The Future of Dreamforce—Coming to A Streaming Platform Near You
The future of B2B events and content marketing is here. Salesforce is blazing yet another new trail with its launch of Salesforce+, its all-new streaming service that’s a one-stop-shop for live and on-demand business content. Salesforce+ will be making its debut when it powers Dreamforce, beginning September 21, helping to bring inspiration and learning to Salesforce customers, partners, and employees around the world.
It is absolutely brilliant to see Dreamforce evolve into a digital-first, immersive, on-demand experience. The fact that Salesforce has been able to transition from a 100,000 person event in San Francisco to a Netflix-like streaming experience with 100 Million+ viewers is unbelievable. To me, it's so clearly the future of event marketing. Salesforce has a 20-year track record of showing us the future of enterprise software and now Salesforce+ shows us what the future looks like for event and content marketers. Every marketing team across the industry will soon adopt this approach.
I’ve personally experienced 18 years of Dreamforce.
Before Qualified, I spent time as the CMO of Salesforce, where I witnessed the thousands of hours and millions of dollars that went into crafting “The Dreamforce Experience.” I've been in the trenches with hundreds of colleagues who spent year after year curating the perfect in-person event. The registration, keynotes, demos, slides, videos, customer stories, tracks, sessions, bands, executive roundtables, expo halls, on-site philanthropy, and more—all of our energy was consumed in creating the perfect in-person Dreamforce experience at Moscone Center in San Francisco.
And every year, after all of that hard work, when customers finally arrived on the Dreamforce campus, it was pure MAGIC. The mood was upbeat, the music was inspiring, the creative was spot-on, the keynotes were next-level, and the content was incredible. It was the enterprise software event of the year, our version of Disneyland. Instead of Mickey Mouse or Snow White greeting you, SaaSy and Astro were the stars of the event, dancing in front of awe-struck fans who couldn’t wait to post their selfies on Twitter.
When it came to Dreamforce, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff always asked us, “How can we think even bigger?”
I believe there have always been two huge opportunities for growth.
How can we make Dreamforce accessible to hundreds of millions of business professionals worldwide?
Traveling to San Francisco for Dreamforce was difficult for many. Either it was too far, too time consuming, too expensive, or the hotels were all booked—one year, we even took over a cruise ship just to have more beds for people flooding into the city!
There was no solution in place for the millions, and I mean millions, of people who wanted to experience the magic of Dreamforce. If you couldn’t make it in person, you had the option to tune in via Salesforce Live; but only a fraction of the sessions were live streamed, and you had a hard time finding the content that was best suited for your role, industry, or segment. Ultimately, the message to remote Trailblazers was “we’ll miss you and we hope to see you in person next year!”
The brilliance of Salesforce+ is that it prioritizes the remote Trailblazers and puts them first. Salesforce+ will have multiple broadcast channels with hundreds of hours worth of on-demand content. The team has completely flipped the script and are putting the folks across the world in the proverbial front row, all from the comfort of their own homes.
How can Dreamforce be accessible year round and perfectly curated for everyone who wants to attend?
In years past, the moment you left Trailblazer Park, Dreamforce was over. It was done. It was a once-a-year celebration of Trailblazers that never lived beyond the onsite event.
Sure, some of the content was put on YouTube, either professionally or by attendees. But to this day, there are moments when I want to go back and watch the keynote from 2011, yet can’t find it anywhere—or if I can, it’s on some random YouTube channel shot from someone’s iPhone in the very back row. I can technically explore bits and pieces of Dreamforce past on YouTube, but it’s messy. It’s not curated, it’s not user-friendly, and content from 17 years of Dreamforce has seemingly disappeared.
Salesforce+ solves this opportunity beautifully and with the most modern, Netflix-like influence. Now, everyone gets Dreamforce via Salesforce+, even when the conference is over. All of the content is curated, and available on-demand, so the learning never stops.
The Salesforce+ platform is capitalizing on the brilliance of apps like Netflix, Disney+, and Apple+. These B2C visionaries are undoubtedly shaping the way B2B companies and their customers operate.
On Netflix, I can access the new season of Money Heist immediately when it drops. But I can also go back and watch Queen’s Gambit and Friday Night Lights at my leisure (or Cocomelon, depending on the day. Parents, you know where I’m coming from). The shows I want to watch are available to me when I have the time and when I want to access them. And I can access them in their entirety.
The magic of Dreamforce is now available to us 24x7, 365 days a year.
Salesforce+ affords this same exact experience to the world of enterprise content. We will all be able to hear from visionaries, leaders, and Trailblazers in the space, whenever and wherever we please. I am so excited to see how this experience unfolds.
The birth of Salesforce+ marks the beginning of a new era of marketing in our industry. From here forward, Dreamforce is going to feel different, but I think it’s going to feel different in a good way. Salesforce is setting the bar for the future of events and content delivery, and I’m in awe of Colin Fleming and Sarah Franklin, the creators of Salesforce+. They are charting the path forward to the future of B2B event marketing. I’m truly so excited to see this come to life, and my bet is that all enterprise software companies, including Qualified, will be playing catch up to the genius of Salesforce+.
It’s a whole new muscle that every B2B marketing team, company, and agency will have to learn. I truly feel like we’re back in 2003, when Salesforce was on the precipice of a new era of event marketing at the first-ever Dreamforce. No one knew what was going to happen, and wow, what a crazy, fun, successful, wild ride it’s been.
The magic of Moscone was never meant to be recreated online, it was meant to be reimagined.
That’s exactly what is happening on Salesforce+.
Make sure to catch Qualified’s episode, How to Drive 10X More Pipeline with Target Accounts with Zuora CMO, Kyle Christensen available on Salesforce+ September 21.