Dreamforce Mini-Series Part 1
This episode features an interview Salesforce legend, Linda Dunlap, and Qualified executives, Kraig Swenrsud and Dan Darcy, share the history of Dreamforce—and the fun to come for #DF21.
On this episode, the Dreamforce all-star trio covers the entire history of the legendary event. They share what the first-ever Dreamforce felt like, how the team was able to continually raise the bar year after year, how they took inspiration from Disneyland and Metallica, and how a B2B marketing event became the equivalent of a sold-out rock festival.
“[A great event] doesn't happen by accident. It's about being intentional. It's about having a vision. Something that gets said a lot by our CEO is ‘you're not thinking big enough.’ If you think big and then think bigger than that and then you set your goals to achieve that, then you'd be surprised at how big you can make something, how exciting you can make something, how much surprise and delight you can include in it. That was really it. We just kept moving the bar, even above what we could even imagine for ourselves. And then you hit it.” — Linda
“[Dreamforce] was cool and interesting and new. That was the thing. And there wasn't really a super high bar for corporate events. Salesforce created that bar and kept raising the bar every year. Even though Dreamforce was pretty small in 2004, it totally stood out just by the way the event was produced.” — Kraig
“We weren't gaining our inspiration from what was happening at other tech conferences. We're really getting our inspiration from where deep audience engagement takes place.” — Linda
“I think one of the things that I learned in my career with Linda and with Dan and with so many other amazing people at Salesforce who pulled this off was, you’ve got to have a backup plan. You’ve got to have a backup plan to the backup plan. And then you have to have a backup plan to that. And you have to anticipate anything that can go wrong and you have to have a strategy. And I've brought that simple, basic concept to the rest of my career. Something I learned deeply at Dreamforce that the show must go on, everything must work, and you have to figure out a way to make it shine. Even if the internet goes out and you're preaching cloud computing, you’ve got to figure out what to do.” — Kraig
“Marc had really coined this phrase where it was like a family reunion every year at Dreamforce. That is just the compounding effect of when you bring people together. It just exploded and everyone wanted to come back because of the experiences that they had with Salesforce, because of the experience that they had with the people at Dreamforce. It just became something that you couldn't miss. That's where it hit another level.” — Dan
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