Five Things Dreamforce Did Really Really Well

1. Embraced Diversity

While navigating through thousands every day, it was obvious that Dreamforce attracted a diverse crowd. Yet, what was inspiring and admirable was the top down dedication to embrace its diversity.  The conference created specific tracks dedicated to diverse topics (AIDS awareness, women in leadership) and the keynotes represented all walks of life (LGBTQ, people of color, different ethnicities, different religions, different socio-economic backgrounds). It wasn’t about watching someone just like you. This commitment to diversity unified 170 000 people.

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2. Fostered Philanthropy

A big part of Dreamforce is its philanthropic partnerships. This year, partnering with the RED AIDS foundation and bringing heavyweights like Melinda Gates and U2’s Bono allowed Dreamforce to raise a whopping 5 million dollars for AIDS during the 4-day conference. Yet, it was not just the fundraising that made Dreamforce successful in the area, it was also the fostering of conversations around the issues. An entire track dedicated to AIDS discussions hosted some of the most important scholars and activists in the field. It was a conference highlight.

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3. Information Gathering

As a meeting planner, understanding the attendee experience quickly and correctly is paramount to our client’s success and our own growth. Dreamforce streamlined this almost perfectly. Anchored by its mobile app and badge technology, sponsors and attendees alike could easily navigate through sharing and gathering attendee information. With a quick swipe of the badge; sponsors received real-time contact information allowing them to follow up the same day or set up meet and greets through the app. Attendees could be notified to share thoughts and speaker feedback immediately after a session, providing real-time feedback. Dreamforce made sharing, and thus, gathering information, streamlined and easy for all parties. A win-win for everyone.

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4. Dreamforce Told a Story

The “Trailhead” theme this year was well-thought out, on-brand and immersive. From the moment you walked into the conference, attendees were immersed in a child-like woodland covered in cartoon foliage, decorative trees and campsites complete with stuffed creatures and Muskoka chairs.  From the campfire-like stages (360 degrees) to the backpack giveaways that made thousands of adults look like kids, the Trailhead story only further engaged attendees with the Dreamforce experience.

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5. Branding

At a conference with over 170, 000 attendees, it’s expected that the host city would be covered with branding. From the moment attendees stepped off the plane to the shuttle buses that took them to the Dreamforce hotels to the Cow Palace reimagined as Dream Palace, the Salesforce brand was prolific. Not only was the conference branding ever-present around the city but the core of San Francisco was transformed for 4 days. It was as if the city turned into Marc Benioff’s playground of dreams, and we were all just along for the ride.

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