Still need to persuade your boss to send you to Dreamforce?
6 compelling ways to convince your boss to send you to Dreamforce
August 24, 2017
Make a cursory skim of the Dreamforce website and you’ll see pitches including:
‘the learning event of the year’, ‘transform your career’ and even ‘chart a life-changing course.’
Bold though these claims may be, peel back the rhetoric and you’ll find a conference that genuinely delivers.
Dreamforce is a unique opportunity to spend 4 days learning, networking and (whisper it quietly) having a great time. Its success is perhaps best demonstrated by the ringing endorsements offered up by previous attendees, with 95% recommending Dreamforce to their peers.
Dreamforce’s enduring popularity means that if you work in the Salesforce ecosystem, you’re no doubt desperate to book your place at the conference from the 6th November. However, to do so, you have one major hurdle to overcome: getting sign off from your manager.
To convince your boss, you need to demonstrate how your attendance at Dreamforce won’t just be of benefit to you, but that your entire team and organization will reap the rewards.
Put simply, you need to build a business case packed with so many reasons you should attend Dreamforce that your boss simply can’t say no.
1. Demonstrate the return on investment
As with any business case, it’s best to start with the return on investment.
Your bosses initial consideration is likely to be cost. From your flights and hotel to day to day expenses – it’s going to be a reasonable outlay.
Your job is to show how this is a worthwhile investment, one your manager can easily explain to their own superiors. To get the ball rolling, there’s no harm in pointing out that the vast majority of past attendees have claimed to get a return on their investment:
If you want stats that are more specific to your business, Salesforce have their own Dreamforce ROI calculator. Just fill out the necessary details relating to your position, as well as what you’re aiming to improve by attending Salesforce, and you have another number to add weight to your case.
Ok, so you’ve got a couple of stats around potential ROI, that’s a good start. But you’re going to need to back that up with more substance – it’s time to make a plan.
2. Present your pre-planned itinerary
What better way is there to add weight to your case than with a detailed plan?
Set aside some time to create an itinerary complete with details such as the sessions you’d like to attend, the partners you want to speak to or the competitors you want to research.
Punctuate your itinerary with reasons why you’ve chosen specific sessions, meetings or networking opportunities. Explaining that you’re attending a session to address a specific weakness or knowledge gap makes a more compelling argument than a list of abstract session titles.
Your plan immediately proves to your manager that you’re serious about attending the conference and that you’ve done some considered research into how Dreamforce can benefit both you and your business.
Top tip: Download the Salesforce Events app for a personalized agenda and complete session schedules to get a head start on your plan.
3. Promote the unprecedented learning opportunities
One of the main selling points of Dreamforce has to be the unprecedented learning opportunities.
This is a gathering of industry experts, thought leaders and leading Salesforce partners, with the entire community there to share best practices. Along with attending educational sessions you can get hands-on training or even gain Salesforce certifications.
Translating these factors into benefits for your boss shouldn’t be too tricky. The more knowledgeable you are about Salesforce – not to mention key industry themes – the more impact you can have at work.
Top tip: The sheer breadth of the conference means there are specific sessions tailored to your industry and job. Head to the Dreamforce sessions page, choose your industry or role and you’ll be given a list of relevant learning sessions you can then reel off to your boss.
4. Sell the networking opportunities
With over 170,000 visitors, Dreamforce offers an array of networking opportunities.
Every person you meet is bound through the medium of Salesforce, meaning there’s always a good reason to strike up a conversation. The sheer wealth of events, dinners and parties also present fertile networking ground.
Whether you sell it as an opportunity to meet people you can learn from, or a way to gain all important contacts or leads for your business – your willingness to reach out and meet people can’t be undersold to your boss.
Top tip: Providing a list of contacts you intend to reach out to prior to the conference, as well as those you’ll definitely be meeting there, shows you’re prepared to make the most of the networking opportunities available to you.
5. Share your knowledge
Don’t just pitch how beneficial Dreamforce will be for your personal development – show a willingness to share any knowledge you gain within your company.
If you’re attending training sessions or even taking notes in key talks, by promising to share relevant knowledge with your colleagues, you give more credence to your Dreamforce claim.
Explain how you intend to speak with partners in the Customer Success Expo and get the lowdown on the ever-evolving partner ecosystem, along with any up and coming tools that are creating a buzz.
All this information can be relayed to relevant colleagues and adds weight to your Dreamforce business case.
6. Show a willingness to cut costs
Can’t convince your manager using the reasons outlined above?
Maybe they just can’t see past the expense. Or, perhaps they aren’t sure what your real priorities are for attending the conference.
Either way, showing how you’ve thought about cutting costs is a good way to convince you’re there for the conference, not the free trip to San Francisco…
Top tip: Using San Fran’s BART transportation network, offering to share hotel rooms, eating complimentary meals and heading to partner events are all ways to show you’re willing to cut costs.
Get the ball rolling on your Dreamforce business case by securing a meeting with CloudSense in San Francisco.
We’ll be on hand in the Customer Success Expo to offer industry-specific advice on how you can sell more, launch faster and cut costs by providing joined-up, digital-first customer experiences, all on Salesforce. You can book some time with us here: