5 Takeaways For Event Organizers From Dreamforce 2023

September 22, 2023

Touted as the largest AI event in the world, Dreamforce returned Sept. 12-14 to Moscone Center in San Francisco, but Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told the San Francisco Chronicle it could be the last in the city if the conference was “impacted by the current situation with homelessness and drug use.”  

The 21st annual event drew an estimated 40,000 Salesforce customers, partners and employees who gathered for three days of learning, fun, community building and philanthropy. 

Dreamforce was projected to generate $89.3 million in local spending. A CoStar Group report revealed a 93.6 percent average hotel occupancy rate during the conference's peak evenings Sept. 11-13. By comparison, the city’s average occupancy rate for July 2023 was 66.1 percent. During the week of Sept. 10-16, San Francisco hotels raised average daily rate and revenue per available room by more than 30 percent as a result of the Dreamforce 2023 conference, according to CoStar. 

During an on-stage chat at Dreamforce 2023 with California Governor Gavin Newsom, Benioff said, "This is probably the cleanest I've ever seen San Francisco. Why can't San Francisco be like this every single day?"

Despite Benioff’s praise for the city’s efforts to clean up the area around the Moscone Center, a Chicago surgeon was apparently attacked and injured while attending Dreamforce, according to a story in the Daily Mail.

But the overwhelming majority of attendees had a positive experience this year. “It was great,” Mobly Co-founder and CEO Zach Barney, who has attended the conference twice before, told Corporate Event News. “I met lots of great potential customers and resellers.”

Corporate Event News curated a list of five highlights from Dreamforce 2023.

1. Education. More than 1,500 sessions and workshops featured product experts and global leaders — from OpenAI’s Sam Altman and entertainer and tech entrepreneur will.i.am to Salesforce AI CEO Clara Shih and Thrive Global Founder Arianna Huffington. 



2. Hybrid experience. Salesforce+ Dreamforce, its free streaming service, offered 72 hours of live broadcast, global takeovers, 120+ on-demand sessions and more. The virtual schedule included exclusive content and digital-only moments, so on-site attendees were also encouraged to register for the Salesforce+ Dreamforce experience.



3. Keynotes. Kicking off the conference, Benioff told the audience the event was the most sustainable Dreamforce yet, with 74% of structures recycled or reused. Other keynotes featured success stories from Salesforce customers using its technology and live demos of the company’s latest innovations. 



4. Partners. Salesforce has an ecosystem of more than 11,000 partners around the globe. Among the standout exhibitors at Dreamforce 2023: Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM, Deloitte, CGI, KPMG and Snowflake.



5. Entertainment. Multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Foo Fighters headlined Dreamfest, a concert to benefit the University of California San Francisco's Benioff Children’s Hospitals. Past performances at Dreamforce included artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Lenny Kravitz, the Killers and Alicia Keys. Held Sept. 13 at the Chase Center, the annual concert has raised more than $100 million, according to Salesforce.

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