Although my first two experiences were impressive, this edition was really mind blowing. More than 135.000 registrants were officially reported and even downsizing these numbers slightly, it still is an amazing number. A customer event where most attendees needs to pay USD 700. More than 1,300 sessions of customers, partners and SFDC themselves. Three areas with partners showing their stuff and confirming the SFDC ecosystem is alive and kicking. Many software vendors creating integration with the SFDC platform adding value in various ways. Some small competitors trying to interrupt with their adverts but a lost race, SFDC is really taking over SFWalking around in San Francisco, while it was raining, and only see people walking around with Dreamforce badges and backpack. Billboards through out the city of SFDC with their customers and a quote. Some small competitors trying to interrupt with their adverts but a lost race, SFDC is really taking over SF. The moment you arrive in San Francisco you veel the vibe. This is the center of the IT universe. I have been many times in SF during the last 25 years but it still feels the same. I remember me driving on the highway during my 3Com period and seeing all those billboards showing URLs on it. At that moment quite rare. Now we can’t live without the internet.
Internet of customers
Every edition of Dreamforce there is a theme, this years is about the internet of customers. Behind every end point, device, interaction or activity there is a potential customer and a huge amount of data that is coming with it. Data becoming a currency and the more you have the better you are able to serve your customers by interpreting it in a intelligent way. As a saas company all data is in the cloud and accessible 24/7. But imagine the huge amounts of data Google is gathering which helps them to activate intelligent services like Google Now. But also think about the many times that Google Now is not right and giving me non relevant information. But also think about the many times that Google Now is not right and giving me non relevant information.Meaning that the amount of data, people, intelligence that you need is massive to turn it into something valuable for your customers. I mean, Google can be considered as the company with the most data in its servers and still not being able to predict exactly what I need at any given moment. SFDC understands and is rapidly expanding their platforms for ISVs so they can start building applications on it connecting with Salesforce. They revealed Salesforce1, a next platform where mobile is fully integrated. To emphasize they organized a 1 million award hackathon for the smart guys who developed the most appealing apps on their platform.
One thing that really impressed me was their level of consistency.
Me as a marketer walking around, following sessions from a slightly different angle than the average attendee. How are they communicating, what are they communicating, trying to imagine all the people who are organizing this event, how all is integrated into their marketing campaigns and so on. One thing that really impressed me was their level of consistency. Whether it was the keynote of Marc Benioff, the materials during the conference or all billboards floating around, all messaging was the same. Utmost consistency across all channels and assets. A huge billboard (20x20mtr) on the side of Moscone Center with Philips CTO Jeroen Tas on it, and seeing Philips products, example scenario’s during all presentations. Jeroen Tas was also invited on stage by Marc Benioff telling his story introduced by a sleek video where he explains what value Salesforce brings to Philips. You feel and experience that the story of Benioff is through out the whole company in it full extend. Many hours of preparation and practicing and strong management of the content during Dreamforce. This is my main takeaway: the strength of having one story from top to bottom, from boardroom to partners confirmed by customers. Many ideas and thoughts about how to move on with Exact Online with some draft storylines already created on my way back in the plane. One tip for next year: move to Vegas. The current number of attendees is simpy too much. Besides the Moscone Convention center 6 additional hotels were required to host all sessions. That isn’t simple practical anymore. But other than that, only kudos.