Salesforce chairman and CEO Marc Benioff knows a thing or two about how to put on a good show, and as usual he pulled out all the stops this week at Dreamforce , his company’s massive customer conference in San Francisco.
He was boasting at the keynote that 175,000 people registered online (and another 15 million were watching online). I can tell you most people I spoke to didn’t think anywhere close to that number of people showed up, but it was also hard to tell. The conference was spread out across the city including all three Moscone buildings and some of the hotels nearby. Many restaurants around Moscone were closed for private events from sponsors. The company even took over the street between Moscone North and South, laid down some fake grass and put in “Dream Park.”
This year there was a national park theme and there were signs everywhere that echoed the design of the iconic national park signs. The idea was that every participant was an explorer blazing trails. It was part of the gamification of the event to get people to visit as much stuff as possible
The event, built in its chairman’s image included charity booths, a mindfulness booth staffed by French monks and a meditation room. One of the special guests at the keynote was Will.I.Am. The conference party featured a performance by U2. Salesforce doesn’t do anything small.