Dreamforce is huge, and attending is a big opportunity for anyone in the world of sales. Where else can you find so many industry leaders in one place, ready to share their knowledge about the present and future of sales? It's also a great networking opportunity, with a chance to gain valuable new relationships across the sales spectrum.
Of course, all of that action – 1,500+ sessions, at last check – is packed into a few short days, so you'll need to hit the ground running if you want to make the most of your time. If you're looking to cultivate fresh leads at Dreamforce, then you've come to the right place.
Follow our 5 proven tactics for landing more leads at Dreamforce, and you'll have the tools you need to leave the conference with plenty of new business in tow.
Seek Out Unofficial Events
When searching for leads, however, it helps to visit some of the unofficial events taking place around the periphery of the conference. Unofficial events present a great opportunity to connect with potential leads in a less structured but still sales-focused setting.
Big conferences also mean big parties. In addition to letting everyone blow off some steam, the low-pressure atmosphere of a party is very conducive to making new connections. You'll find plenty of information on unofficial events, parties and otherwise, right here. Attending a few unofficial events will be more than worth your time.
Plan Your Agenda With Target Personas
Dreamforce draws huge numbers, and it's growing every year. With so many people in attendance, meeting the right prospects doesn't happen by accident.
Before you start planning your agenda, develop target personas for the types of people you most want to meet. If you're targeting VP-level and higher, you want to attend the sessions that draw the heavy hitters. The process is very similar to creating buyer personas. You want to get in the head of your target audience, and anticipate their needs ahead of time.
Follow Up After Dreamforce
Conferences bring together like-minded people, and there's a natural atmosphere of camaraderie that comes from being around others in the industry. In that type of atmosphere, it's all too easy to establish connections that seem strong at the time, but wither once the conference is over.
The solution is a simple one, and it will be familiar to anyone who works in sales.
Follow up. A weak lead becomes much stronger when you take the time to follow up after the conference is over. It shows that you remember the prospect, that you take their needs seriously, and that you have genuine interest in earning their business.
Add value to your followup by sharing useful content, making introductions, and addressing the prospect's key questions, even if they're not yet ready to buy.
Social Media Is Your Secret Weapon
At any big conference, there's bound to be a lot of noise. Dreamforce is no different, and there will be plenty of people in attendance who are looking for the same leads as you. Getting in front of the right people is a great start, but sometimes there will simply be too many distractions to deliver your message effectively.
Social media is one of the best tools for cutting through the noise, allowing you to further engage leads to solidify your new connections.
Search the official #Dreamforce tag on Twitter to find plenty of conversation around the conference, and set up a Twitter list of the people you've met and those you hope to meet. When you make a connection, don't waste any time adding them on LinkedIn, either. Every step you take to engage more deeply will help you strengthen your new relationships.
Sharing Session Notes Opens Doors
If you've made the effort to attend Dreamforce, then there's a very good chance you'll be taking detailed notes on the sessions you attend. In addition to cementing the new concepts you learn, your notes can also help you establish relationships. Choosing one session inevitably means that you'll be missing another, and sharing notes allows everyone involved to leave with a little extra knowledge.
Look for opportunities to share notes with other attendees in person, or through social media. Annotating your notes will also add some extra value, and demonstrate your knowledge to your fellow note-sharers. If you really want to stand out, use the Sketch Note technique to augment your written notes with visual signifiers.
And there you have it. While you're busy attending sessions, landing leads, and partying at Dreamforce, do try to get a bit of sleep on occasion. Or don't. We'll leave the decision on that tactic in your hands.