As we make our way to San Francisco for Dreamforce – the pilgrimage of Salesforce Admins and Developers – I thought a great way to wrap up the week would be to do a bit of a Dreamforce flashback.
I’ve been lucky enough to have attended Dreamforce for the past 6 years. In 2007, my first Dreamforce, there were about 7000 attendees and over 150 exhibitors. INXS played an incredible show, Visualforce was introduced (and looked cool, but confused the hell out of me), and I got to see George Lucas talk about why education is important to him. This was my first large, professional conference, and was amazed by the layout of the whole thing. Back then, Moscone North & South were used for the big show. What’s also really incredible to anyone who might be a more recent Dreamforce attendee is that the entire schedule of breakout sessions fit into the insert that was in the pock of the badge. There were not 1,250+ breakout session like you will see at Dreamforce 13.
Dreamforce 08 was similar in layout, although by then, attendance had doubled to 14,000 attendees. Michael Dell and Malcolm Gladwell were some of the guest speakers (and well as Sheryl Sandberg, although she wasn’t as well known back then). We got to rock out to an incredible Foo Fighters show, and learn about Force.com Sites for the first time.
2009 brought back General Colin Powell (who I had missed in 2006), as well as over 19,000 attendees. We were still contained to Moscone North & South, but the Keynote space expanded, and the Expo was moved to allow space for the over 220 exhibitors. There were over 300 breakout sessions to attend, and Neil Young made a surprise appearance with his Chevy Volt. 2009 was also the year that we met Chatter.
Dreamforce 2010 was the year of the cloud badges, and also the first year that the campus expanded to Moscone West. It was a transition year for me, as I had just left an organization that I had been with for the past 5 years, and was navigating the conference with a new set of rules. After having presented in sessions for the past two year, my job transition left me with an open
schedule & more time to explore Dreamforce as just an attendee. This was also the first year of the Dreamforce Chatter App, Bill Clinton and Stevie Wonder.
Dreamforce 2011 was an extra special year for me, because it is when the Salesforce MVP program was introduce, and I was included in the inaugural class of inductees. On top of that, the conference had grown to over 45,000 attendees. Metallica rocked the gala & there was a street-fair during the gala with jumbotrons of the concert. The campus expanded to some of the nearby hotels. There were almost 500 breakout sessions, and over 300 partners. Gary Vaynerchuk and Angela Ahrendts were both in attendance as well.
Last year brought some major changes as well. A vastly expanded campus, that included shutting down Howard Street for a week. Over 92,000 registered to attend, with over 750 breakout session and over 350 partners. General Colin Powell came back for the third time to go a round table with Marc, and Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Immelt took the stage as well. We had our first off-site gala with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Tony Robbins inspired all of us on our last day. There was even a surprise appearance by MC Hammer. It was also the first year of the Community Zone, which was such a huge success & I was so glad to be a part of that.
With all the twists and turns I’ve seen over the past 6 events, I can only wait like a kid on Christmas Eve to see what Marc and the team have in store for us this year. There are sure to be some amazing product announcements, incredible parties and tons of fantastic people to meet. I’ll be easy to find – if I’m not at one of my sessions, you can find me in the Success Community Zone (in the Hilton) or the Conga booth on the Expo floor (in Moscone North).
See you in San Francisco!
And if you want some more Dreamforce prep tip, listen to my interview on the Button Click Admin podcast.