The Dreamforce ’16 Survival Guide

September 1, 2016

Dreamforce ’16 is right around the corner. If you’re planning to attend, then your mission is to immerse yourself this one-of-a-kind event so you can boost your knowledge, build your network, bring back valuable insights for your team … and have far more fun than should be allowed on a business trip (don’t worry, your secret is safe with us).

To make sure you achieve all of the above, here’s our Dreamforce ’16 survival guide. With navigation, weather and restauranttips, it’ll help you make the most of the event (even if you just need a place to find a decentcup ‘o’ joeor free WiFi).

The Basics

What is Dreamforce?

Dreamforce one of the biggest tech conferences in the world, masterminded by Salesforce.com. With more than2000 sessions, workshops and keynotes – plus parties with special guests likeU2 – it’s the ultimate mix of work and play.

When and Where?

In brief: San Francisco from October 4th-7th. In length: Dreamforce takes over multiple venues in downtown San Francisco, centering around Moscone Center, with overflow activities at Marriott Marquis, InterContinental, The Palace Hotel, Hilton Union Square and The Park Central. That doesn’t include hundreds of other events hosted by other companies at nearby restaurants and bars.

Do I Need to Download an App for the Event?

In the past, Dreamforce offered a separate iOS and Android app. This year, they’ve moved things over to Salesforce’s Success Community, where attendees can get access to to things such as Dreamforce Chatter groups, registration information, an agenda builder and an onsite mobile app.

Keynotes

Some of the world’s top thinkers and leaders will be delivering keynotes at this year’s conference, including: Melinda Gates, Mark Cuban, Daniel Goleman, Billy Jean King, Captain Scott Kelly, Mary T. Barra, Marc Benioff, and several more. A full list and individual keynote details is available here.

Where to Stay

Official Dreamforce Hotels

You can enjoy discounted rates and special offers at more than 100 hotels, as long as you book during registration. Here’s a cool interactive Google Map of all of the hotel locations, as well as a full list (PDF). Dreamforce guarantees the lowest rates at all official hotels during the conference, and you can contact the Dreamforce Housing Team for help here if you have any problems.

Airbnb

If you’d rather Airbnb during your stay, San Francisco offers hundreds of options – search the inventory here.

Getting Around

Complimentary Shuttles

Complimentary shuttle busses run between Dreamforce’s official hotels and major campus locations. So relax, unwind and email/text your colleagues back home about how much fun you’re having.

Car Rental

If you plan on renting a car, you’ll enjoy some special discounts. A heads up, though – parking in San Francisco is tough, and it’s always easy to grab an Uber or a Lyft to get where you’re going. If you still want to drive yourself:

The Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number is D490199. Learn more more/reserve by visiting the Avis-Dreamforce website here or calling (800) 331-1600.

The Budget Customer Discount (BCD) number is Y393899. Learn more/reserve by visiting the special Budget-Dreamforce here or by calling (800) 842-5628.

Zipcar

If you’re interested in some on-demand wheels, why not try Zipcar? You get $20 in driving credit towards your first drive. To learn more or reserve your ride, click here.

Uber & Lyft

If you’re an Uber fan, Dreamforce has you covered. Use promo code FORCE16 to get a first free ride up to $20 (valid for new Uber users only, and not valid on uberTAXI). To book your ride or learn more, click here.

Are you more more of a Lyfter than an Uberite? Book your ride here.

Bikes

While there can be some pretty steep roads to navigate (here’s a list of the steepest courtesy of Priceonomics), San Francisco is a haven for cyclists. If you’re looking to whisk around on two wheels instead of four, and save some money, check out the Bay Area Bike Share.

Or it you’d prefer, you can rent a bike from one of the area’s many private companies, including Bay City Bike and CityRide Bike Rentals.

Good news: the SoMa neighborhood –where Dreamforce is –is mostly flat.

Coffee & Free Wifi

Sorry, Seattle. Our apologies Austin, and pardon us Portland – but San Francisco just might be home to the country’s best cafes, in terms of experience, selection and of course, taste. For recommendations on where to go, check out these Yelp reviews for the best cafes and coffee shops in downtown San Francisco.

Also, if you don’t want to face the wrath of your boss due to excessive smartphone roaming fees, once again per Yelp reviews, here’s where San Francisco’s best and brightest laptop warriors go to enjoy some free WiFi.

Meals

Breakfast

While hotel breakfasts are usually good, they’re also pretty generic – which is probably part of the plan. If that’s fine with you, then you’ll have plenty of options where you’re staying. However, if you’re looking to start your day off with something special and delectable, check out USA Today’s list of the 10 best breakfast spots in San Francisco.

Lunch

Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch? You’ll indeed enjoy a complimentary lunch during the event (provided that you’re a full conference attendee). However, if you feel like veering off the beaten path, Thrillist has put together a list of the top 25 lunch destinations in San Francisco. They just a quick Uber or Lyft ride away.

Dinner

If you attend any official Dreamforce evening events, then you don’t have to worry about sustenance: the organizations have you covered – although unlike lunch, it’s not free. If you’re looking for something different, here’s a list of the city’s 100 top restaurants according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Bon appétit!

Weather

According to Accuweather.com, the temperature in San Francisco in early October will likely hover around 70 degrees for the daytime high, and the low to mid-50s for the nighttime low. But the weather can be a bit unpredictable. We recommend you pack a few extra layers just in case. No need for heavy sweaters or winter gear, but a hoodie might be a good idea (plus, you’ll fit right in with all the tech bros and gals).

More City Information

Check out San Francisco’s official website, which is awesome, and will give you tourist destinations like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Chinatown, Pier 39, and more. Plus, Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants are doing well this year, and if they make the playoffs and you can somehow score some tickets, attending an October game at AT&T park is bucket list material. Trust us.

More Dreamforce Information

Whether this is your first Dreamforce or you’re a seasoned veteran, we hope that this Survival Guide will help you get the most out of this unique conference. For more information, including registration details and tips to convince your boss to fund your enlightening trek to San Francisco, click here.

Find Showpad at Dreamforce

Oh, and don’t forget to stop by and say hi to us at booth #1928. We’ll have friendly people and cool swag.