Editor’s Note – February 1, 2022: Today, Salesforce launched Safety Cloud, expanding upon Dreampass and Salesforce’s Health & Safety Playbook. This article was updated with a link to the newly expanded Health & Safety Playbook. For the latest on Salesforce’s health & safety-related innovations, check out this press release and FAQ. Click here for the latest on Salesforce’s Success From Anywhere strategy.
Events have always been our calling card. But the past 20 months have challenged us to reimagine how we gather in today’s pandemic world. We’ve seen the power of digital-first events, but that doesn’t mean events have to be digital-only. There’s an undeniable magic that comes from in-person connection, and our community is eager to reconnect.
With this in mind, we took a beginner’s mindset to Dreamforce, our global family reunion, and thought critically about what it would take to bring our community together more safely in-person again. It looked a little bit different than it has in years past, when we’ve invited 170,000 people, but the experience was just as awesome. At Dreamforce San Francisco, we welcomed 1,000+ attendees and for the first time ever held the entire event – keynote included! – outdoors. We also streamed it live, drawing more than 167 million views from 177 countries via Salesforce+.
How did we do it? Here are five key insights and learnings from our new Salesforce Event Health and Safety Playbook, now available for download (Editor’s Note: Form Required).
1) Assemble the right team of experts
Health and safety is the single most crucial component to event success, and it can’t be done alone. Salesforce used a team of dedicated experts, event partners, and COVID-19 testing vendors to help deliver a safe, unique event.
Our team developed this year’s Dreamforce health and safety strategy from the ground up — including our rigorous testing cadence — and managed the execution of robust health and safety protocols around the event. In preparation for the event, our team modeled more than 30 different event-safety experiences based on different possible scenarios. We kept a close pulse on local government guidance and the latest advice from our health and medical experts, such as Salesforce Chief Medical Officer Dr. Geeta Nayyar, to help ensure our event met recommended guidelines.
2) Lead with vaccines and testing
Today’s events are all about leading with trust, our company’s #1 value. It’s not just about making the experience safer, it’s also about making people feel safe before they ever step foot into your event.
In addition to asking for proof of vaccination, we required Dreamforce attendees to submit to a rigorous schedule of pre- and post-arrival testing — including submitting two negative tests before attending the event. Tests were conducted 96 and 72 hours before the event and to make it easier for attendees, we mailed individuals an at-home test kit or gave them the option to test at a local testing facility. Out of 18,000 tests administered at Dreamforce, only 12 were not authorized to attend — and all authorized attendees were cleared through our testing protocols.
3) Embrace safe onsite protocols and practices
Once onsite, it’s game time for health and safety practices. At Dreamforce, we prioritized large outdoor spaces and leveraged our own technology to carefully control access to the event. Attendees entered each day through specific checkpoints and had to submit to multi-step, multi-factor authentication before stepping onsite — including scanning QR codes and event credentials, validating personal IDs, and passing through security screenings.
Dreamforce attendees were also required to complete a daily wellness attestation and check for symptoms before entering the event. We were also prepared to implement contact tracing or support isolation in the event that attendees tested positive.
4) Create an easy, tech-enabled experience
With so much testing, it’s essential that event verification processes be easy to follow. At Salesforce, we know a thing or two about using our technology to help bring people together more safely — both at our offices and events.
By using Dreampass, Salesforce’s product designed to help deliver safer in-person events, we were able to scale collection and verification of COVID-19 health status while creating agile, automated communications that inform attendees about event procedures and policies. In addition, Dreamforce attendees were able to upload their proof of vaccination ahead of the event and have it automatically routed to a reviewer. The verification process then triggered test kits to be shipped to each guest outlining next steps for testing. Once attendees’ tests came back negative, Dreampass automatically generated a pass for attendees containing their health verification status. The result was a safer, more secure, and smooth experience for everyone.
5) Invest in proactive communication
Now more than ever, communication around events is key. Before Dreamforce, we hosted two office hours for attendees to set expectations and explain our protocols and processes. We also hosted two digital “swab parties” with our at-home test kit vendor to guide attendees on the 96- and 72-hour pre-event test instructions. In addition, we established a “Dreamforce Buddy” program, connecting a Salesforce employee with each guest using texts, phone calls, and emails to answer questions, provide guidance, and help escalate any issues.
Finally, we sent “Know Before You Go” emails to ensure attendees had the latest updates on protocols and processes ahead of the event. We also leveraged Slack to keep employees, staff, and crew connected in real time to help ensure a smoother on-site experience for everyone.
Dreamforce San Francisco and Dreamforce New York remind us of the magic that comes from being together. By letting science guide our approach, we hope that more of us — on more occasions — can come together with trust and confidence to reconnect as a community.
Check out the Salesforce Event Health and Safety Safety Playbook for more insights on the steps Salesforce took to help bring people together in-person more safely. And for more details on how we used Salesforce technology to bring Dreamforce back to San Francisco, see here.
Please note that this is a Salesforce Playbook for US events, shared for reference only. Any business or organization looking to host an in-person event should follow local guidance and legislation and consult with relevant experts to draft their own health and safety protocols.