You’ve booked your flight, bought the latest Green Day album and packed a carry-on chock full of business cards and Trader Joe’s chocolate covered pretzels. You’re Ready for Dreamforce! Or are you?
Regardless of your answer, you will be ready after reading this post. Here’s how to make sure you’re prepped for networking at Dreamforce 2013:
1) Know your sessions (Don’t be tardy for the party):
Dreamforce brings out the best of the best of networking possibilities. With over 120,000 registered to attend, you’ll get a chance to rub elbows with key sales and marketing leaders, account executives, admins, developers, business development teams and the list goes on!
Get a head start by downloading the Dreamforce 2013 event app. We have found that having a list of companies you’d like to build relationships with prior to Dreamforce will help you network like you’re the King himself, Marc Benoiff. And that’s not to mention that there are more sessions than there are hours in your Dreamforce day. Use the app to prioritize your schedule, too.
2) Make Friends; focus on building relationships instead of building pipelines.
- With the sea of attendees, having a quiet spot to talk is very beneficial. If your team has a meeting room at Dreamforce, make the most of it by scheduling time with your key contacts beforehand. If you don’t have a meeting room, be familiar with the lounge areas and booths nearby.
- Get to know other attendees by joining the Dreamforce Chatter groups! Make some friends and then seek them out at the conference’s welcome reception!
- While you’ve planned your time perfectly, be open to being flexible. That is to say, be wiling to make new connections, too! It is easy to do with the several networking events offered. Find one with people just like you, or break out of the box and attend an event with a group you’re unfamiliar with. You never know: Your dream contact could be just a smile away!
- This one’s worth mentioning, too: Don’t get “hangry” (or angry because you’re hungry). This is when the Trader Joe’s pretzels come in handy. You’ll be hungry, and so will the person next to you. Just like that time your mom put the extra Hostess snack cake in your lunchbox, this is your cue to make friends!
- Follow up! Follow up! And Follow up Immediately! Make the most of the hours of conversation, and keep those relationships growing! Follow up with potential clients and new friends alike. While you may not snag a business deal with every new contact, you never know when you might need to call on someone else’s expertise or connections!
3) Think about how these new friends can help you / how you can help them.
Make note of what you want to learn from your new contacts. Looking to improve your workflow management? Thinking about implementing an analytics platform, or investing in that power dialer for your inside sales teams? Or want to showcase your app to a potential client? These are all things to consider. But most importantly, you need to figure out how you can help them in return, too. In other words, can you be a resource to them in any way?
Once you have that down, take it a step further. Do your homework and have some questions prepared for each of the companies that you’d like to be in contact with. A key tip here is to be genuine. Always remember that it’s much more important to understand their needs before you tell them about yours. (Think along the lines of “Help me help you.”) This will help to establish trust and reliability, which will keep the connection going long after you’ve left San Francisco.
With these tips, you’ll be more than ready for the major networking that Dreamforce 2013 has to offer. Of course, we invite you to stop by our booth, N2107, to put any — or all — of them to use! You can also give that a shot at one of our sessions.
In the meantime, check out our eBook: