Headed to San Francisco for Dreamforce? You’re about to be one of 171,000 people descending on the City by the Bay for the event. As a digital marketing disciple (and until 45 days ago, a Bay Area resident) this guide is dedicated to making sure marketers get the most out of their trip to Dreamforce both during the day and after hours.
Also Read: What To Expect From Dreamforce 2017
Getting to and From Dreamforce
On any given day, San Francisco already has pretty miserable traffic problems, ranking fourth in the world for congestion. Now imagine that traffic with the population of San Francisco suddenly swelling 20% overnight and give up any hope of having a Lyft, Uber, or taxi (of which San Francisco has four) getting you where you need to go. Rather, rely on BART or Muni to get you where you need to go. Both trains stop at Powell and Montgomery, which are both equidistant to Moscone, the center of Dreamforce. However, the Marketing Lodge, which will be located in the historic Palace Hotel, is across the street from the Montgomery BART stop, so just plan on using that one.
Can’t Miss Sessions & Stops
There is no shortage of amazing programming at Dreamforce, but for B2B marketers, there are a few I’m confident in suggesting to you.
Death to Boring B2B Marketing
Tuesday, 11/7, 12:00PM – 12:40PM
A good friend of mine often says, “B2B doesn’t need to mean Boring to Boring.” This, the first of two sessions about invigorating your B2B marketing, features Salesforce’s UX Lead, Cliff Seal, who will help you be more comfortable taking big risks to be more creative.
B2B Marketing Keynote: Marketing That Sales Teams Love
Wednesday, 11/8, 11:30AM – 12:30PM
San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel, Yerba Buena Salon 9
These days it’s rare to find a marketing team that isn’t directly responsible for some portion of a business’ new revenue– typically about 50% is expected to come from the marketing department. This session will feature speakers from SPCA International, Pardot and Ticketmaster to talk about how they’re using Salesforce to drive more leads, closed deals, and maximize their ROI.
Building the Ultimate Marketing Automation Machine
Wednesday, 11/8, 1:30PM – 1:50PM
For you seasoned marketing automation pros, join this session to find out how the best in the biz are using their tools to build powerful, multi-channel B2B nurturing paths that convert leads to long time customers.
During Dreamforce, the Palace Hotel will transform their downstairs restaurant and lounge, the Pied Piper, into a chilled out place to recharge, connect with other B2B marketers, and continue learning from your peers. Plan on taking a breather here between sessions.
The Marketing Lodge is going to be the place for B2B marketers. The Dreamforce marketing epicenter will be upstairs in the Palace Hotel and will feature breakout educational and networking sessions exclusively for marketers. While the Dreamforce Expo hall will be clamoring with vendors and attendees covering every discipline in a business, the Marketing Lodge in the Palace will be the B2B marketer’s oasis. (Be sure to drop by and visit us at the Sigstr booth while you’re there!)
After Parties and Restaurant Recommendations
Let’s be honest: part of the reason you’re so excited about heading to Dreamforce are all the opportunities to party. Here are the ones sure to be stocked with fellow marketers and good times:
Monday, 11/6, 7:00PM – 11:00PM
Our pals at Terminus, Engagio, Uberflip and Pardot, along with with several other brands you know and love, will be taking over the newly renovated SF Museum of Modern Art to throw the ultimate party for Account Based marketers.
Tuesday, 11/7, 5:00-7:00PM
Going to see Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys? Of course, you are. Stop by DemandBase’s headquarters in SoMa to pre-game with other ABM-minded marketers. You don’t even have to go out of your way since their office is on the walking route from Dreamforce venues to AT&T Park.
Wednesday, 11/8, 6:00PM – 9:30PM
BrightFunnel will be hosting a bunch of marketers for (what seems to be) a Westworld themed shindig at Gaspar Brasserie. Gaspar is located in Belden Place, a narrow alley stacked with great bars and restaurants that the locals usually keep to themselves.
Want to Avoid the Parties?
Maybe you’re exhausted from the revelry, you want to have a quiet business dinner, or you just want a piece of San Francisco to yourself during your brief trip. Here are a few of my favorite spots within walking distance of the Dreamforce activities:
Hakkasan – Upscale Dim Sum with a lounge vibe
Cafe Claude – French bistro with live jazz
Per Diem – New American food at the edge of the Financial District
Wayfare Tavern – Celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s SF institution
Marlowe – Locally adored bistro with one of the best burgers in town
With four jampacked days, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Dreamforce and miss out on the stops that are most meaningful to you as a marketer. As you board your flight for San Francisco, keep this checklist of conference must-dos and after-hour recommendations in your back pocket to make the most of your time at Dreamforce.