Dreamforce 2018 Recap: San Francisco, We Will Miss You!

October 5, 2018 Rachel Koeling and Erik Lea

Appirio’s strong ties with Salesforce were clearly reflected in our robust presence at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s biggest event of the year. And boy, did we make an impact! From our wildly popular speaker sessions, to one attendee’s first-time perspective, to a memorable Late Night bash — the Appirio team was fortunate to assist Dreamforce attendees in getting the most out of this year’s conference.



Sold-out sessions

We hosted not one, but two sold-out Dreamforce sessions.


We’d like to call attention to our first speaking session at this year’s Dreamforce — “How to Successfully Innovate: A Design Thinking Workshop.” This design-oriented session was one of the first in a four day line-up, and people crammed into the room to hear speakers Blake Walles, Creative Director, Appirio, and Todd Donahue, Executive Creative Director, Appirio, discuss the impact of identifying unmet needs and applying design thinking to a structured framework. We found out that this kind of approach can contribute to organic growth and add value for your employees and customers.


We hosted our second sold-out session, “The Power of CoE: Maximize Your Investment & Plan for Digital Transformation”. Session speaker Andy Anguelo, Managing Consultant at Appirio, talked about how our client, Woolworths, worked with Appirio to set up a formal team of Salesforce users in the form of a Center of Excellence to help drive adoption and best practices throughout the organization. The Woolworths Salesforce COE has become an integral part of technology and business strategy for the organization and is currently helping bring the team into the digital age.


And we’d be remiss to not mention our distinguished customer panel, “We Did What?!?: A Panel Discussion on Unique Salesforce Solutions.” In a near-packed house, host speaker, Glenn Weinstein, CIO, Appirio, spoke with industry leaders from US Foods, Western Union, Ashfield Healthcare, and Georgetown University, about growing organizations’ innovative uses of Salesforce.



A Go-To-Market perspective

Erik Lea, a new member of the Go-To-Market team and long-time San Francisco resident, worked tirelessly to provide an unforgettable Dreamforce experience for attendees visiting the Appirio booth and other spaces this year. He holds expert knowledge in cloud-based applications and platforms, so his experience at this year’s conference was unique.


I would describe my first Dreamforce as unrelenting. Constant movement and constant dedication to the event. Appirio’s Club & Connect were full non-stop action, as the Sales team met with customers and Salesforce counterparts. All of Appirio's presence was highly-organized, focused, and diligent — and exemplified an incredibly strong work ethic by ensuring the event was successful and maximizing the time we had at our various meeting venues.


I think one highlight for me was seeing our CEO consistently making himself available, pitching in and helping with various meetings occurring throughout the week. I believe in leadership by example and setting the tone at the top, and it was great to see this in action. In addition, there were a number of former Appirians present at all of our venues and events, and it's good to hear that they continued to be engaged by our customer and worker experience.


An eerie reception

Talent lined the walls of Appirio Connect on Wednesday evening at Dreamforce. But these actors were not the usual gleeful bunch. Instead, the theme was a bizarre version of American Horror Story, and our actors were there to spit fire and add to a supernatural ambiance.


Attendees loved the “creepy tone” that was set by performers, spooky and funny swag, and mysterious (and yummy) drinks — which acted as foil to the upbeat innovation brought by Dreamforce week.


Proof is in the pudding

Appirio left quite a mark at Dreamforce this September. And for the 12th straight year the evidence of our impact is found within the facts. Here are a few highlights:

  • 2 well-attended industry breakfasts — within the Non Profit and Higher Education sectors.
  • 3 successful industry happy hours — with Financial Services, Consumer, and Manufacturing & Technology verticals.
  • 5 industry lodges and shared tables — spanning salesforce.org, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Retail, Manufacturing, and Commerce.
  • 8 notable sponsored sessions and 16 speaking sessions.
  • 183 Appirians attended from all over the world.

Our goal at Appirio is to provide you with a stellar customer experience and relevant content that addresses key organizational challenges in a clear and honest way. Be sure to explore our Content Hub for more information on Dreamforce and industry topics that interest you. We’re excited to build on our momentum at Dreamforce next year — hope to see you there!

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