SAN FRANCISCO - The head of Salesforce says the future of the Dreamforce conference depends on the upcoming convention.
Dreamforce draws tens of thousands of visitors to San Francisco, and now the head of Salesforce has made comments that have put the future of that convention into question.
San Francisco's Moscone Center was buzzing with activity with conventioneers attending the three-day Google Cloud Next conference. In two weeks it'll be Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce conference that's expected to draw 40,000 visitors to San Francisco.
However, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has gone on the record with the San Francisco Chronicle saying, "If this Dreamforce is impacted by the current situation with homelessness and drug use it may be the last Dreamforce."
The comments came amid a discussion about Salesforce's million-dollar donation the to Salvation Army's "Way Out" program aimed at helping the homeless.
SF Travel responded to Benioff's comments, saying the city is working hard to make sure that Dreamforce and other major conventions go off without a hitch.
"This fall, in fact, is going to be a busy conference year for San Francisco," said Joe D'Alessandro from SF Travel. "So, we're going to see a lot of conferences come, starting now all the way through December and our focus and our goal, together with the city and the hospitality industry, is to make sure that San Francisco shines."
Sources who have been working closely with Salesforce confirm that talks have already been underway between the tech company, the San Francisco Police Department and city officials to address any security concerns long before the conference begins.
Mayor London Breed said the city is already working hard with Salesforce and the city's hospitality industry to plan for the conference and make sure it goes smoothly.
In a statement, Breed pointed out that "after last year's event, Marc Benioff posted about what an amazing experience it was, how the city looked beautiful, and that there were no safety issues."
Benioff himself tweeted a message immediately following Dreamforce 2022, saying visitors commented on the beauty of the city, and saying there were zero safety incidents reported.
It's something SF Travel noted as well.
"It was a really well-attended conference that really came off without a hitch," D'Alessandro said. "We really want to make sure that Dreamforce 2023 is the same, if not even better."
Current Google conference attendees report a smooth trip so far.
Breona Blanton, visiting from Marana, Arizona, said the San Francisco she has seen doesn't match the reputation portrayed in some media.
"I've heard that it's dangerous, honestly, and to not drive a car here," Blanton said. "That there's a bunch of homeless people everywhere. But, I haven't really experienced that very much, we love the weather, the weather is so nice. It's really nice being here and being around everyone and I don't feel unsafe here."
Alex Silva from Boston says he feels the same.
"I see as I walk around a lot of police officers and I think they're doing a really good job in trying to corral and keep some separation from that kind of stuff," Silva said. "I don't feel unsafe walking around."
KTVU reached out to Salesforce for a follow-up or clarifying statement from Benioff, but so far hasn't heard back.
Dreamforce is set to get underway on Sept. 12.