Dreamforce '18 Ultimate Survival Guide for Exhibitors

September 03, 2018

Dreamforce ‘18 is just around the corner and everyone is gearing up for the Salesforce event of the year! The star-studded event will take place from September 25-28 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

Dreamforce is an extremely exciting and inspiring place to be, giving you incredible access to network with some of the brightest and most influential thought leaders in the industry. With over 2,700 sessions to choose from, things can get quite overwhelming very quickly, especially if you’re new to the Dreamforce scene.

Last year, we put together the Dreamforce Ultimate Survival Guide for attendees. It’s only fitting now that we revise the survival guide for exhibitors.

Whether this is your first time exhibiting at Dreamforce or if you’re a veteran on the scene, this guide will be your go-to reference for Dreamforce planning!

Let’s start with the essentials…

Brand Enforcement - This goes without say that each item you bring, from your laptop to your swag bags (we’ll get to that part shortly) and your shirts, should be well branded with your image and message.

Booth Graphics - Take the time to hire a professional graphic designer and list your specifications. Every pixel counts. It’s not just about your logo on a giant cardboard sign but the message it carries, so think creatively and brainstorm with your team to get the right message out to the masses.

Scanners - Get a few scanners or ask the Dreamforce staff if you can rent a few more, even if you have to pay extra for them. If you’re a large company you will certainly need these lead magnets to gather and collect invaluable data throughout the event.

We used scanners during Basecamp this year during our grand prize giveaway of an Xbox One with great success!

Business Cards - Yep, good old fashioned business cards. They are still in and they are of absolute importance when meeting and greeting new prospects.

Make sure you and your team have a stack of business cards to dish out throughout the event. You should pre-order at least several hundred per team member. Sales members should have even more. Don’t be shy to invest a bit more here, it is totally worth it.

And since you’ve already invested in business cards, you may as well invest in business card holders to look even more professional. They should be stacked neatly on your tables to really make a good and lasting first impression.

Water - There is nothing worse than the feeling of dehydration, especially if you’re the one presenting or giving a keynote. There might even be times when you can’t leave your booth for hours on end.

That’s why it’s absolutely essential to have at least a few bottles of water for you and your team. Someone always needs to be present at your booth, so make sure you have a team member that can either refill the bottles or purchase them and return. H2O should be at the top of your priority list!

Supplies - The basic office supplies such as; pens, pencils, notepads, rubber bands, scissors, and Sharpies. Oh, it also helps if all the products are branded with your logos. A few other items you can include on your list would be Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover and shoe polish, so you won’t have to worry about food stains or dirty shoes. Image is everything.

Swag Bags - When it comes to booth giveaways, you have the freedom to be as creative as you like. The basics generally include pens, brochures, notebooks, stickers, Sharpies, gadgets, and anything else you think would make a good impression. There are tons of cool gadgets you can giveaway that will run you a few bucks like USB’s, cell phone covers, cup holders, Smart Wallets, and PopSockets.

Several Laptops Fully Charged - If you have a booth, you will be presenting demos and PPT’s throughout each day of the event. Make sure you have several laptops with you and a few backups just in case. Carry a portable charger and recharge it every hour or during down times (lunch, keynotes, etc.).

Phone Chargers - You will need a few of these to keep your phones fully charged throughout the event. We suggest bringing along a portable phone charger and take turns with your teammates. You need only one phone charger, depending on the size of your staff. But that should do just fine.

Extension Cords - Searching for an available outlet might be a challenge but there are outlets that might be out of your reach. That’s why it’s crucial to pack along some lengthy extension cords that can stretch several feet. You can’t rely on your battery and you won’t even be thinking about it during live demos, trust us on that!

Take the time to properly set up your monitors, laptops, TV’s or iPads early in the morning before the day begins.

Hire a Photographer - Let’s face it, you simply won’t have the time to run around snapping pictures, and that’s a good thing because you should be focused on attracting and selling to customers and prospects instead.

That’s why we highly recommend hiring a professional photographer to capture some amazing images you can use on your website and future marketing promotion materials. Take it from us, we hired one at Basecamp Tel Aviv last year and it was well worth the investment.

Stand Out from the Crowd - Exhibitors go to great lengths to stand out from the enormous crowd of vendors. You don’t need an extravagant budget to stand out, but chances are, you will want to go overboard for Dreamforce. You don’t need to break the bank, but a small investment in a robot rental might make the difference between you and your competitors. It also helps that AI is all the rage at the moment and what better place to showcase the powers of AI than Dreamforce!

First Aid Kit - As a safety precaution, you should always have a First Aid Kit handy at your station. It might sound silly but a small paper cut can cause you to bleed all over your brochures and business cards or other important documents. Don’t take that risk.

Snacks - You might be stuck at your booth for hours on end entertaining prospects, making new connections, and presenting brief demos of your products. You will definitely get hungry and lunch could be hours away.

Ensure that you and your team remain well nourished throughout the day with small snacks. A few suggestions: granola bars, fresh fruit, dry fruit, trail mix, beef jerky, energy bars, potato chips, rice cakes, pretzels, sunflower seeds, and energy drinks, in case you need a quick boost during the event.

VIP List - Those that are top priority to you. These can be key account executives or other highly important customers. You might want to organize a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant or give them a gift voucher at a retail store or Amazon.

There are plenty of awesome places in and around San Francisco you can treat your VIP guests to during or after Dreamforce. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

Wrapping things up…

Now that you’ve got a full checklist of what to do and what to bring during Dreamforce, you should be all set and ready to go!