SalesForce – Salesforce Dreamforce 2020: Rebuilding tech conferences to be extra inclusive, extra world and extra private
Salesforce sees tech conferences of the longer term as really hybrid in-person/digital occasions. Dreamforce to You 2020 can be a serious step towards that future, if it succeeds.
Dreamforce is all the time a vital occasion for Salesforce. The cloud software program firm’s annual gathering is a time to showcase new merchandise, spotlight wins for the present yr and description technique for the yr forward. Dreamforce 2020 nevertheless, can be extra consequential for Salesforce than any occasion they’ve hosted in current reminiscence. Dreamforce to You 2020, as this yr’s occasion is named, can be a bridge between the in-person-centric occasions of the previous and a brand new hybrid digital/in-person occasion model Salesforce believes is the longer term.
“I feel persons are all the time going to wish to get on planes and be collectively, mentioned Karin Flores, SVP of Strategic Occasions at Salesforce, in an interview with TechRepublic. “However I, personally, and I do know that our workforce and Salesforce, we’re excited concerning the future. We’re excited a couple of hybrid model as a result of I feel similar to once I was speaking about TDX and Dreamforce, there’s type of the inclusiveness that comes with digital and with hybrid, the place you are actually capable of attain extra folks and make all this content material and schooling out there for everyone in a brand new approach.”
I had an opportunity to speak with Flores about Salesforce‘s efforts to construct an internet Dreamforce that wasn’t only a assortment of streamed keynotes or video-on-demand (VOD) classes, however a brand new expertise tailor-made for a digital viewers. Throughout our dialog, Flores emphasised that Salesforce wished to fully reimagine Dreamforce to be “for anybody from anyplace.” Dreamforce to You 2020 is the end result of that effort. The next is a transcript of my interview with Flores, edited for readability.
Dreamforce to You 2020 kicks off with a keynote hosted by Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff on Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m. PT. Between December 14-18, attendees will be capable of take part in DreamTX, which is a multi-day sequence of classes, demos and different on-line actions tailor-made to a few geographic areas (Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe).
Dreamforce to You 2020: All digital, extra private and extra world
Invoice Detwiler: So Dreamforce 2020, it should be all digital this yr as we’re coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
earlier this yr was all digital, so now we’re simply taking what occurred there and up-sizing it. How are you approaching Dreamforce 2020 this yr?
Karin Flores: Yeah, completely. So this has undoubtedly been an attention-grabbing yr, and I am glad you talked about TrailheaDX, which was actually one of many first massive applications that we, similar to all people else, took completely digital. And I feel once I take into consideration Salesforce, I feel lots of people actually type of join us with Salesforce as a model we’re recognized for our massive in scale particular person occasions, our neighborhood, the fervour that we convey, the enjoyable that we convey, the schooling and networking and studying.
So us, like all people else, struggled to actually take into consideration how we have been going to pivot and TrailheaDX was such an awesome instance. Right here, we took our premier developer, neighborhood admin occasion and actually had to consider, how are we going to get engaged? How are we going to proceed this studying? And I do know you had an opportunity to talk with Sarah Franklin earlier this yr, however to me, one of many biggest type of silver linings of that is actually the inclusiveness that has include the digital platform and the digital occasions. The obstacles of journey, of price, of time have type of been alleviated. And with that, we have seen a surge in our attendance and particularly in our world attendance and TrailheaDX was an awesome instance of that.
So after we began to consider Dreamforce this yr, it was actually difficult. Once more, right here is type of the crown jewel of Salesforce, it is the epitome of our model and who we’re and what we stand for and bringing it to life in San Francisco, our neighborhood for all of our clients is one thing that your entire firm rallies round. And I feel we actually began to consider Dreamforce for everybody for anyplace and people have been actually type of the primary seeds after we began to consider it, taking a whole lot of classes realized from TDX and what they’d completed.
And I feel particularly to start with, as we type of went via the summer season all of us collectively, I feel there was somewhat Zoom fatigue, I feel there was this sense of, how lengthy is that this going to go on for? However as time went on, we began to actually take into consideration, once more, Dreamforce for anybody from anyplace, what are the issues that actually matter? And as we began to consider reimagining Dreamforce, I feel we got here down to a few pillars that you just see now.
One is smaller, customized, custom-made content material. What do our clients want to listen to from us? Proper now, they want us greater than ever and we’re all about our buyer’s success. Quantity two is admittedly our Dreamforce keynote, actually permitting Mark with our clients to inform their tales, to speak about what’s high of thoughts, share our product innovation. After which three is the deep studying set in a myriad of conditions, proper? Networking, neighborhood, hands-on.
