Codie the bear, Cloudy the ram, Appy and friends — despite the cute, fuzzy animal emojis adorning the giant blue Salesforce sign smack in the middle of Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, Dreamforce is, for the uninitiated, serious business (aka the world’s largest software conference).
The annual tech event by cloud giant Salesforce typically brings in more than 100,000 people to San Francisco every year — 170,000 people are expected to show up this year from all over the world over the course of the next three days shutting down streets, filling up hotels, and injecting millions of dollars into the local economy. One of the only negatives, especially for residents, is traffic. So if you’re driving, bring extra patience.
Eighteen years ago, Salesforce started in a small apartment in San Francisco. Today it is leasing the tallest, most expensive building in the city — the Salesforce Tower, a 1,070-ft-high skyscraper, the tallest on the West Coast.
Salesforce also made news after it decided to close the pay gap for employees. The company’s CEO, billionaire philanthropist Marc Benioff, spent $6 million to close the gender gap, and has promised to evaluate salaries on a regular basis.
On Saturday, Benioff shared a video of a mountain lion walking outside his house in the Presidio. The timing of the mountain lion sighting presents an intriguing coincidence given that one of the designated "Dreamojis," or emoji for Dreamforce, just so happens to be an apparent lynx or other member of the cat family known as "Appy."
Benioff used the hashtag #AppyDF while sharing his mountain lion encounter on social media.
Every year, Salesforce brings in influential speakers — including women like Patricia Arquette and Jessica Alba — to reinforce the importance of women in the workplace.
This year, former first lady, Michelle Obama, will be taking the stage Tuesday. However the event has requested no publicity or cameras from the media.
On Monday, actor and venture capitalist Ashton Kutcher or @aplusk was part of the keynote which focused on “tech innovations as a force for good.” Other keynote speakers included Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo, and Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted.
The company announced a new cloud partnership with Google which industry experts say could pose a direct challenge to Microsoft.
It’s not all work at Dreamforce — Tuesday's lineup brings with it a concert at AT&T Park featuring Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz which will benefit UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, and on Thursday night, there’s a benefit concert, “Band Together Bay Area,” to help North Bay wildfire victims and evacuees.
And if this star-studded lineup wasn’t enough, Puerto Rican singer and philanthropist Luis Fonsi will be performing his #1 hit “Despacito” on Wednesday to help raise $1 million toward hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.
If you’re visiting from out-of-town, Dreamforce has put together a list of places to check out in San Francisco, a little R&R for when you’re not busy with keynotes, sessions, networking or just generally being a "trailbrazer" at the Dreamforce Campground.
There's also the PartyForce app, which guides you through more than 150 parties taking place throughout the city from Nov. 6 to Nov. 9.