Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce mega-conference, is back in San Francisco after a pandemic hiatus.
The event used to draw hundreds of thousands but this year, it looked a lot different with COVID-19 and security requirements are some of the strictest ever seen.
Even in their opening presentation, Salesforce made sure the message is clear to the millions watching digitally around the globe – strict COVID rules are in place for the roughly 1,000 people attending Dreamforce in person.
Each attendee had to go through multiple security checks, show vaccination cards and undergo daily COVID-19 testing -- four tests in all.
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“Indeed, there is a huge change going on,” said Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff.
In his keynote address, Benioff told employees and clients around the world they’re “trailblazers” in a “trusted enterprise,” and the conference shows a pathway for collaborating successfully and safely moving forward.
“So, it’s all going to happen here physically, and it’s all going to happen digitally as well – and this is part of the new world we are in and we already know that,” said Benioff.
Attendees said the testing and paperwork are both necessary and acceptable, especially with the delta variant threatening even the vaccinated population.
“I think that is good for everyone as well, because we want to keep secure our entire ohana,” said Rakesh Gupta, automation champion.
Something that attendees are happy with.
“The good thing is that I feel secure, because all of the people here, everyone’s covid tests are done four times,” said Amit Chaudhayr of Information Services.
The rules are so strict that even the man who designed the trailhead concept used in the outdoor conference couldn’t get in.
“It’s amazing. I mean, even my boss can’t get in. It all has to do with COVID protocol,” said Tim Mohr, San Francisco creative marketing director.
He said he completely understands the need for safety with the virus still spreading and he was elated Dreamforce 2021 is still on – albeit with a much smaller crowd.
The conference runs through Thursday afternoon at the Moscone Center.