Salesforce has announced that Dreamforce is back on as an in-person event this year, though it clearly will not have the usual 170,000 attendees coming to San Francisco.
During the company's quarterly earnings call ahead of the holiday weekend, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced plans for "the first global Dreamforce" in September, which is set to happen simultaneously in four cities: San Francisco, New York, Paris, and London. There will also be an online option as well.
Benioff said the company would "follow the health guidelines in every city," and for SF and New York that will mean requiring proof of vaccination for all attendees.
"We’re thrilled to bring Dreamforce back as an in-person experience, and we can’t wait to bring all our Trailblazers together for a completely new brand experience,” says Salesforce President and Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Franklin in a subsequent press release. “Whether you join us in person or online, it will be the most innovative and immersive Dreamforce ever — another example of how, in this new all-digital world, we can achieve success from anywhere.”
As the SF Business Times reports, Salesforce hasn't confirmed how many attendees will be able to come to the SF portion, but the city has said that it wants to limit large events to 5,000 people until October 1.
It could be that Dreamforce organizers will get some sort of exception granted from the city, and Nicole Rogers of the San Francisco Travel Association told the SF Business Times that plans were taking shape for Dreamforce to use multiple outdoor venues, including Oracle Park.
In a normal year, Dreamforce is SF's biggest convention, bringing as many as 170,000 to the Moscone Center and snarling traffic as it shuts down a section of Howard Street. Downtown businesses and hotels are desperate to get some convention traffic back, so while Dreamforce likely will be a much smaller event this year, any news about any in-person convention is welcome.
Prior to the pandemic, another major SF convention, Oracle's OpenWorld, announced it was moving to Las Vegas. This was one of several major professional conventions that announced it was leaving San Francisco in part because of conventioneers feeling less than safe on the city's streets.
"The in-person presence of Dreamforce will have a profound impact on future convention bookings in San Francisco for 2021 and beyond," says San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro in a statement. "This event will show the world that San Francisco is open and well back on the road to recovery from the pandemic."