Come October, the SYNETY team is packing up and heading to San Francisco for Dreamforce. As a Salesforce partner, it was and easy decision for us to invest the time and money to sponsor this event. However, being a first-time sponsor can be overwhelming at times. From the planning to the travel, creating a successful Dreamforce strategy isn’t easy.
Thankfully, with some coaching from our Head of Marketing who had been to Dreamforce before, we are ready to rock and roll.
Here are our tips for ensuring a successful trip to Dreamforce.
Choose your team carefully
How many people should you bring to Dreamforce?
The hardest part is balancing the desire to bring more people with the need to keep costs down. Bringing more sales reps means more opportunities for networking and possibly collecting more leads. However, the biggest expenses for the event (after the sponsorship costs) are airfare and hotel accommodations, so bringing too many people can really make a dent in your budget. In the end, we decided to bring 7 people, enough to always have a presence at our booth but still allow sales reps to mingle, attend sessions and make connections.
What type of people should you bring?
You want eager and energetic representatives for your company who are going to bring some charisma to the table. It’s hard to stand out at Dreamforce – there’s no room for wallflowers at your booth!
The hunt for a hotel
As a first time sponsor, it might be hard to completely understand just how much Dreamforce takes over San Francisco and how difficult this can make finding a hotel. Especially if you want to be within walking distance of Moscone. So book early! And leave plenty of room in your budget, knowing that hotel prices will be higher during this week.
Also, book as many hotel rooms as you could possibly need. Most hotels have fairly liberal cancellation policies, so better to book more rooms and cancel if needed. That way you won’t be left hanging if there are changes near conference time.
It’s all about the swag
With hundreds of sponsors at Dreamforce, you have a lot of competition when it comes to getting the attention of attendees. You need to have a strategy. Come up with a theme or something that will draw attention. The easiest and most cost effective way to do this is by having awesome swag. Now when I say swag, I don’t mean pens or stress balls. Think outside the box and be prepared to spend a little extra cash.
This year we decided to give out retro handsets that plug into your mobile phone. These bright and fun accessories represent our company well since our CloudCall product connects your phone system to Salesforce. CloudCall also works with Salesforce1, so the fact that the handset connects to your mobile phone is perfect!
Schedule meetings in advance
Reach out to partners, customers and other contacts you know are attending to schedule meetings with them well before the event. Dreamforce can be very hectic and people’s schedules fill up quickly, so trying to arrange meetings with people at the event can be almost impossible.
Also, plan a spot to have your meetings before you get there. With more than 140,000 planned attendees this year, you need to have a home base.
How are you going to handle all those leads coming in? You’ll be scanning badges left and right, but what will you do with this data when you get back?
Develop a follow up strategy for your new leads. There should be a couple of levels to this. For hot leads, have the sales team follow up directly, but for leads that aren’t ready for sales, have an email ready to go. Ask them to subscribe to your blog, watch a demo or download a piece of content.
And while you anxiously await your trip to San Francisco (and of course your chance to visit us!), check out our ebook we created for Dreamforce.