How to with Woo: Dreamforce and SuiteWorld Survival Guide
With the ending of summer comes the tradeshow season. This month’s installment I thought we’d take a break from our regularly scheduled NetSuite topics to give those about to attend Dreamforce and/or SuiteWorld a bit of a survival guide. As someone who’s been to many shows as attendee, presenter, and vendor, I put together a list of things to help prepare yourself for the week at the show.
- Strategically Pick Your Sessions – Picking your breakout sessions may remind you of selecting your courses for college/university. Some can be very enlightening and others are ‘not-as-advertised’. When selecting, remember why you’re at the show or why your organization sent you there. Select sessions that align with your short-term and medium-term goals, which will help you be successful in your next or upcoming initiatives. Sessions that help longer term goals are nice to see but if you don’t plan on starting for another year or more, technology and needs may change over that time and what you’ve learned may not be as helpful.
- For Sessions Always Have a Plan B – Pick back-up sessions, just in case you attend and the first few minutes you realize it’s a “dud”. Or if you go with colleagues, divide and conquer, and decide who should attend which session to avoid doubling up and maximize the efficiency of the time.
- Pick User-Driven Sessions – User-driven sessions are always more useful, period. These are people just like you, maybe a year ago who have gone through the process of change and can share valuable experiences and lessons learned. The user community never wants to see others struggle like they may have, and will help you mitigate the risks or capitalize on opportunities. This is always a great networking opportunity as most will welcome you to contact them directly to continue the conversation beyond the presentation.
- Break From Your Tribe and Network – The show organizers always do a great job of offering networking opportunities to all attendees. These can come in the form of social mixers throughout the day, offering pins or other identifiers to tell others what you are interested in, and for those introverts (like myself) eating areas are typically organized by some theme to group like minded attendees together – along with food this makes for a very easy icebreaker. Take advantage of these networking opportunities rather than exclusively staying with your colleagues.
- Have A Plan On the Vendor Floor – If your organization wants you to source/shop for a 3rd party vendor or technology partner, go in with a game-plan. It’s easy to get lost in the shiny booths and charismatic folks working them. Prepare a standard set of questions for each vendor booth you visit, ask the same questions so you can compare their answers equally. You can take it a step further by using a weighted scorecard that allows you to objectively see how each answered your standard questions. Don’t overlook the vendor with the modest booth or get star struck by the flashy one or who gave away the best freebees. Who can best work with your team and your needs is why you’re shopping around and that scorecard can let you objectively compare and when you return to present with your team.
Some Typical Questions.
- What’s the biggest differentiator of your product/service?
- What is your ideal customer profile?
- What parts of the market do you not serve?
- What’s your best piece of advice to a potential customer?
- Always Attend the Keynote Address – I know this seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many folks in the past I’ve spoken to decided to skip the highly polished rehearsed show. Other than it really sets the pace and tone of the rest of the show, it allows you to see how (to use a nautical term) the course will be plotted. Seeing how Salesforce or NetSuite will chart the course for the upcoming year or more will give you insights to trends and the focus of the respective software. This gives your organization validation that your investment is moving in an aligned direction or provides you with an ‘Ah ha!’ moment to perhaps change the course you’re currently navigating on. So, keep the evening festivities to a minimum so that you can show up fresh for the hype.
Safe travels and if you are planning a visit to Dreamforce we have 2 scheduled events we would love to see you at!
- The Zero Hunger Summit Happy Hour https://zerohungersummit.splashthat.com/
- The Alternative Asset & Private Equity Happy Hour. Reach out to Hello@plative.com for info
If you are planning to visit SuiteWorld during the week of September 26, stop by the vendor exhibit at booth #127 and come meet me and the Plative team. Mention this article or tell them you subscribe to ‘How-to With Woo’ for a thank you gift.
As always, if you’re stuck don’t hesitate to contact one of our highly skilled NetSuite Consultants by reaching out to Plative.