Apparently Salesforce is confident enough that COVID-19 will be a non-factor three months from now that they’re bringing back a large-scale Dreamforce, but they’re being a little vague on whether they’ll allow 170,000 people again.
Corporate Americas’ version of Burning Man Dreamforce, the Salesforce mega-conference that clogs up South of Market for a week every year but does bring a ton of money into town, understandably canceled outright in 2020 and scaled way down and was mostly outdoors for its 2021 return. But that caution may be gone, current COVID uptick be damned. KRON4 reports that Dreamforce is returning in-person on September 20-22, and Salesforce’s press release says it will host “tens of thousands of in-person attendees.”
It's happening, Trailblazers.— Salesforce (@salesforce) June 23, 2022
🌉 San Francisco
🌞 September 20-22
Early registration launches in July. Sign up today and be the first to know about the legendary, in person #DF22 experience.
More details to come. Get updates: https://t.co/LBcTO2XbnS pic.twitter.com/rD2yTsz8O7
The last normal, pre-COVID Dreamforce drew 171,000 in 2019. The press release for this year’s coming Salesforce sticks to that “Tens of thousands of in-person attendees” language, but also has adopted the phrase “this year we’re going big.” Read what you will for the full quote below.
“This year we’re going big and coming home to Moscone Center, unlocking the magic that only Salesforce can deliver,” the release says. “We’re thrilled to announce that Dreamforce 2022 — our most impactful Dreamforce ever — will return to San Francisco from September 20 through September 22, bringing the entire Salesforce community home for our 20th anniversary. Tens of thousands of in-person attendees and millions online, including on Salesforce+, will come together for three full days of learning, connection, fun, and giving back.”
Oh it may be their “most impactful Dreamforce ever,” alright. This month's RSA Conference at Moscone appears to have been a COVID superspreader event. But while there is plenty of speculation on social media that it will be “full capacity event with 200K+ attendees,” Salesforce might be hedging on announcing capacity until “Registration goes live in July,” and they are not yet saying what day in July, despite July being one week away.
The press release also has a crowing quote from Mayor London Breed, which is a little odd given, you know, her situation. At least she'll have some good natural immunity by then!
“I look forward to welcoming so many Dreamforce visitors to San Francisco this year,” Breed says in the release. “Events like Dreamforce are not just essential for helping to drive our economic recovery, but they also build excitement and energy around what’s happening in our city.”
Still, the Chronicle makes an excellent point: “Economic challenges including higher interest rates and rising inflation could dampen demand for tech conferences.” Tech stocks have been growing to the sky for the last decade, but 2022 is shaping up to be tech’s least lucrative year in a long-ass time, and many tech firms are in layoff mode.
The event is expected to generate $40 million in revenue for San Francisco. https://t.co/0Jr8XxHCcT— KRON4 News (@kron4news) June 23, 2022
Still, whether it’s “tens of thousands” or more than 170,000 people attending, the return of Dreamforce should be a bonanza for SoMa restaurants, bars, and tipped employees. Hopefully they’ll make enough to cover the five days or so they may have to take off if they catch COVID-19 from business tourists.