Chasing Clouds & Catching Up with the #CommerceCrew at Dreamforce 2023

For those of you who have been wondering about my whereabouts some time ago, I enjoyed this massive gathering in San Francisco. It is always invigorating to be part of the Dreamforce experience! This time around, I am recounting my journey of attending in 2023.  

Dreamforce never fails to impress – but truthfully, I believe 2023’s edition went above and beyond! Although the start of my journey could have gone a tad better…

Starting Dreamforce with a Flight Fiasco

A group of people enjoying a coffee at Brussels Airport, just before leaving to Dreamforce
Blissfully unaware of the troubles ahead

Our journey began Monday morning on a slightly chaotic note. We missed our initial flight due to our connecting one getting delayed – something that swiftly transformed all relaxed nerves into jittery ones. However, it proved to be a minor hiccup. Before we knew it, we were put on the next flight out and made our touchdown by 8 PM. Because of this, we missed a lot of welcome receptions, but it could have been worse.

The adventurous start did nothing to deter our enthusiasm – instead, it added an adrenaline surge that prepped us more than anything else could have! 

A Welcoming Tuesday

Three people smiling on a picture at a breakfast meeting in San Francisco including Thomas Theunen and Amalia Murray.
All energised to start Dreamforce!

We kicked off day two (and the first day of Dreamforce) with gusto; the early bird catches the worm indeed! Tuesday commenced with breakfast with the #CommerceCrew (a big thank you being in order for Amalia!). The keynote right after gave an opportunity to reveal a new Shirtforce t-shirt, specially designed for Charlie to celebrate his relentless efforts within Salesforce’s ever-evolving community ecosystem.

A group of people all wearing a
That is a lot of Sailblazers!

No time for food comas here; post-lunch called for participation on my behalf in a session revolving around AI and its ethical impact. Explorer at heart, I reveled delving deep into generative AI – indeed quite an informative afternoon.

Wednesday: Swags and Rock n Roll!

Thomas Theunen sitting in between studio lights with a camera pointed at him. Multiple screens show his face.
Lights, Camera, ACTION!

The arrival of Wednesday brought with it a flurry of excitement and anticipation as I prepared for several interview opportunities. As the day progressed, I sat in front of numerous camera lenses. Despite the pressure, I felt invigorated as I answered intriguing questions about the fascinating world of AI, the effect of Salesforce events and community, and how they positively impact my businesses and day-to-day activities. 

The day wasn’t just about putting on a serious face, as it also entailed my eagerly anticipated SWAG hunt! 

Fun fact: A hunt for cool goodies is an incredible icebreaker among participants.

Just as we thought the day couldn’t get any better, Dreamfest kicked off with an epic concert by none other than the Foo Fighters! Trust me; it was nothing short of a fantastic evening in San Francisco. Talk about going out with a bang! 

We went on an epic quest to find the mystical entrance to the ground floor, but alas, it remained shrouded in mystery. After much fruitless searching and getting rejected at every turn, we realised that perhaps we were not the chosen (e.g. not a customer) ones destined to enter. Maybe we just needed better directions. Or did I just have to flaunt my Golden Hoodie?

A picture of the concert of the Foo Fighters at Dreamfest 2023, taken high above the stage.
In the clouds at Dreamfest 2023

Thursdays Meant for Mingling

The Unofficial SFCC slack admins below a tree at Dreamforce in dim blue lighting.
The #CommerceCrew gathers!

Thursday was comparatively calmer but every bit exciting in its unique way. It began with an insightful meetup of CommerceCrew which followed the spirit of community building and offered people a rare chance to come together amidst the bustling event.

The rest of the day shadowed opportunities to connect and exchange ideas among peers culminating in an intimate discussion revolving around AI in a cozy setup – the perfect unwinding activity after three days of intense power walking.

In closing...

As someone privileged to attend Dreamforce’23, I was amazed by the remarkable presence of generative AI in various sessions and keynotes. However, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed that there weren’t more B2C Commerce Cloud innovations that didn’t require other products in the Salesforce range. 

While I understand the reasoning behind this, not every customer wants to invest in other products. Nonetheless, it was a time to celebrate community spirit and foster relationships while embracing AI’s power. After an intense journey of knowledge exchange, I now sign off with mixed feelings, eagerly anticipating the next remarkable ride at Dreamforce. 

See you there?

Einstein playing the guitar at Draemfest, Dreamforce 2023 in San Francisco. This image is AI generated

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