Year after year, Dreamforce expands in size and becomes increasingly more extravagant. The Dreamforce experience can be a bit overwhelming, but luckily our friends at Salesforce provide great information allowing those of you who are new to Dreamforce to navigate the sessions and events like pros.
Listed below are Dreamforce 2012 freebies, tips, FAQs, and helpful information. For any useful Dreamforce information I missed, please leave a comment and share your own DF2012 tips with others. Make sure to share this post with your friends and business colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ as well.
Taxi from the SFO Airport to Dreamforce
If you are attending Dreamforce from out of town, the first thing you need to do is get to your hotel from the SFO Airport. Click here to view SFO designated taxi zones and taxi fares.
Dreamforce Registration Check-in
Several Dreamforce registration check-in locations are available at Moscone West, Moscone North Upper Lobby, and the Hilton Union Square (which is new in 2012). Registration times vary. Just remember to check-in for Dreamforce 2-6pm Monday, or between 7:30am-2pm Tuesday through Friday.
Free Dreamforce Meals – Breakfast & Lunch
One benefit of Dreamforce is comped meals. Well, you are paying a pretty penny to attend Dreamforce, so maybe these meals are not necessarily “comped”. Anyway, make sure you take advantage of the free Dreamforce breakfast and lunch. Your free Dreamforce breakfast is located at Moscone West Level 1 between 7:30am-9am Tuesday through Friday.
You have even more locations to choose from to take advantage of your free Dreamforce lunch. Enjoy your Dreamforce lunch at Moscone West Level 1, Yerba Buena Gardens, DF Plaza, and various Campus Hotels between 11:30am-1pm Tuesday through Friday. Depending on the weather, I personally suggest eating your free Dreamforce lunch outside in the Yerba Buena Gardens. Dreamforce usually provides throw blankets to lay on the grass and catch some vitamin D while you eat your lunch.
Free Dreamforce Shuttles & Transportation
New this year at Dreamforce 2012, Salesforce is offering free shuttle services. Free Dreamforce shuttles have always been in high demand and Salesforce is finally delivering! There will be an all day campus shuttle during peak hours and the Global Gala Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. Free Dreamforce shuttles will be available to/from the major hotels and BART (i.e. subway/rail system) locations surrounding the Moscone Center. Dreamforce pedicabs will also be provided, just remember to bring a couple bucks for tips.
Free Dreamforce Networking Events & RHCP Concert
There are literally dozens of free Dreamforce events. For networking purposes, you may want to check out the Welcome Reception and the Global Gala (i.e. free DF concert).
The Welcome Reception will be held at the Moscone Expo and the Dreamforce Plaza on Tuesday between 6pm-8pm. This is perfect, especially if you are looking for something to do before heading off to one of the many Dreamforce 2012 after parties.
Don’t miss the Dreamforce 2012 Global Gala on Wednesday between 6:15pm and 10:30pm. The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be playing this year and Will.I.Am will most likely make an appearance as well. Make sure you head over to the Dreamforce Global Gala event early as the Fire Marshall will enforce Moscone Center capacity limits, meaning you will not be able to attend the DF RHCP concert once it fills up.
During previous Dreamforce Global Galas, Salesforce shut down Howard Street just outside the Moscone Center and provided 5-6 food carts, live entertainers, and a couple cover bands. If for some reason you are not able to enter the main Global Gala Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, you’ll at least have enough going on around you to hang out for a couple hours.
Check out the Dreamforce Moscone Center map for a broad overview of the Moscone Center’s surrounding streets and parking/taxi zones. Eloqua also provided a helpful Dreamforce map showing where the multiple activity centers are located, and whats inside them. The Dreamforce mobile app will also have interactive maps as well.
Dreamforce Cloud Expo and Vendor Booths
This year, Dreamforce will have over 350 vendor booths showcased throughout the Cloud Expo. Over 1000 solutions that integrate with Salesforce will be on display and there will be plenty of sales guys/gals to scan your badge and pitch their products to you… both at the DF conference and the months preceding. If you didn’t catch that last sentence, scans of your Dreamforce pass from Salesforce vendors and partners will result in a slew of sales calls waiting for you when you get back from Dreamforce.
Get Social at Dreamforce
Salesforce is the social enterprise. Connect at Dreamforce via Facebook, Twitter, and Chatter. Download the Salesforce Mobile and Chatter apps for your iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry devices. Try tweeting with #askforce to reach a community of Salesforce admin experts and MVPs.
Dreamforce Charging Stations and Power Outlets
Salesforce will provide charging stations at Dreamforce 2012, but with +50k attendees, it may be hard to easily find an available power outlet to juice up. If you do find an available power outlet at one of the Dreamforce charging stations, make sure you suck every watt out by turning a single outlet into several with a travel power strip. I like the portable 4-plug Monster Travel Powerstrip.
Outside of the Moscone Center, you may need a pad with free Wi-Fi to catch up on work. Starbucks may be your first instinct, but that instinct will be shared by thousands of others. Check out another option provided by DesksNear.me. During Dreamforce (September 18-21st), DesksNear.me has a big space located at 678 Folsom Street from 7:30am-5:30pm. They will be providing FREE coffee, power outlets, desks, and more to travelers and Dreamforce attendees. Need a place to work or relax? Take a 5 minute walk from the Moscone Center and check this place out.
Free Picture with Saasy or Classy
Saasy and Classy are spunky Salesforce mascots. Catch Saasy walking the floor and grab a quick pic. Or, meet Classy or Saasy for a more formal green screen picture session and pick your favorite background… standing next to Saasy with the Golden State Bridge in the background is classic.
Recharge and Refuel at Dreamforce
Make sure you eat and stay hydrated, especially after a few late nights of partying (bring your PreToxx). Everything listed below is only a few blocks from the Moscone Center and easily accessible by foot or pedicab.
- Bring a refillable water bottle. Water stations are littered throughout the DF conference floors.
- If you are looking for a cup of coffee at Dreamforce, you are in the right place. There are several coffee spots within walking distance of the Moscone Center. Try Coffee Choice, good old Starbucks, or Pete’s Coffee and Tea.
- If DF is too hot and you want to cool down, buy frozen yogurt at Icebee Yogurt, SoGreen Yogurt, or Yogen Fruz @ Metreon.
- If frozen yogurt is not your thing but you still want something fruity, how about a fruit smoothie at Jamba Juice or Froots.
- Need a bite to eat? Try the mini burgers at Super Duper, the Del Popolo food car (if you can catch it), or pizza at Zero Zero.
- Can’t wait until night hits to grab a beer? Check out the Thirsty Bear Brewery and chow down on some Tapas while slamming a Polar Bear Pilsner.
Pick Dreamforce Music – #DF12Radio
The Dreamforce Radio Station, or #DF12Radio, is new this year. You can help decide what is played throughout the Dreamforce conference. Simply submit your favorite songs, vote for the ones you like, and tune in to #DF12Radio.
I hope this helps you organize and plan for your Dreamforce 2012 trip this year. Dreamforce pros, please add your DF2012 tips and other useful information in the comments section below. Please also remember to spread these Dreamforce tips to your friends and colleagues.