So I feel as we began to consider Dreamforce, these have been actually the three pillars that rose to the highest. And I do suppose that these have been born out of TrailheaDX.
Dreamforce to You 2020: All digital, extra private, extra world
Invoice Detwiler: How is Dreamforce working this yr?
Karin Flores: So it is undoubtedly new, it is undoubtedly completely different. So at the start, the way in which by which it is working that I feel is admittedly thrilling is that now we have principally created Dreamforce to You, which we’re personally customizing and delivering to all of our clients. And our AEs [account executives] who’re unimaginable are spending the time doing discovery, speaking to their clients, what’s high of thoughts? We’re additionally sharing what’s high of thoughts for us, our world pandemic working model, how a few of our clients are thriving and succeeding on this atmosphere and actually excited about their digital transformation. So, at the start, that’s what I feel has modified essentially the most and the way it’s working.
You may see subsequent week we’ll be doing our Dreamforce keynote. It is unimaginable. I’ve seen it. Mark and your entire workforce are bringing unimaginable tales of buyer success which they are going to share with Bentley, with Rhode Island, with the State of Rhode Island and with AT&T. So you may see these subsequent week. After which with the educational, it is somewhat bit completely different. With Dreamforce, we used to come back collectively for 5 days over 2000 classes, and this yr we’re bringing 5 broadcast channels with content material, however we’re doing a follow-the-sun model so you can watch DreamTX in your individual time zone along with your native MCs guiding you thru. So undoubtedly some variations and a brand new method this yr.
Invoice Detwiler: Can anybody register for Dreamforce 2020? So not like in earlier years the place there was clearly, as you talked about, journey concerned in coming to San Francisco, a payment concerned for really attending the convention, going onto the present ground, moving into the classes as there are with each large tech convention, so how does it work for the attendee this yr?
Karin Flores: So there isn’t a payment to attend Dreamforce and actually these three pillar occasions. So should you go to Dreamforce.com, you may join and you may attend the keynote, you may attend DreamTX, you may attend the entire classes. So we completely made the choice this yr that this was not the yr for us to consider charging a payment, and completely that means no disrespect for individuals who determined to try this, however we simply actually knew that we needed to present up for our clients and proceed to offer content material, schooling, and studying. So everyone seems to be welcome at Dreamforce and in addition Dreamforce in your individual time zone. So we’re undoubtedly taking the follow-the-sun world method, however completely everybody might join and there is not any cost. Dreamforce for everybody.
Invoice Detwiler: How have your objectives for the convention modified this yr versus up to now?
Karin Flores: In order that’s a very attention-grabbing and an awesome query, as a result of I feel I can reply that actually two methods. In some methods our objectives haven’t modified, proper? Dreamforce has all the time been about inspiration. It has been about schooling. It has been about our neighborhood. It has been about sharing our product innovation and showcasing our values. And I do not suppose that is modified. I feel that is much more pronounced than ever in the way in which that we’ll present up.
I feel what has modified is we have needed to actually rethink our content material to what’s most related now, proper? The world has modified and we discuss this quite a bit and Mark talks about this quite a bit is that we have opened a door and gone via it and we’re not trying again and we have to suppose, all of us, want to consider our digital transformation. And now we have the instruments to assist our clients get there and hold shifting ahead. So I feel that is among the greatest ways in which our method has modified, proper? It needs to be related content material that is related proper now in 2020. And that content material is completely different than it is ever been earlier than.
And, I feel the second approach is the customized experiences. We knew that we needed to make it as simple for our clients as attainable. We have to convey what’s most related to them within the second that they want it. So whereas the core pillars of Dreamforce have not modified they usually by no means will, there are undoubtedly nuances that after all must change as a result of 2020 is sort of not like any yr we have ever had earlier than.
Constructing a platform for digital skilled networking
Invoice Detwiler: So one of many issues that was all the time actually particular about Dreamforce and a whole lot of conferences is the networking side of it, these face-to-face conferences, these hallway conversations, assembly folks from across the nation, world wide. How are you attempting to copy that just about this yr?
Karin Flores: Yeah. To me, that is among the greatest challenges of digital. And even after we suppose in direction of the way forward for hybrid, proper? And I feel that I and our workforce, we consider it in a few alternative ways. I do not suppose you may replicate it, proper? It will by no means be the identical as you, Invoice and I sitting down and having this dialog over a cup of espresso at Starbucks, however I do suppose there are methods by which persons are participating and I feel these small customized applications are actually one of many methods by which we’re fixing for that. I do a whole lot of buyer conferences with six, seven clients at a time the place we’re sharing, we’re sharing the struggles that we’re going via, we’re sharing how we’re fixing all these issues. And people, I feel, are the moments which are beginning to possibly not replicate, however a brand new approach of us connecting. So I feel you may see that in Dreamforce.
