Dreamforce is a pretty radical event that takes over much of downtown San Francisco the last week of September. There isn't a hotel room to be found or an Uber to grab, but that's okay because "Trailblazers" from around the world come together to share their knowledge and collaborate on new innovations.
Marc Benioff didn't disappoint, kicking off the week with an inspirational keynote to an audience of thousands (millions when you consider all the folks who tuned in online). He shared how brands like Unilever, Marriott, and United Way are blazing trails and disrupting their industries in powerful ways and that was only the beginning.
All of the speakers at Dreamforce were truly awe-inspiring. Former Vice President Al Gore spoke about climate change. Actor Adrian Grenier, actor, filmmaker, and social advocate spoke to his most recent project, the Lonely Whale Foundation. And a very beautiful Gratitude Tree drew admiration and thank you notes.* It was hard to miss the amazing energy and "feels" that this year's Dreamforce brought to the Moscone Convention Center (and beyond).
But more than the technology, product introductions, and insights, it's the parties, perks (great lunches and ice cream stands), and forest characters that bring the people of Dreamforce together. Plus, Metallica and Janet Jackson performed on Wednesday night – at the same darn time (!!) – and the music could be heard across the entire city! Trailblazers everywhere discovered their newfound balance of work hard/play hard that week, in a way that only Salesforce could facilitate.
For AnswerIQ, the week was a time to connect with current customers and meet with folks we've been wanting to speak with in person. Our Happy Hour at Per Diem on Monday evening was a terrific venue for just that. And, I had a speaking engagement in the main hall on Thursday with Travis Oliver, Head of Business Operations at Thumbtack. The focus was real-world examples of how AI is transforming customer service and it drew a nice crowd and some thought-provoking questions about the future of AI (psst - check out our latest blog article on this very subject!).
The overall takeaway is that everyone who attended this year's Dreamforce event arrived with the best intentions and took away a strong, hopeful message: a promise of innovation and diversity for the city of San Francisco.
My advice: It's never too soon to start planning for #DF19!
*Dreamforce photos and excerpts courtesy of Salesforce.com