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I Went to Dreamforce 2019 Naked…Kind Of

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Red Argyle logo

This post was written by a Red Argyle employee who attended Dreamforce 2019…naked. 

I went naked to Dreamforce 2019 and I loved it.   We all know that some of the parties are, well, a lot of fun but how exactly did I end up naked at Dreamforce? Before I get a call from HR let me explain….it is “naked” not naked.  

This was my 10th Dreamforce. When planning for this year I thought back on what I had learned and brainstormed a little on how I could make #DF19 the best one ever for me.  

When looking at the logistics of it all; where my hotel was in relation to breakfast meetings, sessions, dinners, etc. I knew I was in for a lot of walking.  While I was excited and ready the only thing that I was not looking forward to was carrying around my computer gear all day, every day and on some days well into the night.  I have always thought I needed to have all this stuff with me so that I could work, handle emergencies and take notes.  

But looking at past Dreamforce events I found myself working more than I had hoped, missing sessions because of this, not taking as many notes as I had hoped and truthfully, all those past “emergencies” were hardly emergencies.

I really wanted this Dreamforce to be different.  I wanted to be in the moment, I wanted to get the most out of all the sessions, I wanted to be present, I wanted space to think.  So I decided to ditch the computer gear altogether, just go to Dreamforce as I came into this world: just me and my #DF badge. 

My strategy for a “Naked” #DF19:

  • Take just my phone and a charger every day.

  • Make sure everyone knew I was going to be out of pocket for the week and was not planning on working while at Dreamforce.

  • Make sure my phone was fully charged each morning and immediately set to battery-saving mode to hold a charge for as long as possible.

  • I was struggling a little with how best to take notes, I looked at a few apps but in the end, decided I would give Trello a try.

  • I planned not to return to my hotel until the day was over to keep things simple. 

  • Dress in one light layer. I knew I might be cold but decided that if I was a little chilly it would not really life or death.  

This is what I learned: 

  • It was uncomfortable and almost scary to leave the hotel every morning “naked.”

  • I have no idea what to do with my hands when I don’t have a bag.
  • Speaking of awkward, I felt very self-conscious showing up to meetings and partner sessions with nothing. This was a type of pressure that I did not expect.

  • Taking notes on my phone generated a few looks from people around me. I think they might have thought I was texting or playing Fortnite the entire time. 

  • Trello worked great for notes.  I created a List for Dreamforce and then used a Card for every session or meeting I needed to take notes at.  Being able to take pictures right on the Trello Card, I used the Checklist feature to take specific short notes. I really like that the images have context given they are with the correct notes. It was very quick and easy to do all of this on my phone.  Maybe even easier than using my computer.
  • It was great just walking into high-security events bagless. Without a bag to search security just waved me through. 

  • But, I did feel like I was always looking for water since I was not carrying any with me. 
  • I decided on Wednesday to bring my headphones for a call I knew I had that day.   I will add this to my minimalist gear list. In review, a few of the quick calls I took could have waited or really did not need me involved.

  • I used my Garmin watch so I was able to track my activity for the week.  Don’t think Dreamforce isn’t a workout,I ended up walking almost 6 miles a day, taking around 12,000 steps, climbing around 15 flights of stairs and burning over 2,000 calories a day.

  • As I walked by the hundreds of people hunched over their computers outside of the session rooms I felt free. 

  • Finally, as I sat “naked” listening to the fireside chat with Mark Benioff and Arianna Huffington I was in the moment and I felt at peace. Almost like being “naked” was a part of their message.  Who knew just leaving my gear bag and all that is represents in my hotel would completely change my Dreamforce experience.  

In the end, I loved being “naked” at Dreamforce. It was freeing. I was in the moment. I met more people. I made better connections. I attended sessions as my work instead of missing those sessions to do work. I learned, thought and felt more creative.  

Will I be “naked” at #DF20? Yes, but I think instead I will just call myself a “minimalist attendee.” 

And I am already thinking crazy thoughts; Perhaps I leave my phone in the hotel and use pen and paper next year.  Go to a tech show completely untethered…

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