As I sit here in front of the boarding gate in San Francisco International Airport, I think back to the week that I had and wonder if it was real or if it was all just a dream…
I arrived in San Francisco on Saturday morning and spent the day walking around the city in the bay area. I spent most of my Sunday morning sightseeing around San Francisco on a tour bus. I visited all the famous locations like Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Sausolito, Pier 39 and Alcatraz island.
The whole team spent Monday sightseeing San Francisco together. We collected our Dreamforce badges and backpacks, went on a ferry tour of the bay area and saw the Alcatraz prison island and Golden Gate bridge up close. By this point I had talked up the view from the Golden Gate Bridge so much that two of us decided to walk across . Little did we realise the beautiful and sunny view that I had seen the day before had been replaced by a view of a dense fog hovering over the entire bridge. We decided to walk across the bridge regardless of the fog and managed to make it across the bridge before freezing.
The Dreamforce sessions kicked off on Tuesday morning. After having a terrible coffee which the American baristas have perfected to an art-form, I decided to first walk around and visit some of the key buildings. I needed to get my bearings and find out what the different areas were offering. I tried to stop at almost every booth and ask as many questions as I could to find out more about the upcoming Salesforce features in Winter ‘19. Also kept collecting as many stickers I could get my hands on during this time!
Metallica hearts Salesforce
Next, I decided to start queuing for the main Marc Benioff keynote. I was really dreading having to stand in the queue for 2 hours, but it turned out to be a lot better than I expected. I only stood in the queue for half an hour and managed to get inside where there was live music playing for the next hour and a half before the keynote started.
The keynote was one of the top 3 moments for me for the Dreamforce week as I got the chance to see Marc Benioff and Lars Ulrich (Metallica Drummer) up close. Turns out Metallica is a Salesforce Social Studio user and one of the funniest moments for me was when Lars Ulrich started quoting names of the different Salesforce clouds that they use. The Metallica drummer is probably not the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind when you think about Salesforce.
Those big keynote announcements
The keynote unveiled some amazing future functionality like Einstein Forecasting and Einstein Voice. Salespeople can now utilise Siri or Alexa to check their pipeline, update opportunities etc. through voice commands, which I think is going to be a game changer. The speakers at the keynote also focused on 2 new offerings from Salesforce called Customer 360 and Philanthropy Cloud. That night we went to the APAC on tour reception drinks and saw a lot of familiar faces.
The Wednesday sessions seemed even more packed, as I crammed as many sessions as possible with the first one starting at 8am in the morning. I attended a cool session which was a competition for the best free AppExchange package designed by 6 different Salesforce employees (look up myV2MOM and Proposal Force).
I attended a deep dive session to understand how Customer 360 works in the back end and attended the Philanthropy Cloud keynote. I walked around a lot between the different booths in the Trailhead campground and tried to get as much information possible about deployment packages, new Community Cloud features and Einstein Voice.
Dreamfest with Metallica
The Wednesday night Dreamfest concert was probably one of the most special nights of my life as Metallica was performing. As cheesy as it sounds, being a Metallica fan since I was a teenager and growing up in Bangladesh, I never ever even imagined in my wildest dreams that one day I would be watching them perform live right in front of me. The best that we could get in Bangladesh is cover bands that perform Metallica songs. To watch them play all my favourite songs in person was definitely the highlight of my trip.
Sustainability and Al Gore
As Thursday was the last day of Dreamforce for the Sqware Peg team, I decided to focus mostly on the keynotes and visit all the vendor booths to understand more about their offerings. I attended a session on Global Sustainability with Al Gore in the morning. Al Gore is a truly remarkable speaker and it is inspiring how passionate he is about Climate Change and all the things that we can do to change the current state of the world.
I also attended a keynote on Service Cloud and then finally a keynote on Trailhead. Both sessions were very informative about the future roadmap and the direction of Salesforce.
Thank you, Sqware Peg
After Dreamforce, we headed off to Napa Valley in Sonoma where the team spent the Friday doing a wine tour and tasting all the exquisite varieties of wine that the wineries in Sonoma has to offer.
As I think back again about the week I realise that it was not a dream, it was called Dreamforce. It was so much more than just a tech conference, and I am so grateful that the Leadership Team at Sqware Peg gave me the privilege of attending Dreamforce 2018.
I have so much more respect for the wonderful Ohana of Salesforce and feel so much more connected to everyone in the Salesforce ecosystem.