out gatherings hosted off the beaten path!

What should I be doing to prepare?

It’s important to be prepared for your time at Dreamforce! Consider packing these items before you arrive:

  • Backpack. Laptops, chargers, business cards — make sure you have a backpack to store all the essentials!
  • Comfortable Shoes. You’ll be walking a lot, so pack some flats or comfortable sneakers for treks to and from events.
  • Layers. Make sure to pack a cardigan, sweatshirt, or coat for when it gets cold. It may be sunny in San Francisco, but those air-conditioned conference rooms can get chilly!
  • Umbrella. Don’t get caught in the rain! Pack an umbrella to keep you dry during your stay, and don’t forget to always check the weather forecast before going out.
  • Chargers. Bring any chargers you need for laptops, cell phones, etc. An external battery pack can be extra useful on the go!
  • Salesforce Events App. Installing the Salesforce Events app will save you time and hassle during the conference. Stay organized with a ready-to-go agenda and use the app to help you navigate the city.

What should I bring?

Given the sheer number of options available, it’s important to plan ahead. Keep an organized calendar of events you want to attend so you make the most out of your Dreamforce 2023 experience! Finding those events is easy:

  • Trail Maps. Refer to Salesforce’s industry-specific trail maps to proactively identify relevant learning experiences, and most importantly, pencil must-see sessions into your planner! Making smart use of your time is key to getting the most out of your experience. 
  • Session Catalog. Dreamforce provides a robust session catalog of over 1,500 events to choose from. You can use filters to track down the topics that speak to your industry, business, pain points, or even career opportunities.
  • Off-Site Happy Hours. Dreamforce is great, but it doesn’t stop in the San Francisco towers! Get ready to share ideas and constructively collaborate with professionals in your industry through happy hours hosted around the area.

A-List Keynotes. Learn more about the newest innovations and biggest announcements by attending keynotes that align with your industry or interests! Here’s a sample of what’s in store:

Introduction | Dreamforce Main Keynote 

  • Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO 

Manufacturing | Manufacturing Keynote: The Future of Customer Operations 

  • Patrick Thompson, Chief Information & Digital Transformation Officer, Albemarle
  • Lauren Parker, Vice President, Service for Manufacturing, Salesforce
  • Stephanie Smith, Principal Solution Engineer, Salesforce

Financial Services | Financial Services Keynote: Empower Customer Success

  • Ken Meyer, Chief Information & Experience Officer, Truist Bank

Automotive | Automotive Keynote: Accelerating the Future of Mobility

Healthcare and Life Sciences | A New Day for Health: Get Started with AI + Data + CRM

  • LaShonda Anderson-Williams, EVP, Global HLS Chief Strategy Executive, Salesforce
  • Fatima Paruk, SVP, Chief Health Officer, Salesforce
  • Amit Khanna, SVP & GM, Health & Life Sciences, Salesforce
  • Kristi Lundgren, SVP Industry Marketing, Salesforce

Education | Boost Student and Alumni Success with AI + Data + CRM

  • Adrienne D’ambrosio, Lead Solution Engineer, Salesforce 
  • Chris Clark, Director, Product Management, Salesforce 
  • Rachel Greenfield, Director, Product Marketing, Salesforce 
  • Nancy Doherty, Deputy Chief Information Officer, Babson College 
  • Margo Martinez, Senior Director, Industry Solutions, Education, Salesforce, 
  • Dori Sonntag, Associate Vice President, Advancement, Gonzaga University, 
  • Sadia Saifuddin, Senior Product Manager 
  • Mark Lombardi, President, Maryville University
  • Gabrielle Young, Executive Director for Strategic Marketing and Communications, Maryville University
  • Benjamin Rhodes, Director, Product Marketing, Salesforce
  • Marie Rosecrans, SVP, Impact Industries Product Marketing, Salesforce

Nonprofit | Empowering Nonprofits in Era of Change with AI + Data + CRM

  • Piper Sullivan, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Salesforce

Retail Consumer Goods | Consumer Goods Keynote: Deliver Profitable Growth

  • Gordon Evans, VP, Product Marketing, Retail and Consumer Goods, Salesforce
  • Kishan Chetan, SVP & GM, Retail & Consumer Goods, Salesforce

Lastly, don’t forget to register! Dreamforce is taking place September 12-14 in San Francisco at the Moscone Center, but you can also access it virtually upon registration.

Connect with Gerent at Dreamforce ‘23

This year Gerent will be taking over two restaurants on Folsom Street to provide a hub for Salesforce innovators, customers, and AEs alike to meet! We’ll be posting up at Jamber and Buena Vida Cantina, two delicious local restaurants, on September 12th and 13th. Here, you can step out of Dreamforce’s hustle and bustle and enjoy food, fun, and conversation with our industry leaders. We’ll also be holding industry-specific happy hours; details below!

Capacity is limited; book your conversations today to reserve your place.

Connect with Gerent at DF ’23! | 

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