Salesforce, its partners, and its customers will all feel the absence of its massive, in-person extravaganza this year, experts say: 'The Dreamforce void will hurt'
Salesforce's annual Dreamforce conference is usually one of the most anticipated tech conferences of the year, but it will be quite different in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In April, Salesforce cancelled all in-person events for the rest of 2020 in favor of virtual gatherings. It has yet to announce any new information about what a virtual Dreamforce event would look like this year.
Not having an in-person Dreamforce will have widespread effects on the company and its ecosystem of partners and customers, Salesforce analysts and partners told Business Insider.
For example, some expect to see long-term effects on the business because it will take longer to build a pipeline of new business leads, both for Salesforce and its partners.
However, others are more optimistic given Salesforce's track record with maintaining its network virtually and how it is changing its relationships with customers.
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Salesforce's flashy, star-studded annual Dreamforce conference is usually one of the most anticipated tech conferences each year. Thousands of attendees pour into downtown San Francisco each fall to hear from Salesforce executives, partners, and customers alongside high profile speakers (like President Barack Obama in 2019) and performers (like Metallica in 2018). However, this year things will be quite different.
In April, Salesforce cancelled all in-person events for the rest of 2020 and said it would "reimagine" them in "in new and virtual ways." Salesforce has yet to announce any new information about what a virtual Dreamforce event would look like this year.
CEO Marc Benioff did make it clear during the company's earnings call in August that no one will be getting together live.
"There is no Dreamforce in 2020," he said. "We know that. We're not all heading to San Francisco next month, where Metallica is not playing. We're not all going to be going in the keynote room."
It's still unclear what this means for a virtual Dreamforce event happening this year but a Salesforce spokesperson told Business Insider: "In the coming weeks, we'll share news about our completely reimagined Dreamforce for the all-digital, work anywhere world." Salesforce also said "over the past months we've had more than 140 million views of our various virtual events."
Regardless of whether there is a virtual event, not having an in-person Dreamforce will have widespread effects on the company and its ecosystem of partners and customers, Salesforce analysts and partners told Business Insider. Some expect to see long-term, potentially negative effects on the business, while others are more optimistic given Salesforce's efforts to maintain its ecosystem virtually.
Salesforce could seen an impact on its customer momentum and sales pipeline