One of the ways you can save money attending Dreamforce is taking advantage of all the food offered to you as part of your badge/registration. Note- this is based on past experiences which may or may not be the same for this year. I’ll revisit this topic closer to the event as well.
Breakfast: At Dreamforce there is at least one morning (typically the Marc keynote) where you can pick up pastries and such for breakfast. Consider breakfast offerings at your hotel as well, if you get a free breakfast with your room, take advantage of it. At minimum, grab some fruit you can snack on later. Check back later here and on the Dreamforce website for more details on breakfast offerings.
Lunch: Lunch is provided every full day of Dreamforce. Typically it is a boxed lunch of a salad or sandwich or wrap, with a side or two, dessert, and a canned drink. Last year was a great change as they set it up so you could pick what you wanted from the different options rather than have to take a whole box where only one item was appealing. There were Dreamforce lunch bags in your event bag (swag bag) to use each day to collect your lunch. I really liked this new approach and hope it continues this year. There are different locations at all the campuses to pick up and eat lunch, including taking advantage of the brilliant weather on Howard Street and Yerba Buena Gardens. Don’t be too late for the lunch period because once it’s gone, it’s gone. Hopefully it’ll be a bit smoother this year with the feedback of last year’s experience.
Dinner: Technically Dreamforce does not provide dinner, but you can squeeze dinner out of the evening Expo hours where there are typically appetizers and the such provided. I have seen everything offered- from a baseball themed night with park foods to beef wellington squares, and of course there’s usually options for beverages including free beer, wine, and usually a special drink created for Dreamforce. Most of the after parties (parties hosted by various companies after hours) will have food as well, so consider checking out a partner and grab some dinner that way as well.
As for snacks- well, that’s harder to come by during the day. You might find someone passing out mints or candy bars- but your best bet here is to bring your own. Next post I’ll talk about some tips for not breaking the budget outside of what Dreamforce typically provides. My first Dreamforce I returned home and turned in my expense report. My manager called me into his office asking where the receipts were for food. Between my hotel choice and eating at Dreamforce and going out to different parties and events- I had 3 meals expensed for the week: when I arrived in town, one evening when I needed a break from everything, and before I left town at the end of the week.
Will it completely save your budget? Nope, but every little bit can help if you’re attending Dreamforce on your own or working on reasons why they should send you to the best week ever for Salesforce users!