Dreamforce – the dream continues…

I started a career at Salesforce in January 2007… Just to paint the picture, workflow and field updates were the hot topic! I remember thinking, ‘what company have I joined, if they are so excited about S-Controls and Field Updates?!?’  Korel was the new acquisition and Salesforce Content was but a dream… Ah, S-Controls God bless ‘em – pleased they are a thing of the past, though they did fill a big void whilst Apex caught up.

So what happened along the way? This is my journey…

Dreamforce 08

Industry leader executives from Dell, Facebook, Google and Keynote  were there – oooh exciting times!.. (well sort of – I just went along with it any way)…On top of all that hoopla, IT departments and developers could learn how to utilise the Force.com Platform to build entirely new applications and deliver them to market quickly and easily via the Force.com AppExchange.

Little did I know I would be instrumental in co-founding an AppExchange partner seven years later, but then I’m not Mystic Meg!  With more than 10,000 attendees, 300 expert-led sessions and more than 200 partner sponsors, Dreamforce 2008 marked the tipping point for the SaaS and PaaS industry.  Salesforce was clearly on the enterprise solution map and I guess in turn, so were we as employees!

Dreamforce 09

Salesforce’s 7th annual user and developer conference – a time to dream big again and get closer to our customers than we’d ever thought possible. A time for our employees, partners and customers to join the conversation and keep our business humming at the speed of the tinterweb!  SOME MAY REMEMBER THIS…

Dreamforce graphic

More than 12,000 attendees were expected to participate in more than 300 sessions, and engage with more than 200 partner sponsors.  Attendees learnt how to maximize their investments and explore new offerings across Salesforce CRM applications, the Force.com platform, the AppExchange and more… So now’s not the time to go into the parties!  But oh how we have grown to love you San Francisco!  Long live the Seals!

Dreamforce 10

By now this was the industry’s largest cloud computing event, and the focus of Dreamforce 2010 was on inspiring customers, partners and developer success with the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Salesforce Chatter and the Force.com platform. Chatter (or Clutter as some would jest) had arrived, and it was the next best thing since sliced bread!  Stevie Wonder entertained more than 20,000 attendees who were expected to participate in more than 325 sessions the next day – and they did (of a sort) manage to engage with more than 200 partner sponsors at the event, the day after the night before!  We were all singing… ‘Isn’t she Dreamforce lovely….’ (Not!)…There were way too many partner parties, not that I’m complaining, and great times were definitely had. Yet again, San Francisco and Benioff delivered.  Unfortunately the proposed 10%-15% decline in email from using Chatter didn’t seem much of reality as we returned home to swollen inboxes.

Dreamforce 11

Well, well, well… Now it was cruising…Record in-person attendance with around 45,000 registrations (up approximately 50% year-over-year)… Social media was key, with social media conversations up 75% year-over-year… The marketing engine had delivered yet again – the free Dreamforce keynote and expo pass were swallowed up by the masses – which meant we were busier than ever on the booths we had to attend!  Still good times and good memories!  Improved Apps, formed by Keith Clarke launched its first product Improved NoticeBoard.

Dreamforce 12

Just had to be bigger, didn’t it!  With 90,000 registered attendees, it was now clearly the world’s largest vendor technology conference on the planet.  The 10th annual Dreamforce grew with a record-breaking 96 percent year-over-year, which included more than 3,000 C-level executives; an additional 100,000 people viewed Salesforce Live on Facebook. I missed this event as I’d left Salesforce, to help grow Improved Apps with Keith, and we were busy bringing Improved Help to the market. Improved Help – (our flagship product for embedding help & training within the Salesforce instance).

Dreamforce 13

Improved Apps was a sponsor for the first time. Wow!  It was great – busy (well more like super busy) – but still great. Instead of just doing the odd 2 hour shift (as I had done when working at Salesforce), the entire Improved Apps team worked all day, everyday, for the entire show. But yes, we had some great evenings chilling out and celebrating the fact we’d made it through each day… Shall we just say that we all slept the whole journey home and just leave it at that!

This 11th annual Dreamforce grew to more than 130,000 registered attendees, which included more than 4,500 C-level executives, and an additional 200,000 people joined Dreamforce via Salesforce Live to see Marc Benioff, Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg as featured keynote sessions.  I reckon most of those 200,000 visited our booth.

We knocked together this video to show the Salesforce journey to success…


Now it’s our time to take the Salesforce Customers to another level…

Looking forward to Dreamforce 14 – For the first time I’m looking forward to the main gig with Bruno Mars, bringing some soul, reggae and funk to the show (long over due)…The stage is set… Hope to bump into you all there!


Simon Thompson – Customer Success Director @ Improved Apps