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By: Jared Miller (@jaredemiller)

My first Dreamforce was in 2008, and I remember being only 20 feet away from the Foo Fighters – with only 2,000 attendees at the concert. I think there was a total of only 9,000 attendees, and we didn’t even need Moscone West. This year, 70,000 people have registered for Dreamforce, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are set to rock the gala for over 50,000 people at the Civic Center – that’s nearly double from just last year!Needless to say, it has been amazing to witness how much the show has grown over the past five years. So, as you get ready for Dreamforce, whether it be your first or tenth show, here are a few key tips that have helped me get the most out of Dreamforce through the years:

  1. Be outgoing! Dreamforce is big, fast and it will return to you everything you put into it. Say, “Hello,” tell a joke, share a story or a tip, and sign up for everything you can!
  2. Stop by the Community Lounge. There will be plenty of MVPs for you to talk to and network with. There will also be a professional photographer from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm on Wednesday and Thursday to arm you with headshots for your LinkedIn, twitter, Facebook, and most importantly – Chatter!
  3. With so many people, any cellular network is going to be taxed. Remember, we are all just a little bit geeky (ok, some more than others) and we love our toys. Bring a backup battery – or like me, bring 3! Bring a power strip too – no better ways to make friends than to share your notes while sharing some volts!
  4. True to the Core Session. This was my favorite session from last year, and I can’t be happier that they have decided to bring it back this year. This is your chance to speak directly to Salesforce.com Product Managers, and Parker Harris. At this session, you get a detailed look on what is to come, how Salesforce manages its time and resources, and maybe a sneak peak of what’s in store for Salesforce.com. Consider this session a candid add-on to any of the Road Map sessions.
  5. Look for MVPs. We will be around and easily recognizable. If you need anything, have any questions about Salesforce or Dreamforce (including where to get the best hot dog you ever had in your life), or want to just chat for bit – we will be around and are excited to meet you!

I hope these survival tips will help you get ready for Dreamforce, and don’t forget to be social! Use the Dreamforce Chatter App, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and LinkedIn to communicate what you are doing and seeing at and around Dreamforce.

Look for me on the Chatter App and follow me on Twitter @jaredemiller! Enjoy Dreamforce ‘12!