Everything You Need to Know About Dreamforce 2018 More than 200,000 people are expected to attend Salesforce's tech conference this year.

By Amy Osmond Cook

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Michael Short | Getty Images

In less than two months, the San Francisco streets will be taken over by professionals in every industry and from every region imaginable, all gathered for the biggest tech party of the year -- Dreamforce. This year's four-day event, Sept. 25-28, is slated to bring together the highest quality speakers, 650 breakout sessions and more than 200,000 attendees to the four blocks surrounding the Moscone Center.

I live, breathe and sleep Dreamforce. But it can be confusing, even for industry implementation partners and vendors, much less customers and other attendees. So, here is a quick overview of what to do before, during and after Dreamforce to get the most out of your experience.

Related: Why Live Events Are Rocket Fuel for Business Growth

Before Dreamforce.

Plan your sessions. Dreamforce sessions come in all types and sizes. You want to make sure you hit the ones most relevant to you and your career. Some sessions will focus on a particular product, like Service Cloud or Sales Cloud. Others will be geared toward a specific function, such as enterprise or intelligence. There will also be sessions tailored to certain industries -- high tech and financial services are big ones -- or roles, like admin or developer. Start acquainting yourself with the available sessions. You can build out your ideal schedule with Salesforce's Dreamforce agenda builder.

Connect with Trailblazers, and make some Dreamforce travel buddies. If you don't have a dedicated Trailblazer community already, now is the time to find one. Your Trailblazer community can answer any pre-Dreamforce questions you may have, coordinate times to meet in person and network, and provide you with go-to party friends. Worried about wandering Dreamforce alone and aimless? With a Trailblazer Community, you won't ever be lost. Find your perfect Trailblazer group.

Learn the language. Don't worry, this isn't as hard as it sounds. Here's a basic breakdown of the Dreamforce lingo:

  • Campground -- the center of Dreamforce. Come here to meet experts, other customers, industry leaders and product marketers.
  • Lodges -- places for like-minded groups to gather, based on industry or product. These are the networking hubs.
  • Stations -- similar to lodges, but stations are smaller. These are ideal for more one-on-one, intimate networking experiences.

Related: Best Tips for Increasing Your Networking Effectiveness

During Dreamforce.

Use Dreamforce Trailhead Module. Salesforce Trailhead is the go-to for just about anything Salesforce. But what if you're looking for just everything Dreamforce-related? Take a look at the Dreamforce Trailhead module. With just 30 minutes of your time, you can learn all you need about making a game plan and getting the most out of Dreamforce straight from the source. You can also dive into more detailed topics based on your familiarity and role with Salesforce.

Utilize the Salesforce events app. Download this app before Dreamforce, and start getting comfortable with it before you get to San Francisco. Then, during the event, you can use it to get all the information you need so you don't waste a minute of your Dreamforce time fruitlessly searching. The Salesforce events app allows you to get personalized session suggestions, find what you need using session filters, access event details (including maps, walking directions and shuttles) and share sessions with friends and coworkers.

After Dreamforce.

Even after the party is over, you can make Dreamforce last all year by maintaining your newfound connections and putting your new expertise to use. Be sure to follow up on any connections and friendships you made while at Dreamforce. These are the people who will support you on your own Salesforce journey. Follow up on your newfound connections, and share all the knowledge you gained from Dreamforce 18 with your colleagues. Soon enough you'll find Dreamforce lives on in the spirit of digital transformation and customer experience you foster in your own day-to-day work.

Related: How These 5 Strategies Help Me Make -- and Keep -- Connections That Grow My Business

Dreamforce can be overwhelming for both the newcomer and the seasoned event goer. But there's no need to be intimidated. By utilizing the Salesforce agenda builder, trailblazer groups and the Dreamforce Trailhead module and events app, you can feel confident navigating the crowds and get the most from your experience.

Amy Osmond Cook

VP, Marketing & Creative Services, Simplus; Founder, Osmond Marketing

Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D., is the VP of marketing at Simplus, director of Simplus Creative Services, and founder of Osmond Marketing. She enjoys reading business books, playing the violin and trying new restaurants with her husband and five children. Follow her at @amyocook.

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