They say time is elastic. And after Dreamforce 2016? We’re convinced it’s true. Four entire days flew by in the blink of an eye: From the Cloud Expo’s sea of booths to Trailhead’s sprawling collection of Developer sessions to the sunlit center of the conference — The Dreampark — there was no shortage of professionals brainstorming, working, dreaming, chatting. While there were 170,000 individuals present, each with unique skills and knowledge, their goals were one in the same: to innovate their businesses, sharpen their skills, and look towards the future.
Here are some of our favorite ways Dreamforce attendees did just that.
Who’s the next great startup built on the Salesforce App Cloud? Dreamforce sought to answer that very question by kicking off the conference with Dreampitch: A contest in which three finalists utilizing at least one Salesforce platform technology (such as Lightning, Force.com, or Heroku) could compete for a chance to win up to a $150K investment from Salesforce Ventures. The finalists also received VIP membership in the company’s global startup program, Salesforce for Startups, a booth in the Startup Valley at Dreamforce and more.
Investors Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca, entrepreneur and philanthropist Will.I.Am, and Founder & Ceo of Broadband TV, Shahrzad Rafati served as judges and ultimately dubbed Claire, a chatbot for testing consumer product, the winner alongside finalists Appinium and CRMMarket.
Every day of Dreamforce brought inspiring and motivating keynotes, beginning Tuesday with Quip CEO Bret Taylor’s “Supercharge Your Productivity with Quip,” and businessman and philanthropist Tony Robbins’ “The Power to Break Through Your Ultimate Edge.”
Wednesday brought the long-anticipated speech “Be A Customer Trailblazer” with Marc Benioff and special guests. The Salesforce CEO kicked off the keynote with a message of gratitude:
“I’m here to inspire you, I’m here to entertain you, to motivate you, to excite you — but the number one reason and the number one thing I’m going to do today is just thank you. Let me deeply express my sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for everything that you do for us every single day. We greatly appreciate it at Salesforce. We know how hard you work, what you do for us, and we are so grateful. So thank you.”
Benioff went on to explore how innovative startups and industry leaders alike are using the cloud, mobility, IoT, and AI to catapult their businesses to new heights, and how any motivated company can do the same. He also pulled back the curtain on Salesforce’s new technology Einstein — dubbed “AI for everyone,” alongside Salesforce co-founder Parker Harris. While Harris did not don his trademark costume (each year he has dressed in a superhero costume coinciding with a product launch) he and Benioff were joined onstage by a virtual Einstein.
Entrepreneur and musician Will.I.Am, Ebony Frelix, SVP of Philanthropy & Engagement at Salesforce.org, and Deborah Dungan, CEO of (Red) also joined Benioff during the main keynote.
Will.I.Am kicked off the keynote by encouraging conference attendees to volunteer and teach tech in the inner cities. “I’m not just here because I like to hang out with geeks. I’m here because I think geeks could change inner cities forever,” said the musician. “There’s a tsunami in every hood every day. Tsunami of drugs and crimes. If only these kids were given an investment in education early on, they’d be the entrepreneurs we celebrate today. They’d be your competitors.”
Ebony Frelix and Deborah Dungan went on to raise awareness around (RED) and the organization’s goal of raising $1,000,000 during Dreamforce in the fight against AIDS. Frelix revealed Bill and Melinda Gates would be double-matching all proceeds raised during the conference: “Your 10 becomes 30. Our 1 million becomes 3 million,” and “every single cent goes to HIV,” she said.
Trailhead & Developer Keynote
If you were a developer, Trailhead was your go-to spot for Dreamforce: From instantly applicable demos to back-to-back sessions, Moscone West was all-developer, all-day.
The number of developers who came by the DocuSign booth to see demos on how to leverage DocuSign for Lightning and talk to our engineers was amazing — starting 8 am Tuesday morning, the energy was incredible and the demos never stopped.
Thursday morning was, perhaps, the highlight of Dreamforce for developers: the main keynote. Thousands gathered around a circular stage to see in-person demos and revelations about Lightning. They keynote centered around how to build smarter, better, faster apps with Salesforce Lightning, and opened with insights from Salesforce’s President of Technology, Srinivas Tallapragada. “This is the place where all of you get together, share best practices, have fun, and give back to the community,” he said.
Leah McGowen-Hare, Director of Trailhead T & P, next to take the stage, stating: “Lightning really is three things for developers. It is a beautiful and engaging experience that comes out of the box for all of our flagship apps like service and sale and custom apps. It is a framework that allows you to build modern apps fast. And it is a vibrant ecosystem of components and applications built by our partners and developers so developers like you have these items to put into your application.”
On Thursday early afternoon, we took it much deeper in our exclusive developer workshop. Over sushi and dim sum, we showed how to build DocuSign eSignature capabilities directly into their Salesforce apps using Apex controllers, VisualForce and Lightning UX pages. Attendees also discovered how to do embedded signing from a Community, received a tour of the Developer Center, and got to peek inside what’s new with the DocuSign for Salesforce App. Developers can visit us on GitHub to try the new recipes for themselves.
No matter your party style, there was a shindig for you. Personally, we’re partial to photo booths and food trucks –all of which were present at the Appirio, DocuSign, and Conga party. A multi-story soiree, the event took place over two floors: The first held dueling pianos, tasty empanadas, live jazz and a hookah lounge. Floor two? You and your comrades struck a pose and were turned into gifs at a complimentary photo booth (along with, of course, a live DJ.)
In addition to Thursday night’s three-story soiree, we also hit Tuesday evening’s Camp Outfierce, and Wednesday’s DocuSign + Domo After After Party.
Heard on the #DF16 Street
Until Next Year
While we wish we could’ve stayed longer, we believe this year’s Dreamforce was even more progressive and energising than ever before. There’s nothing more motivating than being around creative, curious innovators — and we hope to see you again next year!