After which after all on the platforms, we’re implementing alternative ways for folks to community and chat and have personal rooms. However I actually suppose as a workforce we’re attempting to not carry and shift, once more, it isn’t replicating, how will we rethink it? How will we join? After which how will we join sooner or later, proper? After we transfer into this hybrid model that we expect will type of set the trail ahead.
Invoice Detwiler: And also you had an experiment with TrailheaDX this yr that you just talked concerning the studying experiences that you can convey from that over to Dreamforce. What have been among the points of suggestions that individuals in TrailheaDX this yr gave you that you just integrated into Dreamforce?
Karin Flores: Yeah, so we’re so fortunate that the Trailhead neighborhood are so energetic, so participating. I imply, you simply actually couldn’t actually ask for a greater neighborhood who give superior suggestions, who take part. And I feel we heard a few various things. Primary extra content material. Quantity two, on the plus aspect, entry for everyone, that is nice. We noticed hundreds of individuals register for TrailheaDX after the convention was closed, simply so they might return and have interaction with the content material. That to me was an enormous silver lining proper there.
International, once more, that is one of many causes we’re implementing the follow-the-sun model. It was such a better approach for folks to take part in TDX. So we had this like take off your US blinders, we actually have to consider this world. So completely that follow-the-sun model was direct suggestions from our TDX neighborhood. And type of what you have been speaking about, that networking connection enjoyable piece. And no person does enjoyable higher than Trailhead. And so you may see a whole lot of completely different actions that we’ll be doing at DreamTX, and I do not wish to give every part away, however completely different ways in which we’re getting folks to have interaction, possibly issues like digital scavenger hunts, however all of those applications are actually meant to permit folks to not solely take somewhat break, have somewhat little bit of enjoyable, however talk, community and join with one another.
Hybrid occasions would be the new regular for tech conferences
Invoice Detwiler: So that you alluded to this earlier, and I feel it is an awesome place to type of wrap up, which is the way forward for these occasions. You talked a couple of hybrid nature, and I feel it is a actually vital level, which is, that is an typically overused phrase, which is the brand new regular. I have been within the tech business for 20 years now and earlier than that I used to be an IT professional myself, so we have heard new regular again and again and over whether or not it was type of the pervasive office of the early two hundreds and mid nineties, whether or not it was web 2.zero or no matter it’s, there’s all the time a brand new regular. However one thing does really feel somewhat completely different this time, particularly round digital transformation as we have a look at how type of communication interplay is altering with COVID. I am certain we’ll return to getting on airplanes, having these head to head conferences, however there does appear to be a shift or an acknowledgement that we’re at an inflection level. How is that translating, do you suppose, or will translate into occasions like Dreamforce 2021, 2022, 2023?
Karin Flores: Yeah. I feel that the phrase, the brand new regular, I like to consider it now as we’re shifting ahead, we’re on a quick cycle, we’re shifting ahead. I do not suppose we’ll ever work the way in which that we used to. And I feel that is okay. I feel there’s a whole lot of classes being realized about how we really can study in a digital atmosphere. There’s a whole lot of execs to that. Have a look at what we’re doing for the atmosphere. I feel persons are all the time going to wish to get on planes and be collectively. However I, personally, and I do know that our workforce and Salesforce, we’re excited concerning the future. We’re excited a couple of hybrid model as a result of I feel similar to once I was speaking about TDX and Dreamforce, there’s type of the inclusiveness that comes with digital and with hybrid, the place you are actually capable of attain extra folks and make all this content material and schooling out there for everyone in a brand new approach.
And I feel that maybe gone are the times when all people’s in an workplace and we would see it extra distant and I anticipate that we’ll see that. So I feel that now we have to consider, how are we going to develop and develop and transfer ahead? And I completely imagine that hybrid is the model. And I imagine that hybrid is the appropriate model. I imagine it should be the appropriate model for the way in which by which we’ll work and from a digital standpoint, the way in which that persons are to devour their data, proper?
I feel that you will see firms who may be up to now might solely afford from their budgets to ship two or three folks to a convention and now with a hybrid model, it is like, nice, we are able to open this up and 50 folks have entry to all this schooling, all this hands-on studying. So I feel there’s this type of democracy that is going to come back with hybrid that is actually, actually thrilling. And I feel the attain, and I feel the power to go world and search sooner is the longer term. And I do know that we all the time say this, I do know I discussed it, we have gone via a door, we’re going ahead. We’re not trying again, we’re trying ahead.