Marc Benioff and company sure knows how to put on a show. In fact, Benioff has been putting on Dreamforce customer glasses since 2003 — that is, until the pandemic came along and put the whole bitch online for a few years.
With the Salesforce event live and in person again this week, just in time for its 20th anniversary, everyone seemed happy to be together at a live event.
With a reported in-person attendance of 40,000, it was significantly smaller than the peak pre-pandemic numbers of over 150,000 when every hotel in San Francisco would have sold out, but it was still significant. And if you count the 110,000 who watched some of the event online (myself included), you could say it was about the same.
At a press conference this week, Salesforce co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor certainly welcomed the opportunity to speak to people in person again, whether that be customers, analysts, investors or the press. They said that because Salesforce had grown so significantly since the last in-person Dreamforce, it was also the first time many of the company’s employees attended.
While it may not have the number of live attendees in recent years, celebrities were still aplenty, including Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Hudson, and Bono. There were also Magic Johnson, Jane Goodall and Al Gore, just to name a few celebrities who showed up. Dreamforce has always had star power and the company has not skimped on its first in-person meeting in three years.
And the live musical event – which in the past has featured A-list bands like U2 and the Foo Fighters – this year was the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Dreamforce without co-founders Benioff and Parker Harris making fun of it onstage, drawing attention to the new technology the company was introducing.
As you might guess, it wasn’t all fun and games and pageantry. There were also some important announcements. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights, shall we?