New to Dreamforce? Answers to Common Questions about Hotels, After Hours and Breakout Sessions

We are just 3 months from Dreamforce and the hype is building up.  Over the past week I have received various questions from those going to Dreamforce for the first […]

About the Author: Gary Galvin

August 23, 2013

Dreamforce 2013 Logo
We are just 3 months from Dreamforce and the hype is building up.  Over the past week I have received various questions from those going to Dreamforce for the first time and thought I would share my answers with you.
  • I have not booked a hotel yet.  What do I do?  I made this mistake last year.  I waited until 2 months before Dreamforce to book my hotel and fortunately I found a room within walking distance but it is not a place I would stay again.  Another colleague at Galvin booked her room a week after me and the closest hotel was 20 miles outside of the city (but a nicer hotel).  As of today (August 23, 2013) it seems all hotels near Moscone Center are booked solid but this website is posted on the website to help find the right hotel.  Also, here are some alternatives:
    • Rent a house – On the Dreamforce Chatter Group there are many people scrambling to find a place and people are finding really good deals on houses to rent.
    • Oakland or South of SFO –  The hotels in Oakland are next in line for getting booked solid but if you try now you might be able to find a room.  Also, try near the SFO airport or go further south of SFO.  If you hotel is out of walking distance you will have to budget for cab or public transportation.  But most liklely there will be other Dreamforce attendees at your hotel.  So make friends fast and try to split the transportation fees.  Continue to keep an eye on the Dreamforce Chatter app because that is where people start discussing ride-share options.
    • Roll the Dice – Rooms will become available closer to the conference that are within walking distance.  People will cancel from attending Dreamforce.  So keep calling the hotels.
Map of San Fran
  • What is the Tenderloin District?  The Tenderloin District is right next to Moscone Center and is not necessarily the safest part of San Francisco.  But don’t let this intimidate you from staying new the Tenderloin District.  During Dreamforce the Tenderloin District is a bit safer because there are over 100,000 people walking through it and around it so the power of numbers bring the safety.  But just be careful.  Last year I stayed at The Good Hotel which was on the outskirts of the Tenderloin District so I had to walk through the Tenderloin District every day.  But I was surrounded by others walking to Dreamforce so I felt pretty good.
  • What Can I do in the Evening? There is no shortage of finding something to do. Dreamforce never sleeps and there are events going from 7am – 3am.
    1. Bar Scene – Many companies host After Hour Parties.  These are very fun to go to but my personal feeling is if you want to network it is difficult at the large after hour parties.  I personally enjoy the smaller after hour parties as it is easier to socialize.  On the Dreamforce Chatter app is a group called DF After Hours.  That  is where you will see the schedule of events but while at Dreamforce you will hear of many other events so just keep your eyes and ears peeled.
    2. Getting Together with New Friends – While at Dreamforce you will meet new friends and many people meet up at a quieter bar or restaurant to socialize.
    3. San Francisco – Many attendees use the evenings to go sight seeing.
    4. Get Work Done – Even though we are at Dreamforce the office is still open so if you have work to catch up on but you don’t want to be locked in your hotel room then go to any public place.  There is wi-fi everywhere.
  • There are so many breakout sessions.  Which ones should I go to? This is the toughest part of Dreamforce because we can’t be in two places at the same time. Here are a few tips to planning your breakout sessions:
    1. Don’t take planning your breakout sessions lightly.
    2. Use the Dreamforce App
    3. Don’t worry if you can’t attend a session because they are all posted on the Dreamforce YouTube Channel.
    4. No two people from the same company should attend the same breakout session.

There are the top questions I got this week from friends and colleagues. If you have any better answers please comment below.  Also, let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to answer them.

See you at #DF13

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