It is that time of the year again! Dreamforce 2017 (November 6th – 9th) is just around the corner! At #SalesforceOhana, we can not wait to hear about new Salesforce features; and, we look forward to learning from what others have been doing. Year after year, the event gets bigger – with plethora of acquisitions, the sheer number of new products featured at the event are staggering.
I had the honor, pleasure and opportunity to attend Dreamforce (#DF16) and (#DF15). At Dreamforce one meets hundreds of people – some exchange visiting cards or contact information; others, attend one or few sessions to dig deeper in the platform. There is so much to do, with so little time! It is hard to choose between great and super-great activities! How is a kid to prioritize in a candy store? Like most mortals, do you have trouble prioritizing between wants and needs? Or is one of your unmet new year’s resolutions is to become more organized? If your answer is a resounding yes to either of these questions then, read on!
San Francisco is a new city for many attendees like me. Now that you are here, where do you stay? What about dinner/lunch? Which Transportation options are cheaper? Safer? Better? Not being a native of San Francisco can pose numerous such, known and/or unknown, challenges. Oh, and finally, how can you return home without some site seeing!
Is panic and anxiety setting in! Already? But, wait, we have yet to even consider one of the cardinal needs in this day and age – cybersecurity! Is wi-fi ok to use? How to make sure that your data is secure or that no one is tracking you while using public wi-fi?
Whether you are in your office, on the road, or at an event – our trusty small handheld device – aka a mobile phone – quite often becomes our office away from our office. When going to a conference like Dreamforce, it is important to be equipped with the best apps around.
Here are top 7 must-have apps that will cover you in almost any situation and make your entire Dreamforce experience better.
Why Mobile Apps at Conferences?
Before we look at some must-have conference apps, let us take a look at how we got here.
First came the paper era
Years ago, at conferences, you would be armed only with a pad and a paper – but god forbid, if you forgot to carry either, and if you give in to your temptation to borrow from an acquaintance, you would have just managed to convert him/her into an enemy!
You may collect business cards, gather receipts, and carry around a tote bag full of exhibitor booth sell sheets and sticky notes. In short, you may arrive home with reams of paper.
Next came the laptop era
Later, some forward-thinking people would bring laptops to take notes. Wi-Fi was still uncommon, but they could save their notes for later review.
As more people started bringing laptops, the value of power sources and extension cords skyrocketed. Outlets became conference campfires, with attendees sitting cross-legged on the floor in semi-circles around them. Chants of kumbaya could often be heard echoing down conference hallways.
Welcome to the mobile era
Now you are likely come armed with a tablet or a smartphone to make the most out of your conference experience. You take notes, take pictures and record videos. You connect, engage and follow up. And the apps available on the mobile devices continue to evolve.
In this article, I will share my two cents on mobile apps that can help you to maximize your time and results when attending a conference like Dreamforce.
1. Salesforce Events: – The Salesforce Events app is your companion for every Salesforce event including Dreamforce, TrailheaDX, Connections, Salesforce World Tours and more. Make the most out of your event experience with a personalized agenda, complete session schedules, exhibitor profiles, and event info. Download the Salesforce Events app in the App Store for iOS or in Google Play for Android!
2. Evernote: – Whether you are at Dreamforce or on-the-go, suddenly, you may need to take some notes about the session you are in. Ideally, you need some scrap paper; however, you not only have to carry the paper around but, after all that effort, it is likely that you may misplace it later! To avoid this mishap, how about using some mobile app – for, we all carry mobile with us anyway! The benefits of note taking apps are that you can quickly search and retrieve information and, access it from any device. That means, you have to use a service such as Quip or Evernote. I have been using Evernote for more than three years and have a rich repertoire of all my notes!
The best part of using Evernote is it allows you to scan business cards and save it as Contact on your device – on Evernote or as a record in Salesforce. So, there is no need to worry about the loss of business cards information you receive. Indeed! after scanning, you can even return the card upfront to the person; by so doing you can help to save a tree #goGreen. Click here for a free month of Evernote premium.
