Dreamforce 2016: What I Experienced in Four Incredible Days
I just got back from the most amazing, exhilarating, exhausting conference of the year—Dreamforce. Even though I’m still a little jet-lagged and nursing a lost voice (all that chatting with customers takes a toll on your vocal chords!) I can’t wait to go back again next year.
Days at Dreamforce are packed with hundreds of exhibitors, sessions, and speakers applicable to all industries and roles, and the nights have plenty of parties and concerts to keep you busy. Just like the city it’s held in, it’s impossible to experience everything Dreamforce has to offer in four short days (especially if you’re busy meeting and chatting with all of your amazing customers and partners!). But that’s not to say we didn’t try to do as much as possible! Here’s how I spent my jam-packed four days at Dreamforce.
The Cloud Expo
A majority of my time at Dreamforce 2016 was spent at our booth in the Cloud Expo. Alongside hundreds of other exhibitors, including well-known names like Microsoft, Deloitte Digital, and Accenture, we chatted with Dreamforce attendees about their individual situations and how FormAssembly could potentially help them. We also connected with current customers and partners about their FormAssembly use, and just to catch up! It’s not often that we get to see so many of our customers in person.
The team that attended Dreamforce 2016 was so busy during the four days of the conference, that I wasn’t able to get away from the booth to attend any sessions, but it was more than worth it! With four conferences already behind me in 2016, I was excited to tell even more people about how FormAssembly could help transform their business, and that’s exactly what I was able to do. Meeting current customers was equally rewarding—we could definitely feel the love!
Our team chats with customers at the Dreamforce Cloud Expo.
Having just joined the team seven months ago, it always strikes me how many of our current customers are our strongest brand advocates and prove the worth of FormAssembly almost better than we can ourselves. It’s an extremely validating experience to be chatting with a potential FormAssembly customer only to have a current customer chime in and back up everything you’re saying with their own personal experiences.
Our current customers and partners are truly at the core of everything we do, and it’s beyond rewarding to see that our continued improvement of our tool, our documentation and customer support, and the overall care and attention we give our customers is appreciated and returned! We truly love our customers! <3
Our team was all smiles after the final day of talking to customers and prospects.
Nightlife: U2 and Plenty of Parties
I honestly don’t know how we did it, but even after full days of chatting with clients and prospects, we still had enough energy to enjoy the nightlife activities that Dreamforce is famous for. In the past, Dreamforce attendees have been able to experience performances from artists and bands like Stevie Wonder, Green Day, Metallica and Bruno Mars—not to mention been host to some of the most unforgettable parties.
This year we sponsored not one but two great after-party events: Idealist’s Nonprofit Client Engagement Party and a jointly hosted Conga/Appirio/DocuSign party.
We also got a chance to experience the rock legends U2 in a packed concert. Come to think of it, I probably should have led with the fact that we saw U2, but there are so many incredible experiences at Dreamforce that it’s impossible to rank them!
A Little Outdoor Time
One of the amazing things about Dreamforce is the incredible city it’s set in. Located on a peninsula in the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco boasts ridiculously gorgeous views of the water and sights like Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay (the home of former high-security prison “Alcatraz”).
Marketing Manager Ashley McAlpin (Me!) (left) and Hillary Sciscoe, Director of Customer Support, took to the streets to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco along with other team members (unpictured).
Dreamforce doesn’t leave too much time for sightseeing outside of the conference, but we were able to get away for a bike ride around town and across the Golden Gate Bridge (spoiler alert: it’s not actually golden, but it’s still pretty majestic).
Gorgeous views like this are easy to find in San Francisco. The conference was held just a few miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Highlights of Dreamforce 2016
Though I didn’t get a chance to slip away from the booth to experience any sessions (there were 2,700 total!), there was no shortage of speakers, events and other amazing experiences. Here are some of the highlights of Dreamforce 2016:
- will.i.am made an appearance and described Dreamforce as “the most inspirational community there is today.”
- Buddhist Monks brought much-needed meditation tips to the conference.
- Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff introduced the new Salesforce artificial intelligence technology, Einstein.
- Prominent names like Melinda Gates, astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly, and more were included in the speaker lineup.
Dreamforce is one of those events you can’t stop talking about, even weeks after it happened. It’s the kind of event you want to constantly take pictures at, just so you can prove you were there. It’s a conference where you don’t stop moving, learning, connecting or growing, but you love every minute of it.
When it comes down to it, Dreamforce, for us, is about connecting with our customers in a very personal way and learning more about our product through your recommendations. If we didn’t get a chance to connect with you at Dreamforce this year, feel free to reach out to us at any time on Twitter or by email.
p.s. We handed out plenty of copies of our new Salesforce + FormAssembly ebook at Dreamforce 2016, but if you weren’t able to pick one up, you can download your free copy here.