Our top memorable moments from Dreamforce ‘19 included Trailblazer stories, an announcement of new Einstein features, and a visit from Barack Obama.
Between the giant waterfall constructed in the middle of San Francisco’s Howard Street, to the furry creatures posing for selfies with attendees, to the many volunteers dressed as Trailhead rangers and jamming to DJ tunes — when you entered the Dreamforce campus, you may have thought you were walking into Disneyland’s Frontierland. But don’t let the blue butterflies and chirping birds fool you, Dreamforce is a technology conference where people come to learn how to do their jobs better and get inspired about the potential of business.
Dreamforce ’19 took over two city blocks and nearly all of the downtown hotels to bring customers, partners, and employees together for one beloved “family reunion.” To keep those family vibes going, here’s this year’s top 10 memorable moments.
1. Trailblazer stories
Never has there been more Trailblazer stories shared at Dreamforce. To celebrate the growth of the Salesforce Economy (the global economic effect created by our platform, we invited admins, developers, architects, business leaders, brands, and more to share how they’re innovating around the customer and transforming their careers by learning in-demand skills with Trailhead. After all, inspiring and helping others is part of what it means to be a Trailblazer.
2. Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) measure our collective progress against the world’s most pressing challenges, could be spotted across campus and in sessions. “We’ve all got homework to do,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in one session, encouraging attendees to select a goal to work towards in 2020.
3. Salesforce Customer 360
The three words on everyone’s mind this year were “Salesforce Customer 360.” It’s the name of our whole portfolio, and is how we create one integrated CRM to help companies gain a single view of their customers. In the Dreamforce Campground, attendees participated in live demos and got to build personalized Customer 360 by role, industry, and goal (emailed to them later).
4. President Barack Obama
A highlight for many attendees was the much-anticipated fireside chat between 44th U.S. President Barack Obama and Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff. Attendees loved what he had to say on values, leadership, and diversity.
5. “Hey Einstein …”
This year, a smart speaker in the shape of Einstein stole the show. First introduced during the opening keynote, the Einstein speaker made appearances all over the Dreamforce campus to demonstrate how voice-enabled AI makes getting smart business insights more seamless. “We take the hard things and make them easy,” Parker Harris explained during the speaker’s first demo on day one. The speakers created quite the buzz among attendees, with many asking us to manufacture them for sale.
6. Dreamfest ’19 with Beck and Fleetwood Mac
At the close of day two, thousands of Dreamforce attendees gathered in Oracle Park to watch iconic bands Beck and Fleetwood Mac perform. Attendees were treated to a night of music, dancing, and ballpark fare — plus an unforgettable, 5-minute drum solo by the energetic Mick Fleetwood.
7. Business as a platform for change
A frequent theme of the Dreamforce talks centered around companies guided by a core set of values, aligned around making a difference in the world. Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri spoke about how he shifted his company culture by bringing in new voices, adding diversity, and putting an emphasis on self-expression. Although criticized at first, the company eventually achieved an increase in revenue. “If you don’t do the right things in terms of values, you don’t attain financial results,” he explained. Similarly, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared how his company embeds values like equality, sustainability, and privacy into the early stages of product development. In both cases, well-articulated beliefs have been a key factor in their success.
8. Equality and inclusivity
During the Equality Summit, we discussed the business benefit of ensuring diversity at every level of a company. As Deloitte Principal Tonie Leatherberry said, “Anytime we aren’t investing [in equality], we are losing in GDP.” The panelists shared stories of how they got their shot and how someone gave them a chance, reaffirming the power of mentorship and sponsorship.
9. Parker Harris and Bret Taylor’s customer forum
Back by popular demand (and livestreamed for the first time ever), the “True to the Core” customer forum returned at Dreamforce ’19. Salesforce’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Parker Harris and Chief Product Officer Bret Taylor gave a preview of our product roadmap and answered questions from attendees. “What [True to the Core] means to me is making sure we realize the vision of software as a service, which means the products and the features we release get better every year, and we don’t lose sight of the core of our product at the expense of new, shiny features,” said Taylor. “I really love this community in this room because you hold us accountable.”
10. The urgent need for reskilling
In the Trailhead Keynote, Salesforce Vice President of Trailhead Content Chris Duarte reminded the audience that 80% of CEOs believe that reskilling is a key concern for their workforce. This audience understands the need more than most, with many wearing golden hoodies and bedazzled sneakers like Duarte herself. During Dreamforce, the Trailhead team rolled out new tools and resources to address this, including the new Trailhead GO app and our expanded strategic partnership with AWS that will offer cloud-specific certification on Trailhead.
You can also check out recordings of the opening keynote, product keynote, sessions, and more on Salesforce Live.