From UK to Dreamforce… is it really worth it?

There have been several blogs saying why you should go to Dreamforce. But coming from the UK adding flight, ESTA costs etc can get quite a lot. I’ve been going to Dreamforce now for the past 3 years and as a freelancer spending the money to get to Dreamforce was no easy pill to swallow the first time I did it.

  • Flight (current lowest London return fare) – £502
  • Dreamforce Ticket about – £480 to £790
  • Accommodation – Ranges £400-£900
  • Food (you get lunch at Dreamforce) – £150
  • Other (transfers, ESTA Visa etc) – £100
  • TOTAL: £1832*

* see tips below to see how you can reduce this!

So is it worth it? Here is value comparison:

  • Salesforce Certification Exams; Take your exam at Salesforce and you
    Saving: £61 per exam
  • Training; With over 1000 sessions over in multiple different streams ( developer, admin, architect) in a number of different formats (theatre sessions, hands on training with laptops provided, seminars, small group discussions.
    Saving: £2300 (average cost of a 4 day professional technical course in London)
  • Materials & Manuals; A load of free workbooks, manuals and guides that you can pickup.
    Saving: At least £20
  • 1 to 1 Developer code reviews; Have an issue with your code? just want an expert to look at the architecture of your project, just sign up for a code review and get them
    Saving: £100 (based on the average daily rate for an Apex Developer in London)
  • Cheaper Salesforce Training; There are training courses before DF starts which are shorter more condenses courses which are cheaper than the longer courses, you also get your own laptop.
    Saving: £2162
  • Bruno Mars gig ticket; Ok Bruno Mars may not be everyone’s cup of tea the gig maybe not your
    Saving: £180 (based on the price of tickets currently being sold on the internet for his sold out gigs)
  • Lunch; Lunch is included in your ticket for all 4 days.
    Saving: £40
  • Collaboration with like mind individuals; So many experts from the MVPs to other customers that you can collaborate with. This is INVALUABLE!! This is where I get the biggest benefit! You could know the platform inside out and backwards but there are so many different ways to skin the can you can really find new ideas and “quick fixes” that solve difficult business problems.

Rough Value: £4863

Ok, its very subjective and still 100 other things I’ve missed, the sound stages playing live music throughout the week, the expert booths to answer any questions you like, the campground where you can speak to individual product experts, the partners… but believe me its worth it!

*Tips for reducing the price:

Dreamforce Ticket
The earlier you book the cheaper the ticket, also never get it at face value. Partners get offer codes to get cheaper tickets. Search the net for discount codes and the amounts off can vary. Also talk to your Account Executive as they may be able to get you a discount to especially if you are a Non-Profit!

But a way to get it FREE is to do a talk. Salesforce opens up at the beginning of the year a call for entries to do talks. These can be Developer talks or Admin talks and if you get selected you get a free entry with anyone else that is on the talk with you.

You can get a ticket for $899 using the developer discount code: D14DVLPR right now!

Rates go high for Dreamforce. With 100,000 people hitting the city it can be a race for hotel. Salesforce block books many of the main hotels in San Fran so check the price when you are booking your Dreamforce ticket before checking hotels yourself but it can be a lot cheaper looking a bit further afield. A good spot can be near the airport, with good transport links straight into the city.

An alternative is dive to the success portal and look for people willing to flat share.

To be honest there is not much I can say about this. Either get chummy with cabin crew and get mates rates or Book early! I do now try to save as main airpoints/air miles as I can during the year so that I can use them with my flight.