In-person Dreamforce returns: Real people, real lanyards, real sandwich platters... and no James Corden

Not the first plane trip you wanted to do post-lockdown, but there you are


Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual tech jamboree, is back, in person and it is multiplying.

The SaaSy CRM firm’s CEO Marc Benioff “couldn't be more excited” to tell the world the legendary event will go ahead in 2021 with real people, lanyards around necks, standing around conference buffet tables contemplating reheated meat of no discernible provenance.

Simultaneously in San Francisco, New York, Paris and London, Salesforce is set to bring a new meaning to going viral in an expanded itinerary designed to make up for the sterile James Cordon-hosted schmaltz-fest that was the 2020 online event.

The beardy CEO declared on an analyst call that the events would be “an incredible family reunion.”

All attendees would need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and Salesforce was working with local officials on the planning, he said.

Benioff also enthused over the gradual return to office life, led by Volunteer Vaccinated Cohorts, which was signalled during April.

Ignoring warnings about the casual appropriation of Hawaiian culture, Benioff told analysts: “It just, you know, was an emotional moment to know that, we're back and that our Ohana are back in the offices and that we're opening back up.”

Meanwhile, the company last night reported first-quarter revenue [PDF] of $5.96bn, up 23 per cent on a year earlier. The company is expecting Q2 revenue of $6.22bn to $6.23bn reflecting 21 per cent annual growth.

At the same time, it has adjusted full-year operating margin to 18 per cent from 17.7 per cent while increasing revenue guidance by $250m. CFO Amy Weaver said the decision assumed the return of some, but not all, business travel during the year, while the decision to raise the revenue guidance for 2022 reflected the Q1 performance.

“Our impressive start to fiscal ‘22 positions us well for the rest of the year, and keeps us on track to achieve our goal of $50bn [revenue] by fiscal '26,” she told analysts. ®

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