Once a year over a hundred thousand people descend upon San Francisco for Dreamforce – a weeklong networking and product showcase event for the Salesforce cloud platform. We’ve been using Salesforce at Forward Financing for over three years and have been sending representatives from the company to Dreamforce since 2015. This year the Business Operations and Analytics team took the week to travel to the West Coast and experience all that Dreamforce and San Francisco had to offer.
My favorite day of Dreamforce was what we called ‘Expo Day’. As a Salesforce Administrator, it’s easy to work within the confines of the products and solutions that you’ve become familiar with. The Expo Day allowed us to see the universe of different options when it comes to Salesforce integrated applications. Walking into the Customer Expo room is initially very overwhelming. There are hundreds of booths as far as you can see in every direction, each filled with a Salesforce integration or partner promising that they can take your business to the next level. Each of us had different strategies when it came to Expo Day. Eduardo and Ali were very methodical, going up and down each row to try to talk to as many people as possible. After going around to connect with all the booths I had on my list, I took a more frantic approach seeking out the companies that were giving away free merchandise (t-shirts preferred).
The most highly attended events at Dreamforce are the Keynote speeches. This year Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, discussed a new era of growth in the tech industry that he calls the 4th industrial revolution. He believes data and artificial intelligence are allowing companies to connect with their customers on a whole new level. Our favorite keynote of the week was from former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama. She openly discussed about her childhood and the sacrifices her family made for her to be where she is today. She focused on why we have to invest in our children and protect our environment to create a better world for the next generation. Throughout her entire keynote you could hear a pin drop even though there were thousands of people in the venue.
While the days were focused on learning as much as we could, the nights allowed us some free time to kick back with other Salesforce customers and employees. San Francisco is such a unique city with an unreal food scene, there’s no shortage of places to explore. As a team I would recommend the Dreamforce conference to any Salesforce current or prospective customer who are looking for new ideas to take their business to the next level.
-Sheila Connolly, Business Operations Analyst