Salesforce offers a number of great opportunities for networking, making connections, and sharing best practices, perhaps the biggest of these being it’s yearly mega-conference Dreamforce.
However unlike in previous years, this year’s Dreamforce will be taking a hybrid approach with ‘invite only’ guests attending in-person and around 60,000 trailblazers expected to tune in online.
Networking at this event will allow you to make meaningful connections with new people, as well as reconnecting with familiar faces. However, sometimes networking can be easier said than done, so we’ve outlined a few ‘do’s and don’ts’ which will help you to become a networking pro, both in a virtual and in-person setting.
For those of you lucky enough to receive an invite to attend this year’s Dreamforce in person, here are our top tips…
Prepare your pitch. Be concise and accurate when describing either yourself or your business. Make sure to engage the person you’re speaking with from the get-go and make your conversations memorable.
Stand up tall. There’s no benefit to sitting in the corner by yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak to people around you. Chances are, they’re just as nervous as you. Ensure you work on your posture and smile, and don’t be afraid to get noticed.
Questions, questions, questions. Anticipate the kind of people you’re likely to meet based on the topic of the session. Before you’re due to attend, have a think about what you’d like to ask them or what you want to learn from them. This way you have some structure to your conversations – helping you to be less nervous.
Be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions will make you appear interested and engaged, not ignorant as many people might be afraid of if they ask too many questions. Many people, especially in the Salesforce community, will relish the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise, so make sure you ask as many questions as you need to in order to learn.
Overdo it on the self-promotion. This tactic is definitely more likely to annoy the people you speak with rather than provide valuable conversations and build long-standing relationships.
Be selfish with your own knowledge. Always go to Dreamforce armed with your best pieces of advice and any learning curves you can offer your peers. Never expect to get something without offering anything in return. Think about what you can offer in return at this event.
Use social media. Networking in a virtual environment can seem difficult as you might have less opportunity for conversations with other Dreamforce attendees, than an in-person setting. However, using your social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn) is a great way to stay connected with other Trailblazers, discuss different sessions, and build your network.
Patience is key. Don’t expect to reap the rewards of networking, particularly in a virtual setting, immediately. Attending Dreamforce won’t ensure that you’ve made lasting relationships with your peers. Use your personality to develop a rapport with other attendees, this way people are likely to remember you and it gives you an excuse to contact them to arrange a more formal meeting at another time. Combine professionalism with personality
The 2 L’s: listen and learn. As much as it’s important to talk have questions to ask, it’s also key to take the time to really listen to the Trailblazers leading the sessions and learn about their topic, and their experiences.
Forget to follow up. Whether you engaged with this person in one of this year’s live sessions or are interested to learn more after the event, attending Dreamforce offers a great opportunity to start a conversation with other attendees and develop those community relationships.
Forget to set your networking goals. Dreamforce is such a big event that it’s important to set your goals for networking before you attend. Who would you most like to connect with? How will you engage with them in this virtual setting?
Try to practice some of these do’s and don’ts to ensure you’re a networking pro at this years Dreamforce!
Remember networking is all about developing strong, long-standing relationships with your peers in the Salesforce ecosystem and this, naturally, can take some time. But you certainly won’t regret investing the time to foster these relationships. These people can help you to develop your career and teach you things you may not have learned on the job or through study.
For a confidential conversation about your Salesforce career, and to hear about our latest roles, get in touch with our specialist Salesforce consultants today!