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The first day of Dreamforce 2018 has just wrapped up in San Francisco, and what a way to kick off the world’s largest software conference, now in its 17th year.

We welcomed more than 170,000 registered attendees from 83 countries and 10 million online viewers. There were gold-hoodied admins with boundless enthusiasm, $18 million in grants given away and announcements of new kinds of artificial intelligence (AI) to help businesses. Here are 10 of the best moments from day one:
 

1. Marc Benioff’s opening keynote: A celebration of Trailblazers

 

"This is a celebration of you, our Trailblazers, of everything you are doing. It's an incredible moment," Marc Benioff, Salesforce Chairman and Co-CEO, told a packed crowd in the opening keynote.
 

 

"We are putting our values into action because our values dictate our behaviours. That's what Dreamforce is all about. That's what Trailblazers are all about. That's what your companies are all about. Business is a platform for change.”
 

"This is a celebration of you, our Trailblazers, of everything you are doing.”

 

Then Marc pulled a rockin' friend up on stage, Lars Ulrich, Metallica’s drummer – who Dreamforcers will hear a lot more from on Wednesday night at the Dreamfest concert. Ulrich explained how Metallica connected with fans to become the no. 1 rock band on social media.

"The music business is in constant transition. You always have to keep on your toes – kind of like the tech world," said Ulrich.


 

Marc also dropped the news that Janet Jackson – a Trailblazer who’s sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide – will be performing at Dreamfest.

Watch Marc Benioff’s opening keynote on Salesforce Live.

2. Einstein Voice - this is a big one!

 

If you're an avid reader of the ANZ blog, you'll recall Salesforce Chief Scientist Richard Socher saying last year that natural language processing (NLP) is a fascinating area of study -the most interesting area of AI.

Well. Meet Einstein Voice. We saw the demo today, and we think this is fascinating too. If you're in sales, imagine waking up, making coffee, and asking Siri or Alexa for your morning briefing. Imagine you're told ‘you've a meeting with your favourite customer, and the data says they're thinking about doubling their business’.

It's already a good day! You head to that meeting, briefed - forewarned is forearmed, after all. On your way back to the office, you hold off the high fives long enough to tell Einstein what happened.

NLP - it's been cracked. Einstein hears you, updates the client record, identifies the opportunity you're taking about, and turns your voice into actions.

Did we mention this is big? This is big. It will change everything about the way you work.
 

3. So much exploring of the Dreamforce campus

 

This year, the sprawling Dreamforce conference has been built around a National Parks theme, with more than 400 live trees filling downtown San Francisco. There’s even a waterfall at the entrance to the Dreamforest!

Of course, plenty of Trailblazers have been taking lots of social media snaps, adding moving stickers of Astro, Einstein and friends using the Dreamoji app (available from the iOS App Store or Android Google Play).



 

We have a feeling that Codey the bear will never quite reach Cloudy the goat and Astro, no matter how many times he jumps.
 

4. A lovefest between Parker Harris and Super Admins

 

Salesforce's ultimate users joined a gathering with Salesforce Co-Founder and CTO, Parker Harris, to hear about the company's latest tools and the best ways to use them. Parker told the enthusiastic crowd that 48% of Salesforce admins are women.


 

Meanwhile, Katherine Clark, a member of Vetforce – the Salesforce community devoted to veterans – encouraged businesses to hire veterans who’re learning new skills through Trailhead. #AwesomeAdmins
 

5. Monks teach mindfulness to Trailblazers

 

Twenty-two monks from Plum Village Monastics in France have descended on Dreamforce, where they’ll lead two-dozen meditation sessions over the course of the week. On Tuesday, their meditation house was at capacity.
 


 

6. A discussion on how to use technology ethically

 

Tristan Harris, Co-Founder of The Center for Humane Technology and Google’s first design ethicist, told a room full of techies to put down their phones for a full 28 minutes – and they did.

“Technology is a very powerful force for persuading what people do,” he said.

“Humane technology is going to start by looking at an honest appraisal of human nature. Yes, we’re vulnerable to social validation; yes, we’re vulnerable to magician’s tricks; yes, we’re vulnerable to supercomputers,” he said.
 

“Humane technology is possible if you’re looking at how we leverage human strengths.”

 

Harris pointed to dozens of hair-raising examples that highlight the persuasive power tech wields. He also referenced a study that showed 72% of teens believe tech companies manipulate users to spend more time on their devices.

“Humane technology is possible if you’re looking at how we leverage human strengths. If you start with a vulnerable and compassionate view of human nature, we can fix it.”
 


 

7. Salesforce’s Customer 360 was introduced
 

We announced the launch of Customer 360, a new cross-cloud technology initiative that makes our B2C marketing, commerce and service products work better together.
 

"We announced the launch of Customer 360, a new cross-cloud technology initiative."

 

In a nutshell, if a customer has a record in Marketing Cloud, another record in Commerce Cloud and another record in Service Cloud, the system knows they are one person, not three people, so you can engage them accordingly.
 

8. The Salesforce Women’s Network reception was a success

 

Dreamforce (officially) kicked off on Monday night with the 7th annual Salesforce Women’s Network reception, where visionary leaders from PG&E, Girl Scouts of USA, Care.com and more came together to discuss the important role women play in driving the future of tech.

Care.com’s CEO, Sheila Lirio Marcelo, had to say: “Don't forget the humanity we all have as we develop companies and careers; the core of [what we do] is to care about people."
 

9. An era of automation will bring new jobs

 

“If you had asked networking experts in the 1960s, ‘What sort of impact do you think this new ‘internet’ thing will have on jobs?’, none of them would have predicted that Twitter Social Media Manager would be a job 40 years later,” Richard Socher, Chief Scientist at Salesforce, had to say.

It’s all too easy to assume that, “When you automate something, the jobs are gone. Not so. New kinds of jobs can happen,” he said.

Like what, you might ask? In the transportation industry, for example, people are braced for considerable change as autonomous driving technology takes hold. In time, Socher suggests, that’ll lead to a markedly different kind of in-car experience. We may get a, “Hairdresser car, a meeting room car, a tea car – where you can get in, have a meeting over a cup of tea and get to your destination.”
 

10. Salesforce hands out $18 million in grants

 

Salesforce.org, the philanthropic arm of Salesforce, announced $18 million in grants to  address three important issues facing the city of San Francisco – home of Salesforce HQ – public education, homelessness and cleanliness.
 


 

“Speaking as a fourth generation San Franciscan and somebody who grew up in this city, I’m excited that we can take the power of Salesforce and the power of all our customers and community, and give back to the city in a meaningful way,” Marc Benioff, Salesforce Chairman and Co-CEO said.

“This Dreamforce is dedicated back to San Francisco. We are now more than halfway to our goal of giving $100 million to our local schools.”

Some of the children who’ll directly benefit from the Salesforce grants took part in a Kids Coding Zone, participating in hands-on STEM and robotics education activities.

There you have it! An action-packed day one of Dreamforce 2018 – and there’s still three more days of learning to go!

Get in on all of the action, inspiration and innovation via the Salesforce LIVE Dreamforce 2018 broadcast.

You can also sign up to the Salesforce ANZ blog to read all about the top learnings and take-outs from this year’s event.