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Dreamforce 2021: Where We’ve Been And Where We’re Going

Dreamforce 2021: Where We’ve Been And Where We’re Going

The history of Dreamforce is best understood as less than a series of events than the development of a unique global community.

Most conferences are an occasion for business professionals to meet, learn and make deals. Dreamforce has grown into so much more. It has become an immersive experience where world luminaries come to share their innovative thinking and visions for a better future. And it’s where Trailblazers from all over the world unite to help further each other’s success — and to inspire the next generation of Trailblazers to get on their path to growth.

In fact, the history of Dreamforce is best understood as less than a series of events than the development of a unique global community. It has brought together the largest and best-known enterprises with the smallest businesses and startups.

Dreamforce has also given a stage to thought leaders and industry pioneers well outside of traditional IT. Attendees have listened to everyone from Bill Clinton and George Lucas to Sheryl Sandberg and Goldie Hawn as they draw insights and lessons learned from experiences in politics and sports, as well as the arts and entertainment. Musicians like U2, Tony Bennet, Bruno Mars and the Foo Fighters have all helped us celebrate what we’ve learned and the relationships we’ve built there.

Staying Resilient And Adaptable

Even amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dreamforce has proven as resilient as the many organizations leading through change. Last year marked Dreamforce To You, for example, an online-only experience that spanned several weeks.

This year, Dreamforce is offering the best of both worlds from Sept. 21-23: an intimate, outdoor campus in downtown San Francisco for selected Trailblazers, as well as virtual sessions for tens of thousands of others around the world. This global family reunion will be possible through Salesforce+, our brand new streaming service that will redefine what it feels like to enjoy rich content and earn your next Trailhead badge from the comfort of your home. For the first time ever, we’re able to bring Dreamforce to everybody safely and without barriers – wherever they are, on the channel that’s right for them.

In many ways, the evolution of Dreamforce since its humble origins in 2003 reflect what’s been happening in the workplaces of the Trailblazing customers who return each year. Here’s a rundown of some of the most common ways in which this annual event and its audience are well-aligned:

1. A Shift To Working From Anywhere, Supporting Customers At Any Time

What started as a pivot has become a best practice. Businesses had long been taking baby steps towards using mobile technology to gain efficiencies and boost productivity. When the pandemic forced many employees to work from home for a prolonged period, those baby steps turned into a giant leap into remote work.

Thanks to Salesforce+, people can now experience Dreamforce from anywhere, just as they now often work from anywhere. This includes access to keynote speeches, customer success stories and the chance to interact with other Trailblazers.

2. Customer Experience Design Based On Personalization

Many SMBs in Canada and beyond have also spent the last 18 months recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t enough to attract new customers and keep them loyal. It’s not even about supplying great products and services — it’s orchestrating an entire experience that makes customers feel good about the relationship they have with your brand.

Personalization is at the heart of such experiences, which usually means looking at tools for e-mail marketing and communicating with customers via social media. At Dreamforce, the personalization comes through the ability to tailor the event content to your exact needs and preferences.

With more than 100 hours of content, Dreamforce lets Trailblazers customize their experience based on their industry, role or topics. You can also decide whether you want to check out sessions live, as they happen, or on-demand.

3. An Increased Emphasis On Cross-Functional Collaboration

Working in silos just doesn’t work. Successful SMBs have to connect their sales people with their marketing people, their customer service people with their operations staff and so on.

Dreamforce aims for a similar mix, based on the idea that putting together experts from varied disciplines and achievements can lead to a richer experience.

Besides Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, for example, Trailblazers who come to Dreamforce can expect to learn from Daimler & Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius, U.S. Paralympian Blake Leeper and actress/activist Jane Fonda, among others.

4. Commitment To Improving The Employee Experience

The past 18 months have shown businesses of every kind how much they need to rely on the people they hire. The thing is, hiring is just the first step. You also have to help your team prepare for growth by giving them access to build up their skill set and pursue relevant professional development.

Check out the schedule for Dreamforce and you’ll see lots of opportunities to assist in this area. The are sessions on achieving customer centricity, understanding the unique nature of B2B selling, marketing with tools like Slack and how to unleash data with data visualization applications like Tableau.

Best of all, unlike many business courses and events, Dreamforce is free to attend.

5. Connecting Business To Purpose And Shared Values

If you’ve found yourself spending more time since early 2020 taking stock of what really matters to you and your place in the world, you’re not alone.

Lots of your customers have been doing the same thing, and are choosing to spend with brands that are ready to take real action on issues ranging from climate change to diversity, equity and inclusion.

This is why it’s important to note that Dreamforce isn’t just about improving the bottom line. It’s also about improving the planet. As a founding partner of, for example, Salesforce is mobilizing the global community during Dreamforce by donating $1 million to American Forests and One Tree Planted. Hopefully other Trailblazers will be inspired to explore what they can do to make a difference, too.

Get ready for success anywhere, Dreamforce everywhere

If this is your first time attending Dreamforce, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to check out our back catalog of posts with advice on how to make the most out of attending, how to build stronger relationships and how to make Dreamforce the catalyst for the next phase of your company’s growth.

And, don’t forget to join us from September 21-23 to experience the magic of Dreamforce for free, on the all new Salesforce+. See you there!

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