The Biggest Tech Conference Gets Bigger: 25 Striking Sights At Dreamforce 2017

Dreamforce 2017

Salesforce's annual conference immerses attendees in a one-of-a-kind experience -- a seemingly endless exhibition of technical education, networking, entertainment and social consciousness.

Now in its 15th year, Dreamforce has become the world's largest technology conference, taking over not only San Francisco's Moscone Center, but almost every restaurant, auditorium and hotel in its surrounding blocks. The space is needed to accommodate some 170,000 attendees that descend on the city center.

Dreamforce 2017, like its predecessor, took on a National Park theme. Throughout its halls, exhibits, theaters and outdoor pavilions, Salesforce re-created the natural world, from scenic trails, to waterfalls, to sweeping vistas and canyons -- all infused with some of the world's most-advanced technology. It's a world that for four days is populated by Salesforce partners and customers, as well as global celebrities, leading business executives, social reformers, park rangers and cartoonish forest creatures.

Chief Executive Trailblazer

Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff is always an ubiquitous presence at his company's conference. In his welcome keynote, he walked the aisles after being adorned with a Hawaiian lei, his freewheeling speech jumping between issues related to business software and the social responsibilities of business leaders.

Benioff spent much of the conference wearing his journalist hat, interviewing guests from Michelle Obama to IBM CEO Ginni Rometty to Google's Diane Greene.

Welcome To Dreamforce

Attendees entering the heart of Moscone Center in San Francisco passed through a great faux-stone arch. Above their heads, Einstein helped his friends scale the structure.

Socially Conscious

Few tech conferences, or companies, put front-and-center a commitment to social causes quite like Salesforce. Benioff, who pioneered the 1/1/1 philanthropic giving model, likes to talk about "doing well and doing good," and messaging about advancing equality, justice and diversity was impossible to miss just about everywhere you went at Dreamforce.

GSI Galore

Two of the world's largest systems integrators, Accenture and Deloitte Digital, had adjacent booths on the Moscone Center exhibition floor, where they showcased their Salesforce expertise to customers. Deloitte had a DJ spinning music to keep a festive mood on that part of the floor.


Salesforce's channel partners were prominent fixtures of the conference.

Appirio, an early Salesforce implementation partner actually incubated inside Salesforce headquarters in San Francisco before relocating its headquarters years later to Indianapolis, welcomed guests with a gourmet coffee bar.

Like many companies that were on the vanguard of the Salesforce channel, Appirio scaled to become a global powerhouse. Last year it was acquired by Wipro.

Bluewolf and IBM

Bluewolf was another small consulting firm born in the Salesforce ecosystem that rapidly scaled to global prominence. Now an IBM company, the systems integrator is playing a central role in uniting the two enterprise technology giants in a partnership focused around their respective artificial intelligence capabilities.


One big surprise at Dreamforce was the announcement of a new strategic partnership between Salesforce and Google.

The CRM giant named Google Cloud Platform a "preferred cloud provider" on which it will scale out its international operations. Google reciprocated by selecting Salesforce its preferred CRM.

In addition to the platform partnerships, Google's G Suite office productivity portfolio will see deeper integration with Salesforce cloud applications, including Sales and Marketing clouds, as will the Google Analytics 360 platform.


Through Trailhead, Salesforce offers a broad range of online educational opportunities to advance the skills of Salesforce professionals.

The guided learning paths take students places they've never been before, much like hikers embarking from a trailhead in a national park.

The program advances users through customized learning modules. Achievements in completing trails are rewarded with badge certifications.

Colorful Characters

A colorful cast of characters animate the Dreamforce experience. Einstein and his furry friends like to pop in on keynotes, educational sessions and exhibits. Their likenesses are plastered on almost every surface of the massive conference.

So Many Einsteins

The capabilities of the artificial intelligence platform Salesforce revealed at last year's Dreamforce are embedded across the cloud software developer's application portfolio.

There's an Einstein for almost every cloud, including Sales, Service, Marketing and Commerce. And this year, myEinstein introduced a new way for partners to customize the artificial intelligence experience for their clients.

Meet Einstein

At the Einstein Observatory, Salesforce customers could see demonstrations of Salesforce's evolving artificial intelligence platform, including capabilities built by partners. They just had to pass under a famous hairdo to discover all things Einstein.

Ride The Lightning

Lightning, Salesforce's next-generation user interface, delivers modular components partners can use to create for their customers unique experiences across Salesforce clouds. The new myLightning offering makes the platform even easier to customize, yielding cloud-based software that appears natively, explicitly developed for the customer.

Swings and a massive display simulated the thrill of creating custom user interfaces.

Peer Power

At the Consultation Outpost, customers, partners and Salesforce staff got a chance to conduct one-on-one meetings and learn from each other. The area was a beehive of activity as professionals looked to exchange knowledge with their peers.

The Ecosystem

While some had dazzling, multi-story exhibits, other Salesforce technology and consulting partners opted for smaller kiosks that lined the Moscone Center's exhibition floor as crowds explored all the vendors in the Salesforce ecosystem.

The IT Observatory

At the IT Observatory, customers and partners benefited from hands-on app building sessions. They encountered cutting-edge Salesforce products like Einstein under this tilted half-dome marked up with stellar constellations.

Salesforce Tower

The top floors of the soon-to-open Salesforce Tower are still getting their finishing touches just blocks away from the Dreamforce conference. In the meantime, conference-goers could interact with a model of what will soon be the tallest building on the West Coast towering over other miniaturized San Francisco attractions.

Prediction Tree

Under the shade of this Prediction Tree, Einstein demonstrated how to use machine learning to foretell the future. New capabilities to the artificial intelligence platform through the myEinstein offering deliver more-useful sales and attrition projections to Salesforce customers.

Partner Power

Building partnerships was a big theme at Dreamforce.

Presentations at the Partner Theater helped highlight the need for alliances and how to forge them. There, partners could attend breakout sessions, enjoy snacks and watch keynotes on live feeds.

Platform Power

Salesforce has thrived because early on the company took a platform approach to developing its technology, allowing a massive ecosystem to emerge. Salesforce platforms are enabling partners to accelerate digital transformation for their customers.

The Main Stage

Live music was playing outdoors at just about all times of day. Bands on the main stage entertained the tens of thousands of Dreamforce attendees walking across the sprawling convention center in San Francisco.

The Campground

While real campgrounds are typically quiet and lit by a campfire, the Dreamforce campground was a massive, buzzing space littered with splashy displays and high-tech theaters dedicated to training Salesforce skills.

Trailhead Falls

This waterfall ran down the side of Trailhead Canyon. Not something you see indoors every day.

21st Century Fox

The media giant's engagement with Salesforce was profiled in the opening Dreamforce keynote. And 21st Century Fox contributed one of the coolest exhibits in the pavilion, where guests could enjoy a unique fantasy experience.

Alaska Airlines

Salesforce customer Alaska Airlines not only flew many Dreamforce attendees into San Francisco, but also dazzled guests at its exhibit with a simulated flight experience.


Adidas was one of the customers profiled in the opening Dreamforce keynote. At its exhibit, the sneaker all-star rolled out a track that led guests to an array of its latest products mounted on the wall.