Preparation is Key to Success at Dreamforce
Reflections on the Salesforce Event of the Year
Having had time to reflect on our attendance at Dreamforce 14, I’ve come to the conclusion it was an amazing experience for many reasons, but much of the positive vibe was due to the hard work and awesome attitude of our team – a bigger team than last year, with members that were relatively new to the company and totally new to Dreamforce. But the enormity of the event didn’t throw the newcomers…
Everyone was buzzing and focused and the team’s commitment to the project really paid off with some fantastic delegate feedback and the generation of some exciting new opportunities.
But these things don’t just come together over night. If you’re thinking of attending Dreamforce as a sponsor for the first time, do not under-estimate the time and effort that needs to be dedicated to the preparation for the Salesforce event of the year.
There’s the work that goes into generating the concepts behind the campaign and bringing them to fruition – the booth design, brochures, flyers, promotional videos, team shirts…the list goes on. But there’s also another very important consideration, and that is training.
Train to Take the Strain out of Dreamforce
As part of our training plan, we decided that all team members attending the Expo for the first time should have some Dreamforce familiarisation training so that they knew what to expect from this colossal exhibition. Let’s face it, there aren’t that many Expos that have over 100,000 attendees descending on you! Dreamforce can be quite daunting so don’t forget to support your new recruits who may have limited knowledge of Dreamforce.
The Right Approach For Your Approach
We also provided specific training on demonstrating our Improved Apps solutions so that everyone, whatever their specialism, felt comfortable and able to approach and support the interests of the delegates. In all honesty, Dreamforce is not the place to be a shrinking violet, but as we all know, it’s not easy to walk up to a complete stranger and invite them to take time out of their full-on schedule to have a demo! We had some open discussions about initiating conversations with attendees and the public and it was useful stuff, because no one wants to come over as pushy or impolite. To be honest, everyone has their own approach depending on what feels right to them, but on occasions whatever the approach, how ever polite you are, it just doesn’t work and delegates choose not to engage – and when that happens you have to learn to pick yourself up, dust yourself and be polite and proactive all over again!
So following our implementation of the Dreamforce training, it was rewarding to see the Improved Apps team working together, supporting one another through the ups and downs and engaging naturally with delegates. To be honest we enjoyed it. We all had fun which is reward in itself, although the icing on the cake, we all agreed was to be thanked by delegates for encouraging them to have a demo, as they’d found the solution they’d been looking for – that’s priceless and makes the hard work and the long hours all worthwhile.
…But Dreamforce isn’t just about demos, deals and leads.
If you’re thinking of attending, it’s also a great opportunity for team building. We had Enterprise Sales, Inside Sales, Marketing and Technical Support personnel all working side by side, all feeding off each other’s knowledge and areas of expertise – which brings me onto the educational aspect of Dreamforce.
It’s an opportunity to listen and learn; to acquire new skills and know-how from co-workers; to get crucial feedback on your solutions from delegates, and to gain a broader understanding of the world of Salesforce from encounters with other Partners. I could go on and on about the pros of attending Dreamforce and the importance of preparation to make the most of this extraordinary event, because to us, as a growing company it’s a no brainer – the whole Dreamforce experience is vital.
The lead generation, the team building, the networking, the learning… the whole kit and caboodle is so beneficial. We’d be crazy not to attend this exciting, one of a kind Expo, and we’re really looking forward to doing it all over again at Dreamforce 15.
We hope to see you there.
Peter McManus – Director of Sales – Improved Apps