It seems like a really trivial post but being honest, I don’t think there are enough posts like this, I promise it is not another travel blog on "what I am bringing on the plane"; it is something I genuinely struggled with last year. I trawled the internet looking for blogs on what to wear, became obsessed on Pinterest with clothing suitable for conferences and watched all the videos entitled “walking through the Dreamforce plaza” I could find.
So here’s what I know: there are very few full-length pictures of attendees and while Pinterest knows "conference clothes" it doesn't know Dreamforce!
I ended up over dressed, uncomfortable and a sweaty mess - yuck! My first day of DF, I wore a full suit and I melted. While San Fran may not be very hot, you will be walking (A LOT!) and it is a hilly city! Power-walking to sessions becomes tougher than a gym workout. This was not something I factored in and I have no idea why not; it just never occurred to me. So remember: light layers and a business jacket may not be the smartest choice! (Yes, there were shoulder pads involved!)
The first rule of Dreamforce: wear comfortable shoes and let’s be honest the most comfortable will be runners or sneakers and that’s ok. I wore skectchers my whole trip. My feet didn’t hurt at all compared to pretty heels! Remember that even Marc Benioff wears runners to Dreamforce…
This year, I am opting for smart jeans, slacks, dressy tops, shirts, a light jumper and a smart light blazer. For shoes I have my trusty converse and pumps.
Ladies - we all have our favorite brands for make-up but I have to say Estée Lauder double-wear was a godsend for me as it lasted from 7am till 10 pm with no touch-ups!
While Dreamforce as a whole is a relaxed and fun environment, outfits should be business-casual. A lot of women were wearing dressy tops and skinny jeans or slacks with t-shirts or flowy tops and cardigans. It’s not a fashion show and you should be comfortable but presentable too!
Now on to the guys, last year I had a wingman - Shane who even admitted that guys have it easy. Shirts, polo shirts and even witty t-shirts are a go. Pair them with a jean/slacks or a kakis and you can be out the door in 15 min.
I think the overall rule at Dreamforce is no pajamas or sweats and you’re golden.
My Essentials for DreamForce:
Emergency Kit – everything I needed in event of disaster; plasters, lip balm, hair bobbins, bobby pins, pins, a nail file, tissues, chewing gum, deodorant, headache tablets, portable chargers and much more! It sounds like a lot but its not!
Tiger balm/deep heat/bengay – this is an odd choice but last year I pulled my calf muscle and my leg swelled – it wasn’t bad enough for medical attention but I did need to rest it. I put a bit of bengay on my leg and went to sleep the next day I was back to myself!
Notepad and pen (or your tablet) – sounds like a “duh Lauren” thing to say but I got caught out – I ended up in an impromptu meeting and I didn’t carry one with me – I looked like an idiot and extremely rude typing notes on my iphone!
Reusable water bottle – Salesforce usually provide a backpack for guests with a reusable bottle but bring one anyway as you can use it on the plane!
Space – not the final frontier! Space in your suitcase – I made out like a bandit last year with all the swag, seriously I was a walking advertisement for Salesforce for weeks after, so keep space in your suitcase for your swag!
My iPhone & back up charger(s) - Download the Dreamforce App to have easy access to your agenda and Chatter. This was a lifesaver I also had a photo of the map in case I lost mine
Business cards - While everything is digitized and your badge will be scanned a million times not everyone you meet will be working a booth – you may sit next to someone you want to pick the brain of or a potential lead to a new opportunity, they will not have the scanner to record your details so bring business cards to pass out!
Am I missing anything? Let me know in the comments!