First Time Around Dreamforce 16
My First Time Around Dreamforce'16

First Time Around Dreamforce 16

10/14/2016 by Shannon Carabetta
Dreamforce ‘16, Salesforce’s annual user and developer conference, has grown into the world’s largest tech conference. Among 170,000 people, attending for the first time, I was both excited and anxious about the experience.


After reflecting on my first Dreamforce, gratitude is my new attitude. My Salesforce badge provided access to a mind blowing amount of knowledge, a wealth of opportunity and over four days to enjoy it. With over 3,000 sessions, I soon realized I was not going to make every event and I needed to let go. I coached myself many times to be present, to stay present, and to make the most of this amazing event.

Arkus kicked off the week with our annual “Welcome to Dreamforce” party, featuring’s one and only Ryan Boyle and his Hella Good band. So fun to see so many friends of Arkus for a hella good time.

Project Open Hand

One of my favorite events was volunteering for Project Open Hand, a local San Francisco nonprofit that provides meals with love to critically ill neighbors and seniors. 2,500 nutritious meals and 200 bags of groceries are provided every week to help sustain Project Open Hand’s clients. We spent our time packing 2,000 tote bags with a specially designed cookbook, mixing bowls and measuring cups, and the turn-out was tremendous! For individuals, corporations or youth programs interested in additional volunteer opportunities with Project Open Hand, you can send an email to

Marc Benioff’s Keynote

Lining up for Marc Benioff’s “Be a Customer Trailblazer” keynote, it was clear just how many people wanted to get a glimpse of this iconic tech genius visionary. In line for over two hours, I visited with folks from India and Sweden. “What brings you to Dreamforce” was my hello and it worked all week long. People come from all over to attend this conference, and everyone had a different story. One old timer remarked that after attending Dreamforce 8 times he just lets Dreamforce come to him.

Seeing Marc Benioff for the first time will stay with me. He strikes me as a humble, quality fellow who showed us clearly what he is all about. Throughout the presentation, Mr. Benioff illustrated how he utilizes his gifts to bring good people together to do great things. I will not forget when he spoke so passionately about providing technology, access and opportunity for kids otherwise forgotten and when he shared his video, Where’s the Love to raise money for his cause. I will not forget Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED), who shared her personal story and path to a nonprofit founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage businesses and consumers to help fight AIDS in Africa.

Another highlight was spending time at the lodge at the Westin St. Francis. A beautiful home-like hotel to compliment the charm and warmth of all the great folks at With client sessions, partner booths, and fun trailblazing activities, it was a lot of fun!

Struck by the level of support and tireless effort from our hosts Salesforce and as well as the local people supporting such an impressive event, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that worked so hard to bring us Dreamforce. See you next year!

For highlights, keynote videos, and new product information, go to Dreamforce '16. If you’d like to share your Dreamforce‘16 story, please reach out to us on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @SCarabetta1 or in the Success Community.