5 unexpected benefits of Dreamforce 2020 going virtual

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Kate Fletcher

December 2 ∙ 5 minutes read

Talk about Salesforce today will more than likely be about their now confirmed acquisition of Slack. More on this to come from us. But for now, Salesforce customers, partners, employees the world over will have a notable space in their diaries. Dreamforce 2020. 

Salesforce’s annual event normally attracts over 150,000 people to the streets of downtown San Francisco. Yes, 150,000 Trailblazers as they’re known, ready for a week of learning, inspiration, networking, giving back and more. Dreamforce is the ‘not to be missed’ event in the Fall calendar. 

This year will be very different. We all know this. For us personally, rewind twelve months and we were up on the big stage receiving the Appy Award for Innovation. The Appy Awards recognise commitment and momentum based on customer success, innovation, and ecosystem engagement. Selected as the winner by key Salesforce executives, the award is given to only one AppExchange solution available on Salesforce’s leading enterprise cloud marketplace. There are over 5,000 in total. More on that here

But we’re excited for the reimagined Dreamforce experience and so we’ve compiled a list of the benefits you can expect as a result. 

1. Still the same keynote but without the queues

It wouldn’t be Dreamforce without Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, centre stage giving one of his infamous keynotes. We’ve had the Beach Boys coming out of retirement, protesters, Parker Harris running around the stage dressed as a lightning bolt and much more in the past. 

Kicking off today at 9.40am Pacific Time, this year you can expect customer success stories from AT&T, Bentley Motors and who knows what other surprises. But the one bonus this year? No queuing. You get to enjoy it from the comfort of your desk, couch, kitchen or dog walk. If you’ve ever been to Dreamforce, you’ll know that the queue to get into the keynote is longer than the queues Apple often receive for new product launches. 

2. Access to the most diverse line-up yet from the comfort of your desk

As you have probably guessed, the global COVID-19 situation has forced companies all over to either cancel, postpone or hold events virtually. For Salesforce, this is the first time it’s happened in 17 years. It’s a critical decision by the world’s leading SaaS company to ensure the health and safety of customers, partners, employees, and communities.

As Salesforce CMO, Steph Buscemi, commented: “Dreamforce means so many things to so many people. It’s a global homecoming with our community.” So the option to do nothing was simply non-negotiable. 

We’re sure Salesforce will make it as engaging as possible and that it won’t be like attending a series of individual webinars. We’re used to high production, high energy events and expect nothing less even in a virtual capacity. They’ve already promised it’s their most personal and inclusive event yet. You just have to look at the keynote line-up to see they truly mean it with equal representation of men and women. 

3. Everything is tailored to you and your business

One thing is certain, no two business experiences have been the same in 2020. As a result, and to ensure customers can get dedicated time with solution experts, Salesforce is offering up personalised meetings. It’s the perfect chance to understand how you can further leverage Salesforce across your business, connecting all business functions to provide a single source of truth to company leaders.

As Salesforce’s Strategic Events Lead discussed with TechRepublic, they are tasking their employees to make Dreamforce 2020 hyper-personalised. How? By offering up time to delve into business problems, explain Salesforce’s global pandemic operating model, and share how customers are thriving and succeeding in this environment in the wider context of digital transformation.

4. More love and learning for Trailblazers

Got any Salesforce plushies? You know the teddies of Appy the Bobcat, Codey the Bear, Einstein and of course, SaaSy. They’re renowned amongst the most devoted Salesforce Trailblazers who relish Dreamforce for an opportunity to add to their collection. If you do, then you’ll know that providing a dedicated area for Trailblazers to connect and collaborate is a key attraction of Dreamforce. 

In the absence of this, Salesforce introduces the Dreamforce Trailblazer Experience this year. A space dedicated to demos, luminary sessions, and a “whole lot of Trailblazer love”. There’s something for everyone, for every type of business, every industry and every role. Critically this year, it’s a great opportunity to share and hear stories of adapting to work during a pandemic. 

The events take place across 14-18 December depending on where you are in the world. Find out more here.

5. No large expense claims

Ah the dreaded expense bill after a week in San Francisco. It can be quite daunting if you, like most, shove your receipts in one place to be dealt with on your return. At which point of course, you’ve forgotten what the expenses were for in the first place. Which customer did I have lunch with? Was that the bar bill from a partner event or from the long overdue catch up with a friend who happens to live in San Francisco? 

The good news is that not only do you not have to rush to buy a flight to San Francisco and book your accommodation as soon as Dreamforce dates are announced, but you also won’t have to rely on your memory to justify every penny of spend during the week.

And for 2021 when Dreamforce is hopefully back to its in-person best, there’s our expense management system that figures it all out for you.

If you haven’t registered for Dreamforce, you can still do so here. And this year, it’s free. It is almost Christmas after all.

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Kate Fletcher