3. Uber or Lyft: – If you do not already have Uber or Lyft, make sure to install it and create an account before Dreamforce. Lyft and Uber are great ways to move within San Francisco quickly.
These apps are making transportation as simple as a click of a location. Rather than having to search for local taxi numbers or gamble with fees, you can not only have a driver with you at the station, hotel or airport, quickly and painlessly, but, you can also know the cost of your fare upfront.
4. Google Maps: – Traveling somewhere new can bring exciting adventures. But it can also bring unwelcome surprises. The difference between the two may be in the tools you use before and during your trip. With the right technology, you can make the most out of your time on the road. Google Maps have many tech tools that contribute towards making traveling a breeze. While people most commonly use Google Maps for directions from one place to another, it offers many other kinds of travel tools. For example, Find the best places in town, Save your maps for offline use and Share your route with friends, etc.
5. Express VPN: – Be careful when accessing public WiFi. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not know that when accessing favorite sites, while sitting in your favorite coffee shop with free Wi-Fi, they are at a risk of having someone intercept your data. At the time of Dreamforce, it might be possible you may be connected to some public WiFi networks.
Unprotected free Wi-Fi is a breeding ground for hackers to intercept and access your data. If you are on public Wi-Fi, do not sign into anything requiring a password UNLESS you are connected to a VPN. The other benefit of using a VPN is, you can freely use Search Engines without having your searches logged. Click here for a free month of ExpressVPN.
6. CamCard: – CamCard is a quick and easy way to keep track of all the people you meet. Keep business contacts organized and easily accessible. All you have to do is hover your camera, on your iPhone or Android, over the business card and it will automatically upload the contact information and store the photos of the cards. CamCard can be accessed from any device through the cloud and has many great features. The best part is they have a specific app for CamCard for Salesforce. Scan business card and directly save into Salesforce.
7. Twitter: – Twitter is a critical app for any social media, marketing or tech conference and it comes in handy at just about any other conference. Dreamforce conferences have their own hashtag (#DF17, Dreamforce, etc.), a short tag that people use in tweets so that more people can follow the conversation, whether they are physically at the conference or attending it virtually. Make sure you follow the people on Twitter, with whom you meet at Dreamforce, so that your conversation with them can be on-going.
- Smart Cloud Connect: – It is a well-established fact that the most ubiquitous technology in the world of business is Email. Virtually every company has Email as an instant form of communication. It is fast; its cost is relatively low; and, for the most part, it is one of the most highly used and efficient communication and collaboration tool. Surprising albeit, despite its pivotal role as one of the popular outreach channels to one’s clients, up until recently, it has remained almost isolated from other business applications. Companies that are using Salesforce as their backend system, and Microsoft Exchange as their Email Server, have been experiencing less than expected efficiencies. As a result, they have to use two systems – Salesforce and Outlook on mobile or Desktop. When you are at the desktop, it is fine to use multiple apps; but when it comes to mobile, it is harder to use multiple apps and then enter the data into Salesforce. How about an app that allows you to manage Salesforce from your outlook mobile app? Well, that is exactly what Smart Cloud Connect does. Check out my review about the application.
2. Resco Mobile App – Offline Mobility for Salesforce:- Looking for a way to utilize offline knowledge articles, reports, maps and more in a mobile solution for Salesforce? If so, then, consider an offline mobile app solution. The offline mobile solution is of utmost importance to sales representatives and field service agents because it enables them to deliver a pleasant customer experience effectively and efficiently.
Resco’s Offline Mobile App not only brings the full offline capability to Salesforce users and their data. But, the app is fully integrated with Salesforce! You can check out my complete review of their application here.
Now it is your turn! Have any apps you think are a must-have? Tell us about them! Leave a comment below.
Technical Editor and Proofreader: - Munira Majmundar
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