Dreamforce ’22 did not disappoint! I’m sure every attendee says that after every annual conference, but since it was my first time attending, I feel like I should get a free pass this once.
Dreamforce is Salesforce’s ‘see-and-be-seen’ event of the year. Trailblazers and Salesforce customers from all over the world come together in various venues in San Francisco, including the Moscone Center, and spend the next three days learning and networking. Dreamforce is equipped with different ‘lands’. One of them is the ISV Campground – a 4,000 square foot space where Salesforce ISVs come to demo their products and meet the community.
Lottie (Sponsorships Manager, SFB) and I spent the final day of Dreamforce hunting for the best, most eye-catching booths. There certainly was a large selection to pick from, but we had to be objective. We decided to judge based on the following four factors: presentation, creativity, team spirit, and overall effort.
Before we dive into the best booths, it’s important to understand why having a presence at Dreamforce is important for a company’s brand awareness. Is it worth the investment?
As a recap, Dreamforce is Salesforce’s flagship and largest annual conference (excluding the COVID years, of course). Tens of thousands of Trailblazers flood to San Francisco for the opportunity to learn about Salesforce’s latest announcements and innovations, network, and sit in on keynotes presented by Salesforce execs and other notable individuals – spot any celebrities this year? In between sessions, Trailblazers network and visit The Campground, where ISVs from all over the world purchase a spot, build their booth, demo their product, and meet the Salesforce community.
For any newcomers stumbling upon this blog, ISV stands for “Independent Software Vendor.” Simply put, ISVs are companies that create and sell applications specifically for the Salesforce platform through the AppExchange. And what better place to sell a Salesforce product than at the largest Salesforce event of the year?
So, without further ado (and in no particular order), let’s dive into this year’s best Dreamforce booths…
OwnBackup dominated a large part of the ISV booth real estate. They didn’t have just one creative, eye-catching booth, they had three.
As the trio of backyard-style booths were the easiest to spot, they were the first stop on our tour. Focused on community and customer relations, OwnBackup made their booths accessible with plenty of comfortable seating (did anybody else see those seesaws?), making it easy for their audience to sit, listen, and learn. The bright idea of having booths both inside and out of Moscone earned them their spot on this list – the pastel-colored cabins were just the cherry on top.
“Come big and come home,” is how Brooke Glynn, Creative Director of OwnBackup, put it. And she was not exaggerating!
The data backup and recovery software provides solutions to ensure a company’s essential information is kept safe and confidential, even in the case of a cyberattack. In essence, they want their customers to feel safe with them, and what feels safer than your own backyard?
“Since it had been a while since the last in-person Dreamforce, we wanted to showcase all of our innovation and growth over the last few years with an engaging exhibit and spaces in and around Moscone.
Our inspiration for our booth design was actually our own customers. They often tell us how we provide peace of mind, have their back, and save the day. So, we set out to create spaces which captured that feeling. Creating a “backyard” on the show floor made it easy for attendees to sit back, relax, have fun and learn more about OwnBackup.”
– Brooke Glynn, Creative Director
Recently rebranded as Momentive, the popular free online survey tool had no trouble catching our attention due to the brightly-lit, green booth featuring two basketball hoops. Why, you ask? They wanted to show off some of their most famous clients! From Puma to Salesforce to the Golden Gate Warriors, SurveyMonkey has a lot of clients to brag about.
The basketball hoops attracted us to the booth, but the product itself is what made us stick around. The team was informative and clearly passionate; they reminded us we use tools like theirs every day, and it is thanks to ISVs like these that companies get to connect with their customers and employees so effectively.
By the way, have you ever heard of GetFeedback built on the Salesforce platform? The tool that collects and automates real-time feedback from your company’s customers was created by SurveyMonkey. After their recent rebranding efforts, the ISV wanted to focus more on market research and employer/employee relationships.
“At an event as large as Dreamforce, we knew we had to be creative to stand out on the show floor. We were inspired by our customer, the Golden State Warriors, to create a basketball-themed exhibit, where we challenged event attendees to shoot hoops with us and grab game-day swag.” – Autum Molay, Head of Global Demand Generation
Clean data is the best data! As soon as Lottie and I saw the bubbles floating around the Campground, we knew we had spotted our next target.
Validity is the ISV behind DemandTools, the service used by so many Salesforce clients to ensure their org keeps clean and manageable data. Validity’s goal is to ensure customers spend less time tidying up their data and more time actually using it to improve their revenue ops.
And what better way to sell a data cleaning solution than an infomercial-style booth? The bubbles were the breadcrumb trail that brought us to the booth, and the cleaning product illusion didn’t stop there. From the infomercial-inspired visuals to the cheesy (in a good way!) t-shirts, the Validity team found a great and creative segue for Trailblazers to visit, chat, and check out their demo.
“When we sat down to brainstorm our Dreamforce approach, we agreed on our tagline first, ‘make your data a clean, mean, revenue boosting machine.’ Once that was in place, it set the stage and immediately the infomercial tone felt right. We wanted to make attendees laugh and ‘get it’ at the same time and we knew our design team would knock it out of the park. So, when people came up to us to take photos of our booth and team uniform, we knew we nailed it.” – Olivia Hinkle, Sr Product Marketing Manager
Did anyone say LEGO?
Slalom’s goal for Dreamforce was simple: “help people and organizations dream bigger, move faster and build better tomorrows for all.” (Sangeeta Prasad, Chief Marketing Officer.) Their booth was surrounded by all sorts of different and complex LEGO sculptures, catching our eye and prompting me and Lottie to go by and say “hello.”
“Building better tomorrows for all,” was plastered all over the booth’s surfaces so it’s only fitting they showed actual models of the types of futures they are helping others build.
The global consulting firm celebrated their new status as a Dreamforce Pioneer sponsor by donating their LEGO sculptures to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, which tied in their mission perfectly.
“In our booth, we hoped to bring to life our purpose to ‘help people and organizations dream bigger, move faster and build better tomorrows for all.’ We honored our customer outcomes through LEGO exhibitions and demonstrated our community support by donating the NY metro train car and Net Zero Cloud tree and puppy sculptures to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. We spotlighted Trailblazers through daily photo murals (later displayed at our ‘art of the possible’ exhibit at Minna Gallery). And committed to sustainability, we planted a tree (through onetreeplanted.org) for every attendee scanned at our Dreamforce activities.” – Sangeeta Prasad, Chief Marketing Officer, Slalom
KPMG was smack dab in the very center of the Campground. Their booth stood out from the crowd from Day 1, and not only because of their optimal location in the Dreamforce Campground. The ISV had a big, red, shiny Mustang as their booth centerpiece – the perfect siren’s call for anyone passing by.
KPMG is an ISV that utilizes Salesforce’s MuleSoft software to link office applications, devices, and data in the cloud. With this, different departments across a company can identify and nurture the different touch points customers go through. Taking it one step further, the integration with Tableau helps orgs make the most of their data by finding deeper, visual insights.
Every ISV on this list understood the assignment. Brand awareness should be any company’s number one priority and those who set up a booth did not disappoint. Attempting to compete for the attention of thousands of Trailblazers can be daunting. Every company wants their booth to be not only eye-catching, but also represent what their product actually is.
From Validity’s infomercial concept to Slalom’s incredible LEGO sculptures, every ISV listed deserves a round of applause. The visuals, the demos, and the team spirit on show were truly off the charts.
While Dreamforce booths may come with a hefty price tag, I’m sure the results ISVs see are well worth it. I cannot wait to see what’s in store for Dreamforce 2023!