Typically, when I return home from a conference I am so physically and mentally exhausted that I need at least a week to recover. This year, my return from Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce conference, left me with a different feeling. While I was still physically and mentally exhausted, I didn’t need a week to recover. In reality, I felt more alive and invigorated than ever, even after a full week of meetings, interactions and late nights.
DreamForce is upon us. Thousands of us will be convening in San Francisco. I find the experience both overwhelming and fun: parties, events, sessions and so much more. There are blog posts galore about getting the most out of DreamForce. Salesforce even offers one: http://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/DF14/journey/
However, I’d like to offer something a bit different, I’d like to talk less about the sessions and more about how to care for yourself at DreamForce. I mean, after all, if we don’t take care of ourselves, what is the point of attending?
Here are some tips that helped keep me sane at past DreamForce events:
- Hydrate, choose comfort and lighten the tech – The campus for DreamForce is huge – http://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/DF14/journey/. Be sure to bring good walking shoes. Your feet will thank you. Carry a water bottle with you; there are refilling stations all over. Leave the laptop behind and lighten your load.
- Find space for yourself – You will be learning a lot of new things during the conference. It’s very important to find a space where you can digest all of this new learning. The DreamForce location is surrounded by beautiful parks where you can sit and relax. Take time to jot down notes and thoughts during these times of rest.
- “I cannot attend it all” – This is your new mantra. Accept the fact that you will miss something, and that’s okay. There is so much happening, it is impossible to attend it all, so enjoy what you are able to get to and don’t worry about those things you think you are missing.
- Enjoy the pause between sessions – Try not to jump right into work or something else if you find yourself in a lull. It can be easy to do, but take those brief pauses as a chance to recharge yourself for the next session. It’s your opportunity to just be.
- SLEEP – Rest is critical for your brain to recharge and rejuvenate. Some may say to you, “oh, I can sleep when I get home”, but remember, you need sleep to retain and hold all that great information you are receiving. Don’t throw it away. I’m not saying skip the parties at night, but do plan to get the rest you need so you are refreshed the next day. I was known to take naps during downtimes so I could attend evening events.
- Smile and enjoy yourself – Try to enjoy all the moments. Often at conferences we are so busy rushing from one location to another that we forget, we’re all here together with a shared purpose. Let’s enjoy this space with each other.
I hope these tips will make DreamForce an enjoyable experience for you — a moment that you feel like you were able to really enjoy, and learn something new at the same time.