The location may have changed, but Salesforce’s Connections conference is back to its original format next week: three days full of keynotes, sessions, and networking around Salesforce Marketing Cloud products and trends. I’ll be joining more than 20 of my DEG associates in Atlanta for Connections 2016, many of which – like myself – have been numerous times during our 12-year partnership with Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Tip No. 4: When building your agenda, mark your “backup” sessions by starring them as favorites.

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So we know a thing or two about this conference. Whether this is your first time at Connections or you are looking for a way to improve your experience, follow our 12 tips to attending Connections 2016.

  1. Find a Starbucks nearby that is not located on the Connections campus. It will seriously save you time not having to wait in line, and walking a little out of the way to get your morning coffee will make up for snagging something from one of the treat stations in between sessions.
  2. Invest in a portable phone charger, like one of these battery cases (or find a vendor in the expo hall giving those away) that can provide up to two additional full battery charges. You’ll be busy for 12-16 hours a day, and you don’t want to be that person tethered to a wall charger.
  3. Dress in layers or take a jacket or cardigan. We will be in Hotlanta, but the sessions in the conference halls can be very cold. Also, be sure to wear comfortable shoes!
  4. Build your agenda by enrolling in the sessions you want to attend the most. Mark your “backups” by starring them as favorites. This way if a session isn’t what you expected it to be, you can easily hop out and join another one you wanted to see.
  5. Bring a handbag or laptop bag that’s bigger than you think you’ll need. This will let you carry a few extra things you might pick up in the expo hall, your laptop if you need to tackle some work (last minute email request?), a bottle of water and snacks to have throughout the day, and even a travel umbrella for walking between the hotel and the conference center (it might rain on Thursday).
  6. Traveling with a group and trying to coordinate meetups? Setup a Slack channel to easily communicate with your team (then you won’t be cursing those group texts). It’s also great to designate a “home base” where those from your group might hang out during downtimes, which will make it easy for everyone to find each other. (may we suggest the DEG booth, #102?)
  7. Download the Connections app, which will be updated frequently for any schedule changes or news. Opt in for any SMS alerts to learn about extra opportunities that might be available (such as a group run) or schedule reminders to keep you on track.
  8. Bring business cards! There are plenty of options to meet new friends, including breakfast, lunch, and the early evening networking events. Each time you sit down in a session introduce yourself to the person on your left and right.
  9. Line up early for keynotes because you want to get a good seat for the big show. Have a large group? Carry a balloon or sign to hold up to make it easier for everyone to find each other to sit together.
  10. On the last day, use the bag drop at the conference to check out of your hotel and not drag your suitcase to the remaining presentations.
  11. Make an appointment or stop by the DEG booth to Ask a DEGenius about anything you’ve seen at the conference that you want to learn more about. We’ll be offering free design evaluations, recommendations to acquire new subscribers, answering journey builder questions, product demos – really, you can ask us anything!
  12. Bonus: Follow DEG on Twitter @DEGDigital because we’ll be reaching out to you in the moment with content you won’t want to miss.

Put these tips to use next week and not only will you make the most out of your Connections experience, but you will have the knowledge and connections to boost your marketing programs.

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