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Preparing for Dreamforce

Dreamforce is one of the largest and most well known conferences in the tech world. With an audience of 40,000 Salesforce customers and prospects, it is the marquee event for ISVs and partners whose ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) falls into this bucket.  Sponsors pay a minimum of 100K to jockey for the attention and awareness of the ecosystem making it the highest lead generating activity most marketing teams will prepare for. 

 

For the past two years, Mike Davis (CRO of Invisory) and Sienna Quirk (CMO of Invisory) have held a cohort to help ISVs prepare for the investment. Even if you missed our cohort this year, we’re sharing some top tips for making the most of your time at Dreamforce. 

 

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Know your goals & what success looks like: 

This might sound simple but it’s critical to know what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’ll know you were successful. And success can look different to each ISV depending on maturity, time in market, yearly targets, goals and expectations. Documenting what’s important and how you’ll know how the team did is a critical piece of the post-Dreamforce examination. 

 

Sample Goals 

Success Metric Measurement 

Brand awareness

Booth scans / outside event participation 

Scans 

Number of booth visitors 

Leads / Opportunities / Closed deals 

How many scans turn into leads and closed opportunities 

Partnership relationship building 

Meetings with SIs, Salesforce and others 

Customer retention 

Early renewal conversations / customer meetings 

Put your plan in place for success: 

 

Planning is crucial for success and should include a multi-touch approach. This means identifying before, during and after how to make the most of your investment. 

  • Pre-show 
      • Train your support team on the ground at Dreamforce and back at the “office” all need to know their role and expectations. 
      • Clarify an elevator pitch & general demo flow. 
      • Identify your theme and message – how do you plan to stand out? Giveaways, outside events, etc. What are your competitors saying? 
      • Know what personas to expect at the booth and role play how to address each. 
      • Promote via social, emails and newsletters where you’ll be and why individuals should visit. 
      • Prepare your executives for meetings. 
      • Clarify your goals and KPIs & share with the team.
      • Have a plan for almost everything (weather, emergencies, illness) 
  • During show
      • Have a booth schedule 
      • Make sure your booth team knows their roles (booth puller, demo, meeting coordinator, set up and closing staff).
      • Attend sessions of key customers, prospects, partners and SIs 
  • Post-show 
      • Communication plan for leads scanned / hot leads & customers 
      • Follow up from executive meetings 
      • Follow up from partner plans 
      • Party / happy hour follow up strategy 
      • Take time to review your initial goals and KPIs and how you did. Gather feedback from your executives, your booth team and your outreach team to get ideas for how to improve next year. 

 

Not sponsoring Dreamforce but planning to attend? 

There are plenty of ways to make the most of your time on the ground at Dreamforce, even if you’re not sponsoring. From setting up meetings offsite, sponsoring surrounding happy hours and events, and engaging with partners there are plenty of ways to still have a successful show without the scanner. 

 

Invisory hosted a 30 minute webinar on just this topic. Watch it here 

 

Headed to Dreamforce and want to meet with the Invisory team in person? Click here to schedule time. 

FAQ

  • What are your top tips for preparing for Dreamforce?

    Top 6 tips to prepare for meetings before the event:

    1. 80% of attendees will go to industry events every year, so start emailing and calling down on the companies in the event list from last year or researching on social companies that attended previously if you don’t have a past years list. 

    2. Review the agenda and identify sessions where you have customers or prospects speaking or  that will align with your target customer,r prospect, or partner. Salesforce Product Managers (and Product Management leaders) are often featured speakers.

      • Are prospects/customers speaking on the main stage or breakouts? Congratulate them and try to book time with them. 

      • Suggest these sessions to your customers/prospects in outreach prior to Dreamforce - what better way to tell your prospects about you than have a customer do it on your behalf

      • Plan to have staff attend and prepare questions that help your company lead the conversation or create awareness with session attendees so they stop by the booth after. 

      • If you are hosting a happy hour or post show event, ensure you invite these individuals to stop by or let them know you’ve put them on a VIP list

    3. Prebook meetings. You are paying for your team to attend, make sure their time is booked out and used efficiently prior.  Don’t wait for people to come to you! 

      • Here is a helpful blog we previously wrote on how to build out a meeting scheduler link to bring home SQLs instead of MQLs

      • Offer something of value to schedule onsite prior, can you afford a booth giveaway or upgraded swag to incentivize attendees to book meetings? 

      • Do you have a meeting room on-site? If so, work with the Customer Success and Sales teams to ensure they know meeting room etiquette.

      • Not sure which of your customers or prospects are attending Dreamforce? Create an email campaign that lets all of them know you are sponsoring or attending and how to engage - if nothing else this signifies your commitment to Salesforce and your alignment with the brand. 

    4. Opportunities with current customers and prospects is where the magic happens! 

      • Keep in mind that some people may still be skittish about large gatherings and may prefer to gather in smaller groups

      • Work down your priority list trying to schedule those top time slots: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Coffee shops for schedule breaks 

      • Book reservations NOW, it is Dreamforce and anywhere around Moscone will be a zoo months to weeks out. 

    5. Don’t forget about Salesforce as a target. Although this is the busiest week of the year for AEs, SEs and industry leads at Salesforce, it is worth an outreach to ask for a meeting or invite them to your booth or event. Even if they are unable to attend, it shows your support of the event, the brand and offers an opportunity for them to learn more. 

    6. Dreamforce is a marathon, not a sprint. Prep your booth team that this is a significant investment and extremely long hours. Everyone will need to be on their A game from 7AM-10PM for multiple days. There will be time for team bonding but please don’t be rookies and use the first night for this. Book an early dinner with the whole team to connect before the show starts! Start strong, end fun!

  • Top 5 Questions to ask at the booth for sales people

    Imagine this scene:
    -A Dreamforce 2022 attendee is walking past your booth, scanning the room.
    -They stop and start to read the words written on the booth (high five to the brand creative team!)
    -They wander up, avoiding eye contact and grab a PDF to start to read it
    -Your SDR approaches her with a smile.....what do you hope they open with?

    Top Questions for Booth Staff

    • "What did you think about ________ in the keynote?" Make sure either you or someone on the team is watching the keynote at the event. Find some news or product announcement that would interest your target personas/ICP

    • "Looks like something caught your eye. What was it?"

    • “What brought you here?”

    • “What speaker or topic have you found most useful so far? Why?"

    • “How do you / how does your company use Salesforce today?” This will help determine which clouds and use cases matter most to the prospect and will allow you to align your talk track.

    Remember to relax, smile, have fun, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Not everyone who comes to the booth is a good prospect and that’s ok. Heck, some of them just want whatever swag you’re giving away so when you find someone who isn’t a fit, move on as quickly as possible.

    DOs and DONTs while at the booth

    • Do make eye contact and smile

    • Don’t stand behind a barrier like a table or demo stand

    • Do book meetings with interested and qualified prospects on the show floor. Why get a lead that someone needs to chase when you can get a meeting booked? Learn more on that here.

    • Don’t assume people want to shake hands. COVID has adjusted social norms around how close to stand and physical touch

    • Do have an elevator pitch with what you want to get across in 20 seconds

    • Don't keep food and drink laying around the booth - always have water near by but try and keep out of sight and use breaks to eat so you don't clutter up the booth

    • Do have a standard demo ready but be ready to pivot based on what the audience wants to see

    These tips should serve you well whether it’s at Dreamforce 2022, Midwest Dreamin’, London World Tour, New York World Tour or any other Salesforce event.

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