45k attendees x $3k/person = $135 million
Per person cost:
- Ticket: $1,000
- Airfare: $500
- Hotel: $1,000
- Food/Drink: $500
I asked 34 clients in attendance, “Was it worth it?”
22 clients said yes. 12 clients said no.
A sample from the “Yes” crowd:
“Our sales force very rarely gets a peek at what other sales forces are doing, especially outside of our industry. The impact of this tunnel vision is we keep trying the same old projects. Attending Dreamforce allows us to open our eyes.” – VP of Sales at Technology Company
“We are an Oracle shop but come to Dreamforce every year anyway. The reason is that the show is more about improving sales results and less about the SFDC CRM.” – Director of Sales Ops at Media Company
A sample from the “No” crowd:
“I attended the show to walk the expo floor. My experience was terrible. The exhibitors staffed their booths with inexperienced help who only cared about scanning my badge. I wanted to see a demo and have a conversation about my problems and this was not possible. I won’t be returning next year.” – Chief Sales Officer of Business Services Company.
“I heard Marc Benioff’s keynotes were electrifying so I bought a ticket. His speech was horrible. He spent two hours showing me product and bringing B2C companies on stage to sell for him. If he is the next Steve Jobs, our industry is in trouble.” – CEO of Software Company
I got my money’s worth. If you did not, here are a few ideas to make next year’s event more rewarding.
- Identify who you want to spend time with prior to showing up. This event puts in one location, at the same time, the thought leaders of the sales improvement industry. This allows you to get more done in a week than you could in a year. Where else can you meet your peers, competitors, and partners at one show? Make a dream list of people you want to meet and invite them to get together.
- Bring a list of problems. Staring at the agenda is overwhelming. Walking the expo floor without a focal area is a disaster. Show up with 3 issues you want to get addressed and screen the agenda and exhibitors through that lens.
- Bring your CEO. The sales discipline is innovating rapidly. Yet, many companies are still stuck in the legacy models of yesterday. If you are advocating internally for change, and could use some help in getting people to listen, bring your CEO to the show. He will see firsthand how buyers are making decisions today differently than they did yesterday, requiring a different approach to selling.
Still need more proof?
Our sales consulting firm added $1.6 million to its pipeline directly attributable to attending Dreamforce. We spent $15k to be there. I wish Dreamforce happened every week. We will be in attendance in 2012.
Will you be at Dreamforce next year? If so, why?