Is it worth exhibiting at Dreamforce at $25k for the small booth?

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JASON LEMKIN

Yes, if you have any Salesforce customers at all.

For three reasons:

First, if you have any happy Salesforce customers at all, you should at least get a few good leads from the event. If your product is $5 a month, that may not be enough to go ROI positive. But if your product is $25k a year, it may pay for itself almost right there with just one closed customer.

Second, it’s a great, and important, way and time to meet your existing customers. This is even more important than leads. So many Salesforce users come to Dreamforce. How many of your existing customers have you actually met? You can meet them there face-to-face for the first time. Or reconnect in person. You don’t “meet” people on the phone. It isn’t the same.

That’s reason enough for startups right there. But when you get bigger, you’ll also find:

Three, it’s a great time to close prospects. As you get bigger, a lot of your prospects will be at Dreamforce. It’s hard to meet them all, or at least, meet them again, before the deal closes. Schedule a meeting. You don’t need a booth for this. But it will help. Once you get big, this will be much more important than generating raw new leads.

Now, if you have no Salesforce customers at all … that’s more of a gamble. Many start-ups have “launched” their Salesforce integrations and editions at Dreamforce. We did. But the ROI may be indirect, or much longer, here. It’s a gamble. Go for it though, I say. There is only one Dreamforce.

So finally, I don’t think the real question is doing the smallest booth or not. If you have Salesforce customers, you should do it. The more complex question is how much of a bigger booth to think about. The $25k option is very small. I think my learning is if you are a true start-up, it’s good enough. If you want your prospects to see you as a market leader, then, it probably isn’t.

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Published on May 8, 2016
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