What to expect at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce 2018

© Salesforce
© Salesforce

Dreamforce, the cloud computing giant Salesforce.com's massive annual conference in San Francisco, can be intimidating. Here is what to expect, including agenda, dates, speakers, venues, accommodation, price, concerts and handy tips

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Dreamforce 2018 will be made up of more than 2,700 sessions, including keynotes, breakouts, training and certification. The event is much earlier this year, running during the week of 24-28 September, and will be spread across a range of venues in downtown San Francisco.

Only a handful of speakers have been announced for Dreamforce 2018 so far, including Salesforce executives and co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Keith Block, as well as Al Gore, Unilever CIO Jane Moran and NBA champion and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.

It is a good idea to build your agenda using the official app ahead of the event as sessions get fully booked and it well help avoid running around San Francisco during the week, when events can be quite far apart from one another.

Last year's Dreamforce was dominated by the theme of the fourth industrial revolution and 'personalisation', but the vendor continues to focus on intelligence through its Einstein brand, sharing some real case studies of how companies are using the machine learning capabilities being baked into the platform, including Adidas and US Bank.

Another key theme this year will be around Salesforce's latest major acquisition of integration specialist MuleSoft and the creation of the Integration Cloud product. This includes an Integration Keynote on the Wednesday afternoon.

Read next: MuleSoft founder says partnership with Salesforce is the perfect match

The headline act for the Dreamfest concert on Wednesday night at the new venue of City Hall and the Civic Center Plaza, which is for the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, is ageing rockers Metallica. The concert has hosted some pretty big names in past years, including the Foo Fighters, The Killers and Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz last year.

Dreamforce venue

Dreamforce has a large footprint in downtown San Francisco, centring on the Moscone Center, with other events happening at the Marriott Marquis, InterContinental, the Palace Hotel, Hilton Union Square, the Park Central, and the Westin St. Francisco.

Accommodation gets booked up fast during Dreamforce so it's a good idea to book as far in advance as possible. Salesforce has contracts with a number of Bay Area hotels for discounted Dreamforce rates, where you will also get transportation to the Moscone and complimentary internet access. This accommodation can be booked during the registration process.

Similarly, the most popular restaurants in the city get booked up for Dreamforce, so if you have an important dinner lined up then get that booked in advance too.

Lastly, trans-Atlantic flights will be busier in the period before and after Dreamforce, so if you are travelling from the UK it would be a good idea to get these locked as early as possible.

Dreamforce 2017

In terms of Salesforce announcements, last year's Dreamforce was dominated by a personalisation push, with the cloud vendor looking to make its entire platform of tools for sales, marketing and customer service staff more customisable.

In terms of big name speakers there were the regular celebrity fixtures Will.I.Am and Ashton Kutcher, as well as Michelle Obama and Natalie Portman (both were hugely oversubscribed) speaking about getting minorities into tech and the importance of equal pay.

Read next: What we learned at Dreamforce 2017

Finally, it was all wrapped up by a concert at the AT&T ballpark from Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys.

Cost

The conference is already sold out but a full conference pass is $2,199.

Lastly, the Dreamforce 2018 FAQ is online and should answer any other questions you have about the event.

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