For such a large event, Dreamforce runs remarkably smoothly. But any event has its potential pitfalls, and even if they’re minor they can cut into your productivity. Here are a few hazards to be aware of:
WiFi coverage and even cell reception in the main halls in Moscone is notoriously spotty. If you plan on catching up on emails before a talk downstairs, or tweeting about Benioff’s keynote, be prepared for frustration – or get there early to search for a seat that’s not stuck in a dead spot.
Speaking of the keynotes, be prepared for long lines if you plan on watching them in person. The official capacity of Moscone’s Halls A, B and C is 16,200 – so, expect a long line that begins forming a few hours before the speech’s scheduled start to get in, and brace yourself to battle to get out and back to the expo. Alternately, you can watch the keynote from the comfort of your hotel room via streaming video and audio (always well done by Salesforce’s team) by accessing the Dreamforce home page. You may not get to sit near Neil Young or Will.I.Am, but you’ll probably get more done.
Be aware that the sheer size of the show now means that sessions might be held in venues blocks away from each other. That means you ought to plan your days with the locations of sessions in mind. “Be realistic about the time it takes to get from point A to point B,” advised Pombriant. “It's crowded out there. Take a few moments to orient yourself and learn about the tunnel (connecting Moscone North and South), and where you can sit down for a few minutes or find a restroom after hours of wandering.”
Avoid building a too-full schedule – it’s almost inevitable you’ll discover a company or a concept you want to talk about, or bump into someone you’ll want to catch up with. Make sure you have a little flexibility to your schedule, or you’ll leave the event feeling like you missed out on something.
“At the end of the day, don't count on being able to get a rideshare like Uber or Lyft,” said Butler. “They will be overwhelmed and if you can get one at all, you’ll be the victim of surge pricing.” Take public transit if possible – including Salesforce’s own hotel shuttles. Parking nearby can be tough to find and expensive, Butler added.