Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Dead of a Pair of Pumps and How Dreamforce has Become an Executive Conference

No comments :
I have been going to's Dreamforce conference for about 7 years in one form or another- from a full conference attendee, to a expo vendor, a virtual attendee and a keynote/expo attendee which i did again this year. Moscone center is nearby the office and I find it extremely valuable to attend conferences- great for networking and for seeing and hearing first hand what the big vendors or technologies are coming up with.

Last night after putting the baby to sleep, I was catching up on my work after spending the majority of the day at dreamforce and was watching the tweet stream from #df11. It was late and the conference attendees where at the Metallica gala concert. Pretty entertaining tweets- from 'they handed out earplugs as we walked in' to the always entertaining @jowyang 's tweet:

But these funny observations was something I had noticed myself- a lot of suits and slick back hair. Now I am not against this (maybe the slick back hair I don't particularly like but whatever it's better then a mullet)- and I myself wear 'proper' business dress to all conferences since I am always running into clients. But I thought the conference looked like more business types then before (I refuse to believe that developers are wearing suits now a days- but they seem to have upgraded to the standard valley dress of khaki's and button downs).

My friend Kevin Marks, who is now at Salesforce and was wearing a snazy jacket, pointed out that Dreamforce11 had all the developer sessions in Moscone West while the business sessions where in Moscone North - we were chatting in the north area and I agreed - and there were a lot of suits there.

With 47,000 attendees, there was a different feeling- Dreamforce seems to me to be a growing must attend for top execs- from the hallway and expo floor conversations I observed . I am sure the developers sessions are still important but the "visionary" stuff that Marc Benioff (CEO) is pushing seems to be working on these guys (yes mostly guy- and yes it was nice to see Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts on stage and loved her talk on the Social Enterprise). All the keynotes are now available on YouTube.

Anyway- on the way from Moscone West to Moscone North through the massive crowds- a street grate got the best of my most beloved shoes- the ones I wear to every conference because they are the most comfortable- I would say that over the years (do I dare admit that these shoes at around 10yrs old?!!)- these shoes have seen hundreds of keynotes and strolled through miles and miles of expo halls- from the small intimate conferences like the beloved defrag to the biggie 'close out Disney World' Gartner conferences.

I will miss you dear shoes.

PS: for those lady friends of mine who we have discussed that the Shoe Mender is a girl's best friend and good shoes are worth fixing and over again. This pair has spent its share of time at the shoe repair shop- this morning as I walked past Jack's shoe repair on market street on the way to the office I suddenly almost had a change of heart- but no their time has come. (Sounds like a trip to DSW is called for!)

No